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Crop Raiding Pattern by Elephant in Nepal: A Case Study of Khata Corridor

Author(s): PAHARI Sagar, PAUDEL Umesh, K.C. Rabin Bahadur

Human - Elephant Conflict (HEC) causes the socio-economic distress in the settlement around Bardiya National Park (BNP). The transboundary migration of Asian elephant from Katarniyaghat Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS) in India to BNP and vice versa through Khata corridor exposes the vulnerable settlement in the corridor to frequent elephant encounters. The distance to conflict sites from features such as the forest frontage, the river edge, and the boundary of protected areas influences the severity of the crop damage. Municipalities within Khata corridor i.e., Thakurbaba and Madhuban were the study area that were further divided into three sample clusters i.e., MB, MBBZ and TBBZ. Hundred sample households (HHs) were surveyed and the annual stored crop damage and the crop damage on the agricultural field were quantified. ArcGis and R – studio were used to map and analyse the raid pattern. The result showed that small to medium landholding was possessed by most samples HHs and paddy was the most grown crop. Paddy was also the most depredated crop. The most severe crop damage in the agricultural field was sustained by MB cluster whereas the most severe stored crop damage was experienced by MBBZ cluster. A moderately strong correlation between the crop damage and the distance to BNP, the distance to KWS, and the number of elephants in a raiding herd was identified. The crop raid from larger herds was suffered by settlements closer to KWS. However, more study on the question raised regarding the elephant behaviour on transboundary movement through Khata corridor is required.

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