Are conflict-causing tigers different? Another perspective for understanding human-tiger conflict in Chitwan National Park, Nepal

B. R. Lamichhane, G. A. Persoon, H. Leirs, C. J.M. Musters, N. Subedi, K. P. Gairhe, C. P. Pokheral, S. Poudel, R. Mishra, M. Dhakal, J. L.D. Smith, H. H. de Iongh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

We analyzed characteristics of the problem-causing tigers in Chitwan National Park (Nepal) to determine if specific groups or individuals in the source population have higher probability to get involved in conflicts with humans. From 2007 to 2016 we identified a total of 22 such tigers including 13 that killed humans, six serial livestock killers and three tigers that threatened human safety (with no reported human and livestock casualty). Thirteen of these tigers were controlled or killed and four were relocated. We compared a subset of 15 ‘problem tigers’ involved in conflict between 2009 and 2013 with the Chitwan's tiger population obtained from three different sessions of camera trapping (2009, 2010 and 2013). We found that <5% of this source population (tigers recorded in camera trap) were involved in conflict. We conclude that transient tigers without a territory or physically impaired animals are more likely to be involved in conflict and recommend an early warning system be adopted to anticipate conflicts before they occur. This system should include regular monitoring and timely identification of problem tigers followed by decisive management action to either remove the tiger or encourage local people to modify their behavior to reduce the risk of conflict.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-187
Number of pages11
JournalGlobal Ecology and Conservation
Volume11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Government of Nepal, Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, and Chitwan National Park Office for providing our research permit and historical data related to tigers. We acknowledge the contribution of NTNC and its technicians especially Bishnu Bahadur Lama and Harkaman Lama for providing details on tiger rescue and capturs. Dr. Jhamak Bahadur Karki, Dr. Kamlesh K Maurya and Dr. Bhim Gurung also supported on verification of the problem tiger records. We thank Leiden University, Netherlands and Antwerp University, Belgium for the support during different stages of manuscript preparation and publication. Funding for the study was provided from US Fish and Wildlife Service (Grant Number - F15AP00804 through NTNC) and Louwes fellowship (Leiden University). We also thank Francesca J Cuthbert and two anonymous reviewers for their contribution to improve the manuscript.

Keywords

  • Chitwan National Park
  • Human-tiger conflict
  • Nepal
  • Panthera tigris tigris
  • Problem animal
  • Tiger conservation

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