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Livestock depredation by large carnivores in the Indian trans-Himalaya: conflict perceptions and conservation prospects

    • Published online: 10 May 2002

Livestock depredation by the snow leopard, Uncia uncia, and the wolf, Canis lupus, has resulted in a human-wildlife conflict that hinders the conservation of these globally-threatened species throughout their range. This paper analyses the alleged economic loss due to livestock depredation by these carnivores, and the retaliatory responses of an agro-pastoral community around Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary in the Indian trans-Himalaya. The three villages studied (80 households) attributed a total of 189 livestock deaths (18% of the livestock holding) over a period of 18 months to wild predators, and this would amount to a loss per household equivalent to half the average annual per capita income. The financial compensation received by the villagers from the Government amounted to 3% of the perceived annual loss. Recent intensification of the conflict seems related to a 37.7% increase in livestock holding in the last decade. Villagers have been killing the wolf, though apparently not the snow leopard. A self-financed compensation scheme, and modification of existing livestock pens are suggested as area-specific short-term measures to reduce the conflict. The need to address the problem of increasing livestock holding in the long run is emphasized.

Corresponding author
Correspondence: Mr Charudutt Mishra, Department of Terrestrial Ecology and Nature Conservation, Wageningen Agricultural University, 69 Bornsesteeg, 6708 PD Wageningen, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 317 483174. Fax: +31 317 484845. E-mail:
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Environmental Conservation
  • ISSN: 0376-8929
  • EISSN: 1469-4387
  • URL: /core/journals/environmental-conservation
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