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Determining the risk of predator attacks around protected areas: the case of Bardia National Park, Nepal

  • Subodh K. Upadhyaya (a1), C.J.M. Musters (a1), Babu Ram Lamichhane (a2), Geert R. De Snoo (a1), Maheshwar Dhakal (a3) and Hans H. De Iongh (a1)...

Abstract

In this study we determined the probability of predator attacks on livestock around Bardia National Park, Nepal. We conducted semi-structured interviews to explore the patterns and factors affecting livestock losses in four administrative sectors of the Park's buffer zone. We developed models to investigate the overall probability of livestock loss, economic damage caused, and the respondents’ attitudes towards wildlife. The probability of leopard attacks on livestock was much higher (85% of all livestock lost to depredation) than that of tiger attacks (8%), and the northern sector experienced the highest loss of livestock (50% modelled probability of livestock loss) in the buffer zone. Livestock loss was significantly related to the number of livestock owned by respondents, their ethnic group, and village distance to the Park boundary. Economic damage was influenced by buffer zone sector, number of livestock owned, and distance to the Park boundary. Conservation attitudes depended on respondents’ knowledge of wildlife, levels of education and self-sufficiency, and the probability of livestock being killed by leopards. Respondents who were male, highly educated and self-sufficient were most likely to support conservation. Tigers are tolerated based on religious beliefs, and these cultural values, together with the sharing of conservation benefits, facilitate conservation. Leopards, however, are not tolerated in the same way and are the most damaging predators.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

(Corresponding author) E-mail subodh@ku.edu.np

Footnotes

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Also at: School of Science, Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Kavre, Kathmandu, Nepal

Also at: Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands

Also at: Evolutionary Ecology Group, Faculty of Sciences, Antwerp University, Antwerp, Belgium

Supplementary material for this article is available at https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605318001436

Footnotes

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