Depredation loss drives human–wildlife conflict perception in the Trans-Himalayas
Read a research publication from Environment Protection and Study Center (ENPROSC)’s based project on Human Wildlife Interractions in the upper Himalayan regions. The research conceptualized and completed by ENPROSC’s members Mr. Prakash Chandra Aryal and Mr. Tika Ram Poudel was published with contributions and efforts from the team comprised of members from Small Mammals Conservation and Research Foundation, Kathmandu, Central Department of Economics, Tribhuvan University, Kritipur and Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Lalitpur and Institute of Forestry, Tribhuvan University. The article published on 11 th March 2022 in Elsevier’s ‘Journal of Environmental Management’ provides information on major causes of human wildlife conflict and how diversity of livelihood, social customs and pastoral practices affect the conflict. Read an abstract below or click on the provided link to redirect to the main article.
Communities in and around protected areas are exposed to a higher level of human-wildlife interactions. The conservation practice with persistently adverse local livelihood outcomes can potentially aggravate such interactions leading to conflict. In our study, we examined how perceptions of HWC have formed in a protected area of the Trans-Himalayas whose conservation program collides with a centuries-long tradition of transhumance pastoralism. To examine determinants of depredation and how conflict perception has developed there, along with the socioeconomic and ecological interactions underlying those trends, we collected data using household surveys, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions. We employed Poisson-logit maximum-likelihood hurdle, binary logit, and multinomial ordered logit regressions in order to explore the determinants of annual livestock depredation, predator attacks on the shed, and household-level perceptions of HWC, respectively. Depredation and encounters with wildlife were the principal causes of perceived HWC, and depredation caused an average household-level loss of US $422.5, up to 23.28% of annual income in some households. Predators’ attacks on high-quality sheds were relatively infrequent but more common in areas with perceived habitat degradation. Social customs, pastoral practices, and the present compensation mechanism were identified as being antithetical to conflict reduction and sustainable pastureland management. Further analysis revealed that a diversity of livelihoods, however, lowered conflict perception formation. The identified socio-ecological factors will continue to increase depredation, exacerbate perceived HWC, and degrade pastureland unless local conservation authorities take appropriate remedial measures.