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10th January 2023 (6 Topics)

Causes of increasing human-animal conflict

Context

In the latest information came of wild elephant attacks in Kerala, a daily worker, was attacked by a rouge elephant at Sulthan Bathery town adjacent to the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.

  • This has caught the attention of increasing instances of Human-wildlife conflicts, especially near forests.

About

  • Around the world, human-wildlife conflict (HWC) challenges people and wildlife, leading to a decrease in people’s tolerance for conservation efforts and contributing to multiple factors that drive species to extinction
  • HWC is a significant threat to conservation, livelihoods, and myriad other concerns and should be addressed at a scale equal to its importance.
  • By allocating adequate resources and forming wide-ranging partnerships, we can move towards long-term coexistence that benefits both people and wildlife.

Data on human-elephant conflict

  • In India, data from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change indicates that over 500 elephants were killed between 2014-2015 and 2018-2019, mostly due to human-elephant conflict.
  • During the same period, 2,361 people were killed as a result of conflict with elephants.

What drives Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC)?

  • HWC results from a variety of ecological and anthropogenic drivers that exert pressures on landscapes where humans and wildlife share space.
  • Ecological drivers include seasonal changes, natural calamities, and animals’ life cycles, as well as the movement patterns of animals
  • Anthropogenic drivers, such as habitat loss, changes in land use, livestock management, expansion of agricultural practices, climate change, resource extraction, infrastructure development, and urbanisation
  • Each negative impact emerges from a complex web of interactions between drivers, making it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to view the effect of one driver in isolation
  • For instance, if forests are cleared for settlements or agriculture, or roads are cut into previously inaccessible areas, habitat loss and fragmentation result, forcing wildlife and people into closer proximity to each other.

The IUCN SSC Human-Wildlife Conflict Task Force:

  • The IUCN SSC Human-Wildlife Conflict Task Force (HWCTF) is a global advisory group and think tank.
  • It aims to support professionals working on HWC by providing interdisciplinary guidance, resources, and capacity building.
  • The IUCN established the HWCTF to foster connections between policymakers, scientists, and communities and to assimilate knowledge and capacity for HWC management across IUCN members and the wider conservation community.

Elements of Human-Wildlife conflict management:

  • Understanding the conflict: Research all aspects of the conflict profile to understand the context for conflict in any given situation (hotspot mapping, community attitudes, spatial and temporal characteristics, etc.)
  • Mitigation: Reducing the impacts of HWC after it occurs (compensation, insurance, alternative livelihoods, etc.)
  • Response: Addressing an ongoing HWC incident (response teams, reporting mechanisms, standard operating procedures, etc.)
  • Prevention: Stopping or preventing HWC before it occurs (fences, early detection tools, safe working environments, etc.)
  • Policy: Enabling HWC management through protocols, principles, provisions, and measures stipulated in the legislation and undertaken by authorities (international and national law, national and local HWC management plans, spatial plans, etc.)
  • Monitoring: Measuring the performance and effectiveness of HWC management interventions over time (data collection, information sharing, adaptive management, etc.)

Verifying, please be patient.

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