Determining human-elephant conflict hot spots in Hwange
Keywords:Human-elephant conflict, Hot spots
This study predicted the spatial determinants of human-elephant conflict in Victoria Falls town, Hwange West communal area and the resettlement areas of Don Rovin, Mubiya and Kalala. The Garmin GPS receiver, digitizing and observation instruments were employed for collecting human-elephant conflict location. Results indicate that all the areas located close to the forest protected area are vulnerable to human-elephant conflict incidents. Therefore, areas such as Ndlovu, Mvutu, Chikandakubi and Chenamisa in Jambezi are human-elephant conflict hot spots as they share a boundary with the forest. Areas such as Chinotimba and Mkhosana residential area are human-elephant conflict hot spots in Victoria Falls as they share a boundary with both the Victoria Falls and the Zambezi National parks. The resettlement areas of Mubiya, Don Rovin and Kalala are hot spots for human-elephant conflict incidents. This is because the resettlement areas are all located at the boundary of the Fuller forest protected area. It is recommended that a deterrent method such as the installation of electric fence around Victoria Falls town has a great potential of preventing elephants from entering settlements and minimizing human-elephant conflict. For Hwange communal and resettlement areas, land use planners should prevent settlements patterns that leave crop fields vulnerable to crop raiding. Alternatively, land use planners can consider allocating land to other uses besides settlements and agriculture. Integrating the spatial determinants of human-elephant conflict with land use planning has a great potential of offering permanent solutions to the conflict problem.
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