Patterns of livestock depredation and Human-wildlife conflict in Misgar valley of Hunza, Pakistan

Sci Rep. 2021 Dec 7;11(1):23516. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-02205-2.


Throughout the world, livestock predation by mammalian carnivores causes significant economic losses to poor farmers, and leads to human-wildlife conflicts. These conflicts result in a negative attitude towards carnivore conservation and often trigger retaliatory killing. In northern Pakistan, we investigated livestock depredation by large carnivores between 2014 and 2019, and subsequent Human-wildlife conflict, through questionnaire-based surveys (n = 100 households). We used a semi-structured questionnaire to collect data on livestock population, depredation patterns, predation count, and conservation approaches. We found a statistically significant increasing pattern of predation with influential factors such as age, gender, occupation, education of respondents, population of predators, threats index for predators and conservation efforts. Some 310 livestock heads with an average of 51 animals per year out of the total 9273 heads were killed by predators, and among them 168 (54%) were attributed to the wolf and 142 (45.8%) to snow leopard. Major threats to carnivores in the area included retaliatory killing, habitat destruction and climate change. Incentivization against depredation losses, guarded grazing and construction of predator-proof corral may reduce Human-wildlife conflict and both livelihood and predator can be safeguarded in the study area.

PMID:34876595 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-021-02205-2

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