The wild boar as a driver of human-wildlife conflict in the protected park lands of Nepal
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Long-term success of conservation in protected areas requires the cooperation and participation from local people, especially in developing countries where local people often endure most of the cost from human-wildlife conflict. This study investigated crop damage due to wildlife in Thanapati Village adjacent to Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, Nepal. Household interviews and field measurements were conducted between March 2009 and April 2010 to quantify the actual area damaged by crop-raiding wildlife and the associated economic loss. Of the seven wildlife groups evaluated, we identified the wild boar as the primary crop raider, which is in agreement with several previous studies in the Indo-Himalaya region. Approximately US$24,000 (9 % of the expected profit) were lost to wildlife damage annually, with c. 0.28 km2 (8 % of the farmlands) of crops damaged. We found that the local people’s assessment of the primary crop raider (i.e., wild boar) and the area damaged by wildlife to be quite accurate. Considering the ecology of the wild boar (e.g., tolerant to human activities, striving along the edge of habitats, consuming as well as trampling of crops) and the socioeconomic situation in the surrounding villages of Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park (e.g., resource-dependent economy, small farmers), we believe the solution to reduce human-wildlife conflict in this case lies in the following: (1) the use of innovative methods to deter wild boars; (2) active management of population size and carrying capacity of wild boars, possibly through regulated hunting; and (3) a fair compensation scheme or alternative economic means to offset crop damage.
KeywordsCrop damage Human livelihood Net area damage Sus scrofa
The authors would like to thank the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park for research permission. Special thanks to political leaders and local people of Thanapati VDC for their cooperation. We thank Ram Bahadur Pathak, Shree Ram Pathak, Rajan Thapaliya and Ajaya Pathak for their assistance in the field.
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