Is human–rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) conflict in India a case of human–human conflict?

Abstract

The perceptions of wildlife managers regarding human–wildlife conflict (HWC) scenarios are likely to affect the outcomes of conflict mitigation measures. We studied the attitudes and perceptions of forest department personnel regarding the management of human–rhesus macaque conflict (HRMC) in Himachal Pradesh, northern India. We collected data through a questionnaire survey and used frameworks from organizational psychology to draw insights from our results. Forest department personnel belonging to different organizational levels varied with respect to their views on conflict mitigation measures. While the views of upper level management personnel aligned closely with the publicly-stated position of the forest department, the opinions of lower level management personnel were aligned with the opinions of farmers. Overall, wildlife managers differed from farmers in their opinions regarding causes and mitigation of HRMC. Our results indicate the presence of human–human conflict in the context of HRMC and we discuss the implications of this for the management of HRMC.

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Acknowledgements

We are thankful to all officials of Himachal Pradesh Forest Department for their permission to participate in this study and for their support during the course of our study. We also gratefully acknowledge the field support of Jagdish Chand and Vikram Singh for data collection. SA is thankful to National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) for fellowship support during the period of the study.

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Correspondence to Sindhu Radhakrishna.

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Anand, S., Radhakrishna, S. Is human–rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) conflict in India a case of human–human conflict?. Ambio 49, 1685–1696 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-020-01324-w

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Keywords

  • Human–human conflict
  • Human–rhesus macaque conflict
  • Private preferences
  • Public preferences
  • Social identity theory
  • Wildlife managers