Saving Elephants by Helping People

Sri Lanka

Copyright: SLWCS

In Depth Coverage

SEHP: Saving Elephants by Helping People

Asian elephants have been recognized as a critically endangered species due to the vast deforestation occurring in Asia. In Sri Lanka alone, over 80% of forest areas have been decimated due to agriculture, irrigation, industrialization, urbanization, and logging. This destruction is due in many cases to the lack of effective landscape-level planning of necessary development activities. During the years 2004 to 2005 alone, the forests in Sri Lanka declined at a rate of about 1.5% per annum and cumulative forest loss since 1990 was 35%. As a result of habitats being frequently converted to agricultural lands, conflict between humans and elephants continues to increase at an alarming rate. Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) today is the most pressing wildlife conservation challenges in Sri Lanka.

  • Link With Climate Change

    Open

    Deforestation is both the cause and the consequence of Climate Cahnge:

    • The consequence because its resultant changes in climatic conditions forces farmers to cultivate new lands and more particularly forested lands.
    • The cause because it contributes significantly to the atmospheric build-up of CO2.
      Moreover, SLWCS will work with the Sri Lanka Metrology Departments Centre for Climate Change Studies to study how the change of landuse obtained through analyzing the SPOT imagery has affected the climate
       

     

  • Objectives

    Open

    The aim of the proposed project is to map the vast deforestation occurring in Sri Lanka, which is critically endangering Asian elephant’s species.

  • Work plan

    Open

    To be developed

  • Schedule

    Open

    To be developed

  • Technical and Scientific Approach & Methods Proposed

    Open

    To be developed

  • Results

    Open

    To be developed

  • Deliverables

    Open

    To be developed

  • Use of Satellite Imagery and GIS Solutions

    Open

    Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS) has been using basic GIS mapping software since the inception of its SEHP project in 1997 to map elephant and leopard presence/absence, human-elephant conflict, habitat mapping, and socio-economic trend analysis. High-resolution satellite imagery of areas will enable the analysis of the change in land-use patterns over time at each of the project sites. This information will be used in conjunction with the field data collected in the last decade. Multiband images and high resolution orhocorrected images will be used to create current land use maps and modeling deforestation trends over time. Stereo imagery and vector contour datasets will assist in the creation of Digital Elevation Models and metapopulation/risk analysis modeling. These will be made into maps and predictive models so that communities and government officials can easily comprehend the negative trends and also see the positive impacts of model communities' appropriate land-use practices implemented with community participation.

    The use of advanced GIS with imagery will help to develop solutions that will not only save lives by mitigating HEC, but will also contribute to improving the conservation of elephants and other wildlife and their habitats. It will save both human and elephants lives.

  • Local Actions

    Open

    - Produce maps and predictive models so that communities and government officials can easily comprehend the negative trends and also see the positive impacts of model communities' appropriate land-use practices implemented with community participation, and what role Climate Change plays.

  • Region Name

    Open
    South East of Sri Lanka
  • Partners involved in project

    Open
    To be developed