Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh have recorded high levels of damage to crops and human life by the wildlife. The solution is deploying early warning systems and awarding adequate compensations, says a new study. It says up to 32 wildlife species are damaging life and property in India as they are not only endangering local livelihood but also they are fighting for their survival. The study “History, Location and Species Matter: Insights for Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation”, was published in the July 2017 edition of Human Dimensions of Wildlife. Resolving human-wildlife conflict requires revisiting the goals of conservation policies and investments by people and organisations, Wildlife Conservation Society scientist Krithi Karanth said.
This is especially true with respect to effort and money deployed associated with mitigation and protection. People may be better served by deploying early warning, compensation and insurance programmes rather than by focusing heavily on mitigation, she said. The study examined the patterns of human-wildlife conflict and mitigation use by 5,196 families from 2011 to 2014 from 2,855 villages neighbouring 11 wildlife reserves across western, central and southern India. Its basic aim was to help inform better policies to mitigate human-wildlife conflict.
The research surveyed more than 5,000 households and found crops were lost by 71 per cent of households, livestock 17 per cent and human injury and death were reported by three per cent of the households. Rural families use up to 12 different mitigation techniques to protect their crops, livestock and property. Night-time watch, scare devices and fencing are the most common mitigation techniques used by rural families in the periphery of the reserves.