Analysis of carnivore attacks on humans and economic losses in and around Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary along Pir Panjal Moutain range, Western Himalayas
Keywords:Human-wildlife conflict, Hirpora, injuries, Asiatic black bear, common leopard Shopian
Human-wildlife conflict arising as a result of interaction between humans and wildlife has evolved as one of the most critical threats to species conservation. Human-wildlife interactions and associations are as old as human civilization. The study presents an analysis of human-wildlife conflict situations in and around Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary, Kashmir Himalayas for a period of 11 years from 2011-2021. A combination of the questionnaire, focus groups, and semi-structured interviews of key informants was used for data collection. During the surveys, we collected data on 634 injury cases majority (56%) of which were caused by Asiatic black bears followed by Common leopards (44%). The chi-square analysis revealed that bear injuries were overrepresented during 2018-2019, and leopard injuries were overrepresented during 2012-2013 and 2017-2018. Statistically, a significant association was recorded between the gender and age of the victims. Bear-caused conflict incidents were significantly higher during the study period. No significant association was recorded between livestock causalities and wild animals. A significant decreasing trend was observed between the number of injuries and the increasing distance from the forest. Improving mitigation measures such as traditional crop-guarding systems (active and passive guarding strategies, barriers, and combinations of measures), construction of fences and wires, and educating local communities about wildlife behavior will help reduce conflicts and ensure coexistence.
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