Crop raiding by elephants is widespread across Africa and Asia. Although many traditional and novel methods are used to defend farms there have been few rigorous tests of their efficacy. We provide a comparative quantitative assessment of a range of farm-based mitigation methods implemented during a 4-year project in Transmara District, Kenya. Five experimental trials were established to measure changes in crop raiding after the application of mitigation methods on treatment farms compared with control farms. A combination of early warning to detect elephants before they entered farms, coupled with a front line communal guarding strategy, proved most successful. Non-electrified barriers were expensive and generally ineffective. However, chilli Capsicum spp. grease applied to rope barriers encircling farms completely deterred elephants. Although encouraging, these results require more widespread testing and demonstration to ensure their effectiveness at broader scales.
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