Human – Elephant Conflict Research in Sabah

Dr. Benoit Goossens (Danau Girang Field Center)

This paper presents an overview of current human-elephant conflict (HEC) research in Sabah. In order to develop more effective mitigation actions and to better inform the stakeholders, particularly decision makers, the science and understanding of HEC needs to be improved. Danau Girang Field Center (DGFC) has been involved with studies on the habitat use and movement patterns of elephants. Case studies of collared elephants have shown that the connectivity of landscapes is important as elephants move in between forests.

DGFC together with HUTAN, The Dodobase and Sabah Wildlife Department created B-CONNECTED with the aim :

  • To characterize elephant movement behaviour, dispersal patterns and habitat use;
    • To predict dispersal abilities in a changing landscape;
  • To analyse elephant behaviour before and after translocation and human-induced landscape changes and to develop a management plan for the elephants including guidelines for creation of movement corridors and translocation areas. Since 2006, a total of 37 individuals (23 females and 14 males) have been collared, 11 of which are still active. An average distance of 4km per day was recorded with males travelling further than females. In addition to monitoring elephant movements, the project also undertook interview surveys in 3 government agencies, 3 palm oil companies and 100 villagers.

Another project is on determining spatial and ecological predictors of elephant hotspots in oil palm plantations in the Lower Kinabatangan area in order to develop conservation management strategies and mitigate HEC.

Reviewed by: Anna Zulkifli, Executive, SED

This presentation was presented during “MPOC / SWD Human – Wildlife Conflict Workshop” held on 22 – 23 November 2016 at FourPoints by Sheraton, Sandakan, Sabah. For the complete presentation, please click the link provided.

Human-Elephant conflict Research in Sabah

Dr. Benoit Goosens, 


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