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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Abstract

Human–carnivore conflicts (HCCs) are increasing globally. These conflicts may encompass competition for food resources, crop and livestock depredations, and attacks on humans. Concerns over conflicts may result in retaliatory killings of carnivores and negative views of wildlife or landscape conservation. Yet, despite the economic and conservation implications of HCCs, data regarding the magnitude and severity of the conflicts may be lacking because many incidents are unreported. To better inform this issue, we compared HCC data for 2016 to 2018 obtained from official records of the Punjab Wildlife and Parks Department for a newly established national park in the Punjab Region of Pakistan to data we obtained regarding HCCs based on a survey of 200 households from 25 villages abutting the park. The households surveyed reported 250 incidents of livestock lost to leopards (Panthera pardus), jackals (Canis aureus), and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) during the study period. Most of the losses (83%) were attributed to leopards. In contrast, official data reported 42 animals lost for the villages studied, with most losses attributed to leopards. Thus, official agency records underreported depredation losses by >80%. Because of HCC, 19% of households supported eliminating leopards from the park, and 25% of households supported fencing the park to prevent leopards from entering human settlements. However, 47% of the households also supported increasing programs focused on improving herding practices and enhanced livestock infrastructure that might prevent attacks. Our results suggested new opportunities for wildlife officials to help residents mitigate HCCs while enhancing local support of carnivore conservation.

Additional Files

KhatoonEtAl-Appendix.docx (20 kB)
Appendix

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