Evaluation of a low-tech method, pepper–grease, for combatting elephant crop-raiding activities in Kakum Conservation Area, Ghana
Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Management, Presbyterian University College, PO Box 393, Akropong, Akuapem, Ghana; Wildlife Division of Forestry Commission, Western Regional Office, Takoradi, Ghana
Alow-tech method for preventing elephants from destroying farms around Kakum Conservation Area in Ghana was assessed to evaluate its efficacy in warding off marauding elephants. Sixty fenced and 60 unfenced farms located at the peripheries of the protected area were selected and each inspected regularly for 12 months. One hundred twenty farmers were interviewed on the use of the pepper–grease fence to determine their level of knowledge of the efficacy of the method. In 75% of the fenced farms, elephants came close to the fence but never crossed it; they never visited 20% of these farms and only 5% attempted to break through or enter. Of the farms that were not fenced at all, elephants raided 75% completely. Most of the respondents (76.7%) had good knowledge of the pepper fence. Their major sources of information were the staff of the Wildlife Division and agricultural extension agents (54.5%); 31.1% had heard about it from other farmers. Only 14.4% got their knowledge from observing other farmers. In practice, 26.7% said they used it effectively, 22.2% partially, and 51.1% did not practise the method at all. Cost and difficulty of acquiring materials were the main issues affecting lack of adoption. The results support the recommendation that government and non-governmental agencies supply inputs to farmers consistently. © 2014, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. All rights reserved.