Journal of
Geography and Regional Planning

  • Abbreviation: J. Geogr. Reg. Plann.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2070-1845
  • DOI: 10.5897/JGRP
  • Start Year: 2008
  • Published Articles: 385

Full Length Research Paper

Conflicts between the conservation of Elephant and Human activities: In the case of Babile Elephant Sanctuary (BES), Ethiopia

R. Uttama Reddy
  • R. Uttama Reddy
  • Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Haramaya University, Ethiopia.
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Sintayehu Workneh
  • Sintayehu Workneh
  • College of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Haramaya University, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 04 April 2012
  •  Accepted: 11 November 2013
  •  Published: 30 April 2014


Conflicts between the conservation of wildlife and human activities occur in all habitats and can impact severely upon socio-economic and biological parameters. Babile Elephant Sanctuary which is located in the semi-arid part of eastern Ethiopia is part of the Somali-Masai Centre of Endemism. It is established to protect the only surviving African Elephant population in the Horn of Africa. The sanctuary is shrinking in size and deteriorating in quality. The vegetation of the sanctuary has been used for fuel wood, construction and other purposes. Grazing, fire and deforestation were intensive, affecting the distribution and conservation of Elephant in the area. Recently, as a result of mass influx of a large number of farmers and their livestock from the east and north, the home range of elephants of Babile has shrunk by about 65.5 %. Moreover, 10,000 hectares of the north western part of the land given recently to a private company engaged in the cultivation of castor used for production of fuel, is being described as a calamity to the already declining elephant population and other wildlife. Of the total land granted to the company, 87.4% was proved to fall within the boundary of the Sanctuary and of this 79.2% were within the present elephant ranges movement corridors and regular feeding grounds for elephants.  Recent socio-economic and land use changes in BES such as the demand for more area for agriculture and livestock production have reduced the quality of the Elephants habitat. Local communities around the area are highly dependent on vegetation for fencing, medicine, construction and fuel wood.
Keywords: Babile, Conflict, Conservation, Elephant, Sanctuary, Sustainability.