We explored the degree to which Bangladeshi farmers perceive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) as agricultural pests, as related to the type of farming and other characteristics of the farmers. We analysed the size and cropping patterns of farms raided by wild elephants, the extent and nature of crop loss, the months and timing of crop raiding, and the size of the crop-raiding elephants’ herds. The average loss for all crops increased with distance from the park up to 300 m and then decreased with greater distance. The greatest loss due to crop raiding was associated with specific crops. Farmers incurred the greatest mean losses in terms of cost from rice, vegetables, banana, and teak. The highest proportion of small losses occurred during the early evening, while the greatest financial losses occurred during late evening. Wild elephants raided crops throughout most of the year, but the greatest loss and cost were incurred during the monsoon season. The proportion of crops lost varied with the size of the crop-raiding elephant’s herd and the duration of crop-raiding. Differences were found in the views of farmers regarding the perceptions towards elephant as pest.
Key words: Agricultural pests, Asian elephants, crop raiding, compensation.
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