Human-killing is the ultimate expression of human–tiger conflict. It is a complex issue that needs to be addressed to maintain support for tiger ( Panthera tigris ) conservation in areas where human-killing is prevalent. This research was undertaken to investigate the ecological and sociological aspects of human-killing in the central lowlands of Nepal. We used 28 years of data from human-killing events in Chitwan National Park and the surrounding area to: (1) document the geographic distribution of human-killing incidents, (2) examine ecological variables associated with sites where humans were killed, (3) characterize human-killing tigers, and (4) identify human activities that make people vulnerable to attack. Finally, we use this information to recommend strategies to reduce human–tiger conflicts. Data on human-killing incidents and removal of human-killing tigers were obtained from veterinarian and Kathmandu Zoo records and by visiting the location of each kill with a victim’s family member or friend. Thirty-six tigers killed 88 people from 1979 to 2006. Most (66%) kills were made within 1 km of forest edge but equally in degraded and intact forests. An equal number of male and female tigers killed humans and 56% of tigers that were examined had physical deformities. The trend of human deaths increased significantly from an average of 1.2 (±1.2) persons per year prior to 1998 to 7.2 (±6.9) per year from 1998 to 2006. This difference is due primarily to a ten fold increase in killing in the buffer zone since 1998 because of forest restoration. Nearly half the people killed were grass/fodder collectors. Local participation in tiger management and conservation is essential to mitigate human–tiger conflicts. We recommend that villagers be recruited to help radio collar and monitor potentially dangerous tigers, participate in long term tiger monitoring, and attend a tiger conservation awareness program focused on tiger behavior and avoidance of conflict.
Biological Conservation – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 2008
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