People and wildlife have co-occurred, sharing resources for thousands of years, however, over the last four decades records of human–wildlife conflict have increasingly emerged. Human–elephant conflict is a form of such conflict, resulting from negative interactions between people and elephants. Human–elephant conflict affects local community livelihood and the success of elephant conservation. Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks, which cover about 60% of the Taita Taveta County land area, host the single largest elephant population in Kenya. We analysed human–elephant conflict incident data over 15 years (2004–2018) in Taita Taveta County, which forms part of the Tsavo ecosystem in south-eastern Kenya. We identified eight forms of human–elephant conflict comprising elephant threat, crop raiding, property damage, injury to people, human death, elephant death, elephant injury, and livestock death. Three forms of conflict accounted for 97% of the reported incidents, namely elephant threat to humans, constituting the highest number of incidents (62.46%), followed by crop raiding (32.46%) and property damage (2.33%). Conflicts occurred throughout the year, with June to July having the highest number of incidents. Rainfall, distance from the Tsavo national parks, and human population density were used as covariates to explain HEC patterns. This study seeks to provide a detailed evaluation of the spatial–temporal patterns of human–elephant conflict in Taita Taveta County and to yield information useful for human–elephant conflict mitigation and elephant conservation.
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