Using Location Monitoring to Reduce Human Wildlife Conflict


With their metabolism, elephants are required to eat for 16 or more hours a day. This translates into a lot of eating, and makes calorie rich crops especially attractive to roving pachyderms. This challenge is familiar to farmers near Liwonde National Park in Malawi, where elephants’ crop raiding costs farmers lost revenue and increases tension between humans and wildlife. With the risk of their crops being eaten at night, farmers were required to stay up through the night to scare animals away, and in some instances would be forced to take violent means to protect their crops.

Snares and other potential tools used by poachers confiscated. Photo courtesy Jordan Steward.


Managed in partnership with African Parks, Liwonde’s security team uses EarthRanger to monitor when elephants pass geographic boundaries in order to intervene before they reach farmers’ crops. With the geo fences in place, Liwonde rangers are able to constantly monitor the park boundary for potential human wildlife conflict. They are also more quickly able to respond to geofence breaks and intervene before tensions escalate with community members.

"An incredibly effective tool… Easy to use, all in one system revolutionizing the way we manage the park." - Director of Security, Liwonde National Park


With reduced crop raids, farmers have achieved better crop yield and greater proceeds from crop sales, which allow them to send children to school. With increased access to education, more people around Liwonde are developing skills to pursue employment and contribute to their communities. What is more, human deaths from animals has decreased as interventions are applied before mortal conflict arises. With African Parks more quickly responding to potential conflicts, community trust has grown as well.

Liwonde National Park. Photo courtesy Frank Weitzer for African Parks.

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