Risk Assessment of Human-Wildlife Conflicts in Western Ghats Protected Areas

14 Feb 2011 Bandipura National Park, India, Indian Sub-continent Conflict

Krithi K. Karanth


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The proposed project aims to assess human-wildlife conflicts around parks of the Western Ghats, map risks and consequences for local people, and implications for conservation for conflict prone mammal species.

9527-1Tolerance and retaliation 1.jpg

Crop damage and livestock predation are the most common human-wildlife conflicts that occur around protected areas globally. These incidents can result in economic losses, injuries and occasionally even death of animals and people. Managing and minimizing these conflicts requires better knowledge about which species are involved, intensity of and types of losses incurred from conflicts and assessment of risk.

9527-1Crop raiding..jpg

In India high densities of people, close proximity and sharing of habitats between wildlife and people along with rapid ongoing land use change around many parks pose immediate challenges. The proposed project aims to assess human-wildlife conflicts around parks of the Western Ghats, map risks and consequences for local people, and implications for conservation of conflict prone mammal species. Key goals are to understand what conditions (land use patterns, human practices) are associated with higher rates of conflict and what remedial measures might be implemented to sustain wildlife and minimize conflict in India.

A key aspect of the project is identification of risk areas and households and sharing of results with the forest department particularly park managers, local NGOs and other stakeholders. Training field assistants and volunteers is an additional important outcome. The work plan includes data collection on human-wildlife conflict incidents in and around parks in the Western Ghats, characterization of landscape and census data and pre-testing of survey in the first phase, implementation of field work and conducting surveys with households in the second phase and analysis, write up and dissemination of results in the third phase. Volunteers from the Centre for Wildlife Studies network will participate in field data collection for land cover observations and surveys.

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