A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation discusses human-elephant conflict in Nepal. The obvious conclusion is that both humans and elephants suffer from conflict. Elephants, already endangered, are killed. Humans lose crops that they depend on for their livelihood.
Nepal has a rapidly growing population, and the elephants’ traditional habitat is quickly disappearing. Conflict is inevitable under such conditions, but the study concludes it would improve dramatically if the humans could be compensated for loss. The study also concluded that the government needs to invest in a long term conservation plan and involve locals in decisions.
Currently, Nepal has little monetary resources to devote to saving elephants. Especially after the disastrous earthquake, saving elephants is not a priority of the Nepalese government.
Yet, there are some areas of hope. For instance, the Chitwan National Park has used tourist revenue to pour back into conservation. Elephant, tiger, and rhino populations have therefore increased on national park land.