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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The use of audio playback to deter crop‐raiding Asian elephants

Published source details

Wijayagunawardane M.P., Short R.V., Samarakone T.S., Nishany K.B., Harrington H., Perera B.V., Rassool R. & Bittner E.P. (2016) The use of audio playback to deter crop‐raiding Asian elephants. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 40, 375-379


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use target species distress calls or signals to deter crop damage by mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, randomized, controlled study (year not stated) in a protected area containing forest, grassland, and wetland in Sri Lanka (Wijayagunawardane et al. 2016) found that playing recordings of elephant family groups to Asian elephants Elephas maximus led to more elephants fleeing the area compared to playing of other sounds. After playing the sound of elephant family groups, 11 of 17 elephants (65%) fled, compared to three of 31 (10%) when other sounds were played. Randomly selected elephants in the protected area were provided with a sugarcane, banana and palm frond mixture. Speakers were placed approximately 15 m from elephants. Sounds were played in a random order for one minute each, with a five-minute interval between sounds. Sounds played were: elephant group vocalizations (17 occasions), Sri Lankan hornets Vespa affinis affinis (12 occasions), lone female elephant vocalizations (8 occasions) and a chainsaw (11 occasions). Behaviour of animals was recorded during and after each playback.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)