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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 280-291

Well-Being Impacts of Human-Elephant Conflict in Khumaga, Botswana: Exploring Visible and Hidden Dimensions


1 Department of Geography, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
2 School of Environmental Studies and Department of Geography and Planning, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
3 Elephants for Africa, Botswana & The University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Alice J Hovorka
School of Environmental Studies and Department of Geography and Planning, Queen's University
Canada
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_16_132

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High densities of wild African savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana) combined with widespread human land-use have increased human-elephant conflict in northern Botswana. Visible impacts (e.g. crop/property damage, injury/fatality) of elephants on human well-being are well documented in scholarly literature while hidden impacts (e.g. emotional stress, restricted mobility) are less so. This research uses qualitative methods to explore human experiences with elephants and perceived impacts of elephants on human well-being. Findings reveal participants are concerned about food insecurity and associated visible impacts of elephant crop raids. Findings also reveal participants are concerned about reduced safety and restricted mobility as hidden impacts threatening livelihoods and everyday life. Both visible and hidden impacts of elephants contribute to people's negative feelings towards elephants, as does the broader political context. This research emphasises the importance of investigating both visible and hidden impacts of elephants on human well-being to foster holistic understanding of human-elephant conflict scenarios and to inform future mitigation strategies.


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