, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 541-559

Impact of Changing Cropping Patterns on Man-Animal Conflicts Around Gir Protected Area with Specific Reference to Talala Sub-District, Gujarat, India

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Abstract

We analyzed the escalating man-animal conflict due to changing cropping pattern in Talala sub-district on the periphery of Gir National Park and Sanctuary (GNPS), Gujarat, India. Sugarcane and mango cultivation has increased by 87% and 103% respectively within eight years from 1992 to 1999. Straying of lions (Panthera leo persica) and leopards (Panthera pardus) increased to 55% and 46% respectively from 1997 to 1999. Significant correlations between the increases in sugarcane cultivation and mango orchard with straying of lions (r = +0.827, df 2) and leopards (r = +0.981, df 2) were observed. From 1990 to 1998, of the total of 11 lions rescued, eight (72%) were from farmlands and of 32 leopards rescued, ten (31%) were from farmland. Ten lions (91%) and five leopards (41%) were found dead in farmlands. Thirteen lion attacks (72%) took place in farmlands, of which 10 were specifically reported, from sugarcane and mango cultivation. Fifty-nine percent of the leopard attacks (resulting in four deaths) were recorded from farmlands. Livestock kills taking place in farmland have increased by 150% within two years from 1998 to 1999. Sugarcane and groundnut cultivation in the adjoining areas also suffer from damage due to increased movement of wild ungulates and wildboar.