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Collaring Human-Wildlife Conflict: Technological Solutions To Ease Tensions

An elephant sports a tracking collar placed by the Centre for Conservation and Research in Sri Lanka. Movement data is monitored via the Iridium satellite constellation. Image Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo Biso-Menike is an Asian elephant ( Elephas maximus ) who roams the forests of southern Sri Lanka. In many ways, she is like other elephants living on the island. There is one thing, however, which sets her apart from all but a handful of her cohorts: she sports a collar. It may not look remarkable, but the researchers studying her movements hope that one day it may literally save lives. Let's get the bummer out of the way. Every year in Sri Lanka, an average of 50 people and 160 elephants die as a result of what's known as human-elephant conflict (HEC.) These typically involve the injury or death of a person, or destruction of property, resulting in backlash against the offending elephant. Sri Lanka is an island nation and,

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