Predicting the patterns, perceptions and causes of human–carnivore conflict in and around Machiara National Park, Pakistan

Predicting the patterns, perceptions and causes of human–carnivore conflict in and around... Human–carnivore conflict is considered to be a major conservation and rural livelihood issue because many carnivore species have been heavily persecuted due to elevated conflict levels with communities. To mitigate such conflicts requires a firm understanding of their underlying patterns. This situation is epitomized in Pakistan, where carnivore populations have been greatly reduced, but where no research has investigated the conflict patterns of large carnivore guilds with humans. Focusing in and around Machiara National Park (MNP), Azad Jammu and Kashmir region, we conducted the first such scientific study in Pakistan. From January 2004 to May 2007, 148 people lost their livestock to four carnivore species. Leopard was responsible for the majority (90.6%) of the 363 livestock killed, mainly goats (57.3%) and sheep (27.8%). Information-theoretic evaluation of a candidate set of regression models found that leopard kills inside villages were significantly higher for areas without electricity, while leopard kills outside villages were higher for pastoralists with larger herds that were further from MNP, with no effect from several guarding strategies used. Temporal leopard attacks were significantly and positively related to temperature, but not to rainfall, for goat kills, but not for other livestock kills. While leopard kills caused the greatest overall financial loss (19.8%) amongst carnivores, which negatively affected local tolerance towards leopard, disease caused greater livestock losses (72.7%). To improve both large carnivore and local livelihood prospects around MNP and across rural Pakistan, conservation and development projects should install village electricity supplies and vaccinate livestock, while the cost-effectiveness of different conflict mitigation strategies should be trialed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Conservation Elsevier

Predicting the patterns, perceptions and causes of human–carnivore conflict in and around Machiara National Park, Pakistan

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0006-3207
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.biocon.2009.04.003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Human–carnivore conflict is considered to be a major conservation and rural livelihood issue because many carnivore species have been heavily persecuted due to elevated conflict levels with communities. To mitigate such conflicts requires a firm understanding of their underlying patterns. This situation is epitomized in Pakistan, where carnivore populations have been greatly reduced, but where no research has investigated the conflict patterns of large carnivore guilds with humans. Focusing in and around Machiara National Park (MNP), Azad Jammu and Kashmir region, we conducted the first such scientific study in Pakistan. From January 2004 to May 2007, 148 people lost their livestock to four carnivore species. Leopard was responsible for the majority (90.6%) of the 363 livestock killed, mainly goats (57.3%) and sheep (27.8%). Information-theoretic evaluation of a candidate set of regression models found that leopard kills inside villages were significantly higher for areas without electricity, while leopard kills outside villages were higher for pastoralists with larger herds that were further from MNP, with no effect from several guarding strategies used. Temporal leopard attacks were significantly and positively related to temperature, but not to rainfall, for goat kills, but not for other livestock kills. While leopard kills caused the greatest overall financial loss (19.8%) amongst carnivores, which negatively affected local tolerance towards leopard, disease caused greater livestock losses (72.7%). To improve both large carnivore and local livelihood prospects around MNP and across rural Pakistan, conservation and development projects should install village electricity supplies and vaccinate livestock, while the cost-effectiveness of different conflict mitigation strategies should be trialed.

Journal

Biological ConservationElsevier

Published: Oct 1, 2009

References

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