Following on from my previous posts about human-elephant conflicts (Inside an elephant capture and MoU to raise £20 million for elephant corridors), I found this information which sheds more light on the situation, and clearly illustrates why conflicts happen!
~60% of the worlds population of the endangered asian elephants (elephas maximus) are found in India, with Karnataka state heralding the largest population.
In order to formulate effective strategies for avoiding human-elephant conflicts, R.Raghunath and his team of scientist at the Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), "pulled together on various kinds of data, including the locations of every dung transect that was walked by the Forest Department during the “census” exercises of 2010 and 2012 (through Karnataka Forest Department and Asian Nature Conservation Foundation), locations of elephant sightings or signs obtained during NCF’s surveys in the Western Ghats and nearby areas, village level locations of conflict from recent published literature as well as location data collected by different researchers working in Karnataka. All these data were used to generate state-level distribution map of elephants in Karnataka."
They also use this data to look at the connectivity between sighting locations. This estimate can then be factored into conservation planning. For more information on what these guys are doing... check out their NCF page : Making room for elephants.
Here is a NCF video "Living with Elephants" that talks about this human-elephant conflict in Tamil Nadu, and how they are working to avoid it.