Mitigating human-wildlife conflict: Day 3 at Biodiversity Asia 2012

Reported by Rajkamal Goswami, ATREE PhD student

Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi spoke about the landscape-level determinants of actual and perceived livestock depredation by snow leopards and wolves based upon a 2 year study. Snowleopards preferred large bodied livestock and the perceived determinant varied from the ecological ones. Wolves preferred small bodied livestock and there too the perceived determinant varied from the ecological ones. Cultural bias played an important role in creating perceptions of the conflict animals and the damages caused by them.

Krithi Karanth in her talk attempted to predict patterns of human-wildlife conflict and the compensations that they accounted for around a few protected areas of India namely Kanha, Ranthambore, Bhadra, Nagarhole, Anshi-Dandeli and Bandipur. She found that assessing risk is of critical importance in order to plan or implement mitigation. Compensation were found to be under-reported as well as the ways that they are dispensed and distributed.

Thorat et al reported the spatial analysis of patterns of people and protected area interactions in and around Ranthambore TR. The study was based on two year data collected between 2009 and 2012. The study found that the overall interactions of the people and the protected area were varied and complex. The interactions were mainly played through the variables like vegetation type, the occupation of the people, the socioeconomic conditions as well as ecology and geography. She advised caution about using the term ‘conflict’ which is often used during wildlife conversations and studies as it is a highly reductive term that tends to eclipse what is really needed, that is, ‘interactions’.

Raghu et al analysed a multi-stakeholder tool which can be used to mitigate man-animal conflict based on the case of Kodagu Model Forest Trust (KMFT) conservation NGO. He found that initiating a dialogue and partnership with the communities can prove to be of immense help in understanding, mitigating and dispensing conflict-related compensation.