Human Ecology

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 169–186

Human–Tiger Conflict in Context: Risks to Lives and Livelihoods in the Bangladesh Sundarbans

Authors

    • Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, School of Anthropology and Conservation, Marlowe BuildingUniversity of Kent
  • Martin Ridout
    • School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science, Cornwallis BuildingUniversity of Kent
  • Zubair Fahad
    • WildTeam (formerly the Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh)
  • Rowan Tully
    • WildTeam (formerly the Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh)
  • Adam Barlow
    • WildTeam (formerly the Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh)
    • WildTeam (formerly the Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh)
  • Christina Greenwood Barlow
    • WildTeam (formerly the Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh)
    • WildTeam (formerly the Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh)
  • Md. Anwar Islam
    • WildTeam (formerly the Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh)
  • Thomas Roberts
    • Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, School of Anthropology and Conservation, Marlowe BuildingUniversity of Kent
  • Douglas MacMillan
    • Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, School of Anthropology and Conservation, Marlowe BuildingUniversity of Kent
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10745-012-9556-6

Cite this article as:
Inskip, C., Ridout, M., Fahad, Z. et al. Hum Ecol (2013) 41: 169. doi:10.1007/s10745-012-9556-6

Abstract

People’s perceptions of the risk posed by wild animals to human lives and/or livelihoods can influence the rate at which people intentionally kill these species. Consequently, human–wildlife conflict (HWC) management strategies may benefit from the inclusion of actions which reduce risk perceptions. This study uses Participatory Risk Mapping (PRM) and semi-structured interviews to explore local perceptions and the wider socio-economic context of human–tiger conflict (HTC) in the Bangladesh Sundarbans area. Of the 24 locally-relevant problems identified by the PRM process, tigers were the only problem to be cited by >50 % of respondents. The ‘tiger problem’ was also perceived by villagers to be of relatively high severity. Negative perceptions of tigers in the Sundarbans communities are exacerbated by other locally-experienced poverty-related problems, as well cyclones, floods and soil erosion. Interactions between the problems experienced by villagers, including HTC, result in a complex ‘risk web’ which detrimentally affects lives and livelihoods and ultimately perpetuates poverty levels in the Sundarbans communities. This research demonstrates that PRM and in-depth, qualitative research can enhance understanding of the perceived magnitude and wider socio-economic context of risks from wildlife and aid the identification of risk perception management actions which may help to reduce the number of animals killed by people.

Keywords

Panthera tigris Human–wildlife conflict Risk perception Poverty Sundarbans

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012