Man-Wildlife Conflict – UPSC GS3

Man wildlife conflict is the negative impact of man’s activities on the habitat and resources of the wild animals due to growing human populations overlap with wildlife territory.
UNEP and WWF report:
  • India will be most-affected by human-wildlife conflict because it has the world’s second-largest human population as well as large populations of tigers, Asian elephants, one-horned rhinos, Asiatic lions and other species.
  • India’s elephants probably reflect the scale of the problem the best. The animals are restricted to just 3-4% of their original habitat. Their remaining range is plagued by deforestation, invasive species and climate change.
What are the causes of man-animal conflict?
  • Habitat fragmentation and shrinking of habitats.
  • Increased disturbance due to collection of fuel wood, fodder, NTFPs, water etc. from the forests has also increased the incidences of man-animal conflict
  • People have to go deeper and deeper, year by year for fetching firewood
  • Decreased prey base.
What is the impact of man wildlife conflict?
  1. Injury or loss of human lives or animals
  2. Crop damage, livestock depredation
  3. Damage to human property and destruction of habitat
What can be done to reduce this conflict?
  1. Capacity building of forest guards
  2. Increased vigilance and protection of identified locations using hi-tech surveillance tools like sensors for knowing Animal movements – Eg. Buxa forest
  3. Construction of highways/railways bypassing wildlife rich areas like Trans-Canada Highway bypassed Banff National park
  4. Expansion of protected reserves : in-situ and ex-situ habitat conservation measures will help in securing animals their survival and reduced conflict with humans
  5. Safe animal zones creation: re-locating of animal habitats away from residential and commercial centres will serve to minimize animal-man conflict for illegal and self-interested motives
  6. Community based rehabilitation measures: making community responsible for resolution of animal-man conflict will aid in decentralized approach of governance for wildlife preservation. For ex it is done Keibul Lamjao National Park, Kaziranga national park, Sundarbans etc;
  7. Partnering with WWF which provide tailor made solutions to man wildlife conflict with community and species in consideration
  8. Adequate compensation after rehabilitation – Baiga tribe in Kanha tiger reserve were relocated without proper compensation
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