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CDs used to protect crops from elephants (Thailand)

lundi 3 novembre 2008

A wildlife sanctuary in Thailand has come up with an innovative way of keeping elephants away from farmer’s crops – unwanted CDs.

The Elephant Conservation Network (ECN), working alongside the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), is the first to use the CDs as light reflectors to deter the elephants from destroying Thailand’s crops.

Ecologists in the country claim that "crop-raiding" commonly occurs on traditional elephant forest routes with the large animals devouring crops and destroying trees in their path. Human dwellings are also threatened with a number of people injured or even killed.

ZSL Thailand elephant project manager and director of ECN, Belinda Stewart-Cox, said : "We are working with farmers to find a cost-effective way for them to keep elephants out of their fields.

"We’ve been monitoring human impacts on elephants and their forest habitat as well as elephant impacts on people. What we’ve found is that people are doing as much, or more, damage to elephants as vice versa. Elephants are being deprived of habitat, food and water so they have no choice but to raid farms to survive."

Local villagers working with the ECN visited a south west Thailand national park where other villagers were tackling the elephant crop-raiding problem.

"One villager had hung CDs across a fence to discourage elephants from raiding his pineapple field. The technique was most effective during full moon when the CDs twisted and shone, mimicking a person with a torch. Our villagers loved this cheap and easy method and asked us to include it in our crop protection trials." Ms Stewart-Cox added.

As a result, CDs have now been strung around the Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary in two different sites, with local companies donating hundreds of unwanted CDs

In the News 03 Nov 2008

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