Kitratporn, N; Takeuchi, W (2020). Spatiotemporal Distribution of Human-Elephant Conflict in Eastern Thailand: A Model-Based Assessment Using News Reports and Remotely Sensed Data. REMOTE SENSING, 12(1), 90.

In Thailand, crop depredation by wild elephants intensified, impacting the quality of life of local communities and long-term conservation of wild elephant populations. Yet, fewer studies explore the landscape-scale spatiotemporal distribution of human-elephant conflict (HEC). In this study, we modeled the potential HEC distribution in ten provinces adjacent to protected areas in Eastern Thailand from 2009 to 2018. We applied the time-calibrated maximum entropy method and modeled the relative probability of HEC in varying scenarios of resource suitability and direct human pressure in wet and dry seasons. The environmental dynamic over the 10-year period was represented by remotely sensed vegetation, meteorological drought, topographical, and human-pressure data. Results were categorized in HEC zones using the proposed two-dimensional conflict matrix. Logistic regression was applied to determine the relevant contribution of each scenario. The results showed that although HEC probability varied across seasons, overall HEC-prone areas expanded in all provinces from 2009 to 2018. The largest HEC areas were estimated during dry seasons with Chantaburi, Chonburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, and Rayong provinces being the HEC hotspots.However, the HEC potential was reduced during severe and prolonged droughts caused by El Nino events. Direct human pressure caused a more gradual increase of HEC probability around protected areas. On the other hand, resource suitability showed large variation across seasons. We recommend zone-dependent management actions towards a fine-balance between human development and the conservation of wild elephants.