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The conflict between predating animals and their human neighbour is as old as the history of human race. Now, when an increasing number of people are crowding into a limited amount of land, human-wildlife conflicts are set to increase all over the world. In one generalisation, the prey-predator ratio by weight has been estimated to 1:111, i.e., 10,000 kg of prey is required to sustain just 90 kg of predators . Therefore, the predators require disproportionately huge amount of space than their prey. With growing population, especially in the developing countries, space has become scarce and is increasingly being competed with their animal neighbours for livestock rearing and agriculture. Indeed, conflict between people and felids has been termed as one of the most urgent wild cat conservation issues of the world.
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 1
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 2
1 Email-
HOD- Dept. of Geography,
Taki Government Col-
lege, Vill & P.O: Taki, P.S:
Hasnabad, Dist: North 24
Parganas, Pin-743429, West
Bengal, India
The conict between predating
animals and their human
neighbour is as old as the history
of human race. Now, when an
increasing number of people are
crowding into a limited amount of
land, human-wildlife conicts are
set to increase all over the world.
In one generalisation, the prey-predator ratio by weight
has been estimated to 1:111, i.e., 10,000 kg of prey is
required to sustain just 90 kg of predators (Carbon and Gittelman, 2002). Therefore,
the predators require disproportionately huge amount of space than their prey. With
growing population, especially in the developing countries, space has become scarce
and is increasingly being competed with their animal neighbours for livestock rearing
and agriculture. Indeed, conict between people and felids has been termed as one of
the most urgent wild cat conservation issues of the world (Inskip and Zimmermann,
The Sundarban mangrove wetlands in the lower Ganga Brahmaputra delta, was started
to be reclaimed from 1770 (Pargiter, 1934). During the next two centuries some 5364
km2 of the former tidal forests were converted to farmlands in 19 police station areas in
North and South 24-Parganas district of West Bengal (Fig 1). The present area of the
Indian Sundarban wetlands amounts to 4262 km2. The reclaimed portion now supports
a rapidly growing population of 3.76 million with an average density of 845 persons per
sq km as per the 2001 census. People live in the reclaimed area of Sundarban, which
was initially under mangrove forests till 1833 and has been colonized very recently.
In the northern portion, the morasses have been converted into fertile rice elds. The
jungles were steadily pushed back and human habitation extended southwards into the
interior. The southeastern part is a network of tidal waters, covered with dense man-
grove jungles. Majority of the population (approximately 95%) depends on agriculture
supported by other occupation like shery, forestry and handicrafts.
These people, because of their proximity to the mangroves and underdevelopment, are
exposed to a unique set of biotic hazards—ranging from snakebites to tiger attacks—
that has greatly inuenced their mental make-up and socio-cultural set up. Conict
of interests between the authorities protecting the mangrove wildlife and the people
utilising its resources has also become apparent in the last few decades.
The common types of vertebrate-induced hazards seen in these areas are inicted
by snakes, tigers, crocodiles and sharks. Animal attacks on humans are common in
Sundarban. Attacks from snakes and tigers often prove fatal. Straying of tigers from
reserve forests into the human habitations also poses a major problem for the residents
living along the forest boundary. Snakes are not restricted to forests and incidents of
attack from these creatures outnumber any other category.
A single crop of paddy cannot cater to the needs of the people residing in Sundarban
and in order to eke out their living, they take to shing, crab collection, honey collec-
tion and woodcutting inside the mangrove forests. Increasing population pressure and
dire poverty urge the people to take the risk of facing natural hazards as well as attack
from wild animals as they venture into the jungle. Trespassers take undue advantage of
3.76 million with an average
density of 845 persons per sq
km (Census 2001)
Fig 1: Phase wise reclamation in Sundarban and loss of forest
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 4
this human presence in the zone for pilferage of forest produces and poaching of wild
animals. It is also not uncommon for the animals to stray into human habitations and
to cause depredations. All these lead to conict between humans and animals—the root
cause of which is socio-economical.
Human survival and economic well being are fully dependent upon biological diversity
that includes all life forms, ecosystems, and ecological processes, acknowledging the
hierarchy at genetic, taxa and ecosystem levels. The more is the biodiversity the greater
is the access to available resources, along with increased net primary production and
decreased nutrient loss (Mandal et. al., 2009).
Conicts between wildlife and humans in Sundarban are evident owing to increase in
human population, extensive loss of natural habitats and increase in dependency of
forest resources. Conicts are most acute when a species involved is critically imperiled
while its presence in an area poses a signicant threat to human welfare (Saberwal et.
al., 2010). Human wildlife conict is potentially any situation where: (1) the behaviour
of people negatively impacts wildlife (this includes human impacts on habitat); (2) the
behaviour of wildlife creates a negative impact for some stakeholders, or is perceived
by some stakeholders to impact themselves or others adversely or (3) the wildlife fo-
cused behaviour of some people creates a negative interaction with other people, often
in the form of a values clash. Thus, a people-wildlife problem can involve a people-
wildlife interaction or a people-people interaction (i.e., a controversy) or both (Decker
et. al., 1997).
Sundarban has an age-old history of the hazards related to the man-tiger conicts.
Tiger in the Sundarban mangrove is not only notoriously famous for its man-eating
nature but also widely known for frequent straying into the villages of fringe areas of
Sundarban. Therefore, human-tiger Conict arises in two different ways, rstly by
entering of the people into the tiger territory and secondly by straying of the tiger into
the human habitation
Habits & Habitat
Sundarban tiger or Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) is different from any
other tiger in the country and the world because of its adaptability to the unique
mangrove habitat. Their behaviour is largely individual specic and cannot be general-
ized and is also not replicable from the studies made on other tigers of the world or the
country, even so in Sundarbans itself. Much used word of ‘aberrations’ is actually it’s
adaptation to a hostile land which renders it perpetually under stress. Tigers in Sunda-
rbans eat sh and crabs, can swim very fast in the big rivers even up to the speed of
16 km/hr., climb trees, drink salty water, take their prey in broad daylight, prey upon
human beings and do not have any common preying behaviour. The tiger pugmarks
are seen everywhere in the forest though the tiger itself is not so visible. These added
with the hostile habitat make Sundarbans not an ideal place to study tigers. The role,
tigers play as a top predator is vital to regulating and perpetuating ecological processes
and systems (Sunquist et. al., 1999). Sundarban tiger is clearly seen to be an adaptable
species, because of its ability to tolerate wide range of physical conditions and habitat
Tigers need extensive areas to hunt and breed thus protecting wild populations and
sustaining their habitats set upon the PA (Protected Area) managers with a set of
complex and difcult tasks. For instance, tigers are large-bodied, obligate carnivores
and readily come into conict with humans by killing people in the fringe areas of
Sundarbans and their livestock. Predatory behaviour differs according to the prey spe-
cies, prey size, hunting environment and also depends on the changing prey behaviour.
Conict is evident ow-
ing to increase in human
population, extensive loss
of natural habitats and
increase in dependency of
forest resources.
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 5
These wide ranges of tactics in capture and killing behaviour allows tiger to have a
wide range of prey types and sizes from few hundred grams of sh and crabs to a wild
boar or deer of about 50 kg.
Study on attack on humans
A large number of poor people of the Sundarban fringe areas enter into the forests
every year for their livelihood. (Table 1). Between 1985 and 2009, 789 persons (Fig 2)
were attacked by tigers out of which 666 succumbed to their injuries with an average of
27.75 events per year. Some 14 per cent of the victims were honey-collectors, 5 per cent
were woodcutters and as much as 80 per cent were shermen including crab collector.
About 1 per cent of the victims were forest staff.
In the Sundarban Tiger Reserve (STR) area, there are 15 forest blocks comprising
about 258,489.04 ha of forest and water bodies. These are uninhabited and different
from the administrative blocks. The tiger victim data of the last 24 years denoted that
Jhilla (21.1%), followed by Pirkhali (19.72 %), Chandkhali (11.72%), and Arbesi (9.35%)
were the four most vulnerable forest blocks, accounting for more than 60 per cent of
the persons attacked and killed by tigers. All these forest blocks, except Chandkhali,
Royal Bengal Tiger-
(Panthera tigris)
Biodiversity Based Livelihood
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 6
border the fringe villages of Gosaba and Hingalganja blocks, from where a large num-
ber of people regularly venture into the forest for their livelihood. Intensity of tiger
attacks is comparatively low in the forest blocks of Gona, Bagmara, Mayadwip, Gosaba
and Matla because of their location far from the inhabited areas.
Some 59 per cent of the tiger attack victims were residents of Gosaba block. Hingal-
ganja (14.96) was the second most vulnerable block followed by Basanti, (9.99%),
Hasnabad (3.8%) and Canning II (2.54%), Pathar Pratima (2.54%), Kultali (2.03%).
The blocks of, Canning I, Sandeshkhali I and Sandeshkhali II, Namkhana, Kakdwip etc
were least affected in this respect because of minimum involvement of their residents
in forest-related activities. On the other hand, Satjalia, Jamespur, Dayapur, Lahiripur
and Rajat jubilee villages of Gosaba block and Samsernagar, Chargheri, and Hingalganj
villages of Hingalganj block constitute the most affected villages.
The available data indicate that intensity of tiger attacks uctuated like a sine curve
(Fig. 5.). Between 1985 and 1989, the incidents decreased with the introduction of
measures like prohibition of entering into hental (Phoenix paludosa) forests that are
frequented by tigers and establishment of electried dummies and rear-face masks.
Both electried dummies and masks were discontinued from 1989 and the frequency of
attacks ascended from an all-time low of 10 in 1989 to 49 in 1993. A sharp decrease in
frequency was again recorded from 1994 to 1996 due to reintroduction of the meas-
ures. In recent times, after 2005, an upward trend is observed due probably to lack of
monitoring of the protective measures as well as an increase in the illegal entry into the
forests. It is also revealed by the data that an overwhelming majority—87 per cent—of
the attacks were fatal, only 13 per cent of the tiger attack victims could escape with
their lives.
Tiger attacks on humans are characteristically distributed throughout the year. The
attacks peak in pre-monsoon, especially in April, during which 20 per cent (n= 789)
of the attacks took place. October, on the other hand, is the month recording least
number of attacks at 5.96 per cent (Fig. 4). This pattern seems to corroborate the ob-
servations made by Hendrichs(1975), who related increase in salinity in the estuarine
waters of Sundarban during April with increase in the frequency of attacks. April is also
the peak honey collection season when both the frequency and number of moulis are
maximum and the converse is true from October to December. Although November–
January is the main shing season in Sundarban, some shing activity is also carried
out during March–June which justies more than 80 per cent of all tiger victims were
shermen including tiger prawn & crab collector and only 14 per cent were moulis.
A team of mouli (honey col-
lectors)processing honey in
their boat after colleting it
from tiger territory
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 7
Year Number Average Measures taken
1975 63 48.0 Digging of freshwater ponds started
1976 40
1977 37
1978 48
1979 52
1980 50 40.0 Phoenix permit discontinued
1981 29
1982 41
1983 21 23.5 Electried dummies introduced
1984 16
1985 31
1986 26
1987 19 15.3 Human face masks introduced
1988 21
1989 6 —
1990 53 45.3 Dummies and face masks discontinued
1991 41
1992 40
1993 47
1994 16 12.3 Introduction of breglass headgear. Dummies and face masks
1995 15
1996 6 —
1997 12
1998 21 32.0 Lack of monitoring of the measures
1999 35
2000 40
2001 24 24.5 Nylon fencing at selected entry points and intensive patrol-
ling introduced
2002 28
2003 23
2004 23
2005 30 34.8 Lack of patrolling leading to gradual increase in illegal forest
2006 33
2007 36
2008 40
1975-2008 1,063 31.3
Source: Modied after Sanyal, 1999 (data up to 1995), Village survey, STR, Death Registry Ofce and RCHP
Table1: Humans killed
by tigers in Sundarban:
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 8
Probable reasons attributed for attack on humans
The primary reasons attributed for attack on humans are probably hostile environ-
mental conditions and human use pattern of its habitat. The various groups of human
intruders include honey collectors, shermen including tiger prawn seed collectors,
crab collectors and even forest department staff (Fig 2).
These users have to stay in the forest in the small ‘dingies’ (country boats) and need
to get down on the land as their profession demands. They also need to get down on
the land for bathing, toilet, etc. without any safety mechanism except for a wooden log
in most of the cases. Many times these small ‘dingies’ are camped because of rough
weather in small creeks, which remain unaffected, by rough weather. These small riv-
ers and creeks keep changing their direction and dimensions because of tidal actions,
also the ‘dingies’ do not have proper anchoring provisions, during late night, they usu-
ally get into situations or position which make them more vulnerable to tiger attacks
because of their closeness to the land. The tigers stealthily climb on to the small boats
at night and sometimes into sleeping shelters built illegally on trees and seize one of
the inmates.
Crab collectors
Fig: 2 : Profession wise distri-
bution of victims (1985-2008)
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 9
It is evident from Fig 2 that Tigers have been found to attack the honey collectors, crab
collector and the sherman who enter the deep forest in the early mornings and after-
noons, mostly because they intrude into their habitat and disturb the animal by their
activities, which in many cases is lighting re and/or creating smoke for the purpose of
honey collection. During these periods of the day these groups of workers are caught
unaware by the tiger, which makes them more prone to tiger attack. The tigers are not
found to attack groups of more than 4 people and when the groups are well connected.
In a span of 24 years (1985-2009), a total of 789 victims (666 dead and 123 injured)
have been reported from Sundarban (Das, 2009). The vulnerability of tiger attack to
honey collectors is more prominent than shermen community as we know the honey
seasons last only for two months and a total of 108 cases (92 dead and 16 injured) have
been reported for the last 24 years.
Measures to reduce conict in the tiger territory
Several management interventions have been taken round the years by concerned
authorities of Sundarban to mitigate the human tiger conict in the Sundarban forest
like stopping the collection permit of Phoenix and Nypa from the Sundarban Tiger
Reserve, digging of fresh water ponds, introduction of human face mask, introduction
of clay models which were wrapped with energizers which is charged to 230 volts by a
12 volt battery source, and introduction of tiger guards for the staff (Sanyal, 1987).
The clay models represented shermen, woodcutters and honey-collectors. In all, six
models were made, two for each profession, irrespective of the profession-wise pattern
of tiger attacks (Sanyal. 1987). These six models were set up in the Netidhopani, Pirkhali
Panchamukhani and Jhilla forest blocks. Maintenance of these proved very difcult and
therefore discontinued after 1990 (Das, 2009).
Fishermen were supplied with rubber made human mask which they put on the back-
side of the head so that the tiger which is presumably found to attack from the rear
side is confused. The method was low-cost, and gained popularity among the people
venturing into Sundarban. But recent statistics show that this cannot prevent the
tigers from attacking. Digging of fresh water ponds which started from 1975 onwards
to mend tiger tempers, but the statistics reveal that there was minimal reduction on
ofcially recorded human attacks. So, none of these methods could conclusively prove
to be effective.
Human face masks as a pro-
tective device against
tiger attacks
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 10
Patterns of Tiger Straying
On the other hand during last 24 years (1986-2009) total 279 incidents of straying oc-
curred in the fringe villages of Sundarban with an average of 12 incidents per year (Fig
3). Incidents of straying have increased sharply over the last two decades mainly due
to the increased human intervention into the tiger’s territories as well as destruction
of their habitats. The incidents generally damage the paddy crops of the agriculture
eld as well as livestock of the poor villagers, side by side tigers are also killed by the
arrogant villagers for their payback ignoring poor forest administration.
Most of the incidents occurred during monsoon and winter months in the fringe vil-
lages of Sundarban. Out of the 279 reported incidents, 232 cases were from 16 villages
of the Bagna and Sajnekhali ranges of STR. Rest of the incidences were reported from
24 Parganas (South) division. The major affected villages include Samsernagar, Kali-
tala and Kumirmari in Bagna and Rajat Jubilee, Jamespur and Dayapur in Sajnekhali
block. Male tigers were involved in 85 of the cases. In most occurrences, tigers resorted
to cattle lifting or poultry feeding. Only in seven cases humans were attacked.
The blocks of Gosaba and Hingalganja and Kultali are most vulnerable to Tiger stray-
ing. The heavily affected villages of Hingalganja block are Samsernagar, Kalitala,
Hemnagar, and Pargunti; in Gosaba they include Rajat Jubilee, Jamespur, Dayapur,
Kumirmari, and Lahiripur while in Kultali Block they include Kultali, Sunkijan, Deal-
bari, Bhasa, Maipeet East Gurgaria, Nagenabad and Katamari. Sitarampur, Dashpur,
K Plot and Keshorimohonpur in Pathar Pratima Block and Jharkhali in Basanti block
are also other noted villages prone to tiger straying. Although in the last few years,
incidences are negligible in Basanti Block, but sharply increasing in the Kultali Block
since 2007. Overall, the most affected village is Samsernagar (29.9%) followed by Rajat
Jubilee (17.8%), Kalitala (9.3%), and Jamespur (6.5%).
One of the important characteristics of Sundarban tigers is their capability of swim-
ming long distances and at a speed of 16km/hr. Records show that the tigers need
to cross 50 to 150 m wide creeks to enter into the villages in Bagna forest range. For
entering the villages bordering Sajnekhali range, creeks required to be crossed are
between 300 m and 900 m in width.
The Kurekhali or sakunkhali river in Gosaba block is the most vulnerable river as far
tiger crossing is concerned (36.3%) followed by Pirkhali (33.6%), Gomdi and Rangabe-
liya rivers (Table 2). In some parts, creeks play vital role in tiger straying. For exam-
Gosaba and Hingalganja
and Kultali are vulnerable
to straying
Fig 3: Tiger straying inci-
dents in villages of Sundar-
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 11
ple, the Kamalakhali creek, at places only 15-m wide separates the Samsernagar village
of Hingalganja from the Arbesi block. This is one of the villages affected most by tiger
River/Creek CD Block Width in metres
Percentage of
crossing by
tigers (n=279)
Kurekhali or
sakunkhali Hingalganj 25 36.3
Pirkhali Gosaba 150 33.6
Gumdi Gosaba 150 7.5
Korankhali Gosaba 100 6.5
Rangabeliya Gosaba 600 6.5
Raymangal Hingalganj 800 2.2
Kapura Hingalganj 50 1.8
Mokri Kultali 40 1.7
Thakuran Kultali 75 1.0
Others - - 2.9
Source: Village survey, STR, Sundarban Biosphere Reserve (SBR), Divisional forest
ofce (S -24 Pgs) and RCHP
As soon as a straying tiger is detected, in most occasions the villagers do try to in-
form the STR authorities. At the same time, they also take initiative to drive the tiger
away. The general attitude of the people living in the fringe areas of Sundarban forest
is extremely hostile towards the tigers. Killing of a straying tiger is not unheard of
in villages like Dayapur, Jamespur and Rajat Jubilee in Gosaba and Samsernagar in
Table 2 Most vulnerable riv-
ers related to tiger straying
incidents: 1986-2009
A narrow creek dividing pro-
tected area and Samsernagar
village of Sundarban
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 12
Date Village Block Remarks
08/12/1990 Dayapur Gosaba Strayed animal, killed by villagers.
23/01/1993 Sajnekhali Gosaba Strayed animal, electrocuted by the vil-
05/01/1994 Sudhan-
yakali Gosaba Corpse detected by a private launch.
Probably killed by villagers.
26/09/1994 Hemnagar Hingal-
Strayed animal found in a paddy eld,
killed by poisoning.
12/05/1994 Jamespur Gosaba Strayed animal, killed by villagers in self
08/03/1995 Luxbagan Gosaba Strayed animal, killed by villagers.
29/07/1998 Rajat Ju-
bilee Gosaba Strayed animal, found in a paddy eld,
poisoned in retaliation of cattle lifting.
19/07/2001 Pakhiralaya Gosaba Strayed animal, killed by villagers.
02/10/2001 Kishorimo-
hanpur Kultali Strayed animal, killed by villagers
15/12/2001 Kumirmari Gosaba Strayed animal, killed by villagers.
Source: Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), STR, SBR & Field Study
Sometimes thousands of people from the surrounding villages gather to kill or drive
away a straying tiger. Although the Forest Department staffs tries to persuade the
agitated villagers, often the situation goes beyond their control. In such cases the
Panchāyets—the lowest-tier democratically elected bodies of the Indian union com-
prising one to few villages—usually come forward to assist the Forest Department in
controlling the mob and to save the life of the straying tiger.
Forest Department as well as local sources reveal that the tigers ‘found dead’ in various
areas of reclaimed Sundarban are often poisoned, presumably by the villagers. During
the last 11 years between 1990 and 2001, at least ten tigers have been reported to be
killed by the villagers (Table 3).
The population density in the villages surrounding the forests is high. The economic
condition of the residents is also very poor. As straying tigers commonly kill cattle and
tigers in general attack men as they venture into the forest in search of livelihood, the
villagers become habitually revengeful to the tigers. This attitude is even more intensi-
ed by peoples’ resentment towards strict enforcement of laws concerning entry into
the jungles by the Forest Department. In isolated cases, straying tigers are killed by
villagers in self-defence, although it is observed that most of the strayed tigers are not
man-eaters. It of course is not easy to change this attitude towards the straying animals
unless there is some incentive for the villagers for not treating the tigers shabbily.
Measures to reduce conict from Tiger straying
Fencing the boundaries of the vulnerable forest areas by vegetative i.e. Garan-gewa
fencing (Ceriops spp.- Excoecaria spp.) and mechanical methods by nylon net fencings
which are erected along the boundary of the forest areas, have been found not to be
very effective. 8 cases of straying incidents (Table 4) have been reported from Deul-
bari village adjoining Heronbhanga-9 forest block of STR at a span of 3 years though
the edges of Heronbhanga-9 is lined with nylon net fencings. Ceriops and Excoecaria
fencing is now-a-days not encouraged because it requires cutting of Ceriops and Ex-
Table 3: Tigers killed presum-
ably by villagers: 1990-2009
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 13
coecaria trees in large numbers. It is not possible to put fencing in small creeks and
rivulets. Sometimes fencings which costs upto Rs. 1,20,000.00 (approx.) per km. for
both nylon net with Ceriops and Excoecaria fencing, are damaged by local people as
they enter into the forest areas for collection of sh, crab, honey etc. Solar lights have
also been installed in the boundary of the villages so as to lower tiger straying inci-
dents. But, solar power units and batteries require component replacements at regular
intervals and are therefore very expensive.
No. Year Village Adjoining forest
Number of
Tiger Stray-
ing inci-
12007-08 Deulbari Heronbhanga-9 1
22008-09 Kantamari (Betalpara) Heronbhanga-9 1
Deulbari Heronbhanga-9 2
32009-2010 Deulbari Heronbhanga-9 5
Petculchand Heronbhanga-9 1
Jharkhali-3 Heronbhanga-9 1
Source: STR & SBR
In 2004, the Forest Department decided to use satellite-linked radio collars for moni-
toring movement of tigers in fringe areas of Sundarban. This effort, although carried
out with some success on elephants, had never been tried on tigers in West Bengal. But
tilt date only 4 tigers are collared with satellite signals. It is, however, doubtful whether
the scheme would be able to bring into account the greater part of the 274 non-territo-
rial tigers present in Sundarban in near future.
Table 4: Tiger straying
incidents in fringe villages of
Heronbhanga-9, Forest Block
of STR
A narrow creek dividing pro-
tected area and Samsernagar
village of Sundarban
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 14
Habit & Habitat
In India, snakes are represented by over 200 species distributed in 11 families (Ma-
hendra 1983, Smith 1943, Minton 1966) of which 52 are venomous in nature (Deoraj,
1981).The common varieties of poisonous snakes found in India are cobras, vipers,
coral snakes and sea snakes. Interestingly, almost all the above are found in Sundar-
ban; snakes in the Sundarbans include Indian cobra, king cobra Indian kraits, banded
kraits and Russell’s viper. Among the non-poisonous types, 17 species are common in
Sundarban (De, 1994). These include common blind snake, beaked blind snake, com-
mon wolf snake, green whip snake; rat snake, chequered keelback, striped keelback,
olive keel back, trinket snake, painted brown back, Indian bronze back and dog-faced
water snake.
This higher diversity of reptiles is due to the fact that the Sundarban houses a wide
range of habitats ranging from mudats to sandy beaches and extremely saline to
almost fresh water zone—each exhibiting seasonal oscillations of physico-chemical
variables like salinity, pH and dilution factors. Snakes offer a wide array of species in
diversied habitats for e.g. terrestrial, intertidal and aquatic environments.
Fig 4: Month wise distribu-
tion incidents of tiger straying
& tiger attack (1986-2008)
Figure 5: Percentage dis-
tribution of tiger attacks and
tiger straying by years which
shows a weak negative cor-
relation between them
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 15
According to a study of snakebite cases as well as sighting of snakes between 1993 and
2005 in Sundarban, it appears that snake density is higher in the southern Sundarban
blocks compared to northern ones. Ranking of the poisonous snakes, according to
frequency of sightings by the resident population, may be made like: (i) Common Krait
(Bukgaras cueruleus), (ii) Common Cobra (Naja naja) (iii) Banded Krait (Bungarus
fusciatus) (iv) Russell’s Viper (Vipera russellic) (v) King Cobra (Ophiophagus hari-
Pattern of Snake bite
Snakebite is a serious public health hazard in the reclaimed Sundarban, causing death
of a large number of people every year. Basanti, Canning I, Canning II and Gosaba
are the four blocks where the magnitude and intensity of snakebite and deaths due to
snakebite are very high compared to the rest of the region (Das, 1996).
In these four blocks about 527 persons died from snakebites during the year 1993–
2005 at an average rate of 40 persons yr–1 (Table 5 & Fig 6). This can be ascribed to
their backwardness in communication facilities and non-availability of proper medical
treatment. As far as seasonal incidence of snakebite is concerned, most of the cases
coincided with monsoons (71%: July–September), when the burrows of the snakes
usually get ooded. Records were nearly non-existent during the winter (December–
February) because this is the period of hibernation of snakes.
1993–2005 AT AN
Russell’s Viper
(Vipera russellic)
Figure 6: Percentage distri-
bution of fatal snakebites by
months: 1993-2005. n=527.
(Source: Village survey and
BPHC registered data)
Percentage of fatal snakebites (n=527)
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 16
The common kraits caused maximum number of deaths (57%) followed by common
cobra (39%) and Russell’s viper (4%). About 70 per cent of the deaths occurred at
night, which correspond to the maximum activity of common krait; about 30 per cent
occurred during daytime, which can be attributed to common cobras and Russell’s
viper. The female-male ratio of the bite victims was 1:2.5. Although bite incidents were
observed in all age groups, majority of the victims (70.41%) were found to be between
11 and 40 years. This group is most active in the outdoors and that increases the risk of
cobra bites. 75 per cent of the bites occurred indoors and were caused by the common
kraits. It was found that most of the patients (76.12 %) went to the village shamans
called ojhās, instead of visiting hospitals. Only 10 per cent preferred to go to a hospital
or to a health centre.
Number of
fatal snake-
Average number
of fatal snakebites
per year
Yearly mortality rate
per 10,000 popula-
Gosaba 195 15.00 0.67
Basanti 146 11.23 0.40
Canning II 85 06.53 0.33
Canning I 101 07.76 0.32
All blocks 527 50.86 0.54
Source: Village survey and BPHC-registered data
Another survey on snakebite incidents, based on admission register records of the
BPHCs of 19 adjacent blocks of Sundarban, was conducted between 1993 and 2005
(Table 6) to assess the nature and intensity of the problem in the area under review.
The study revealed that Snakebite incidence is very high in the Patharpratima, Nam-
khana and Gosaba (>10% of recorded cases); high intensity (8–10%) is found in Bas-
anti, Canning I, Sandeshkhali I and Sandeshkhali II blocks; moderate intensity (6–8%)
is observed in Canning II, Hingalganja, Kakdwip and Kultali blocks while Mathurapur
(I & II), Jaynagar (I & II), Sagar, Hasnabad, Minakhan and Horoa show low intensity
(<6%).(Fig 7)
Block Number of
Average number
of snakebites per
Yearly vulnerability to
snakebites per 10,000
Namkhana 272 20.92 1.30
eshkhali II 189 14.53 1.07
eshkhali I 188 14.46 1.03
Gosaba 296 22.76 1.02
ganja 182 14.00 0.90
tima 206 15.84 0.55
Canning I 102 7.84 0.32
Table 5: Distribution of
mortality from snakebites by
blocks: 1993–2005
Table 6: Distribution of
vulnerability to snakebites by
blocks : 1993–2005
Fig 7: Block wise Incidence of snake bite (based on the data collected from BPHCs & Field Survey)
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 18
Block Number of
Average number
of snakebites per
Yearly vulnerability to
snakebites per 10,000
Kultali 186 14.30 0.76
Canning II 104 8.00 0.41
Kakdwip 123 9.46 0.40
Basanti 185 14.23 0.51
thurapur I 57 4.38 0.27
thurapur II 94 7.23 0.36
Jaynagar I 44 3.38 0.15
II 36 2.76 0.13
Sagar 55 4.32 0.23
Hasnabad 40 3.07 0.17
Minakhan 34 2.61 0.15
Horah 48 3.69 0.20
All blocks 2441 185.08 0.49
Source: BPHCs of Sundarban and Basirhat, Bangur Hospital (Tollyganj), Nilratan
Sarkar Medical College and Hospital, Calcutta and eld observation
Measures to mitigate conict from Snakes
The moist warm climate and the presence of vast stretch of wetlands tend increase the
activity of snakes in Sundarban. Snakes remain active throughout the year except for
the short hibernation period from November to middle of February (Das, 1998).
Availability of prompt aid with Anti-venom Serum (AVS), available at Block Primary
Health Centres (BHPC) after occurrence of a venomous snakebite largely determines
the chances of survival of a victim. A mosquito net provides protection from snake-
bites during sleep. Establishment of health centres in every two or three villages with
round-the-clock facilities of snakebite treatment and regular supply and storage of
AVS will minimize the problem. The location of the health centres is very crucial. It
may be decided based on population size of the villages it would serve. To facilitate
fast transfer of snakebite victims to health centres especially during the monsoons, the
interior roads should be paved with bricks. Lack of conveyance and poor infrastructure
facilities at health centers determine the survivability of victims of snake bites.
Crocodile victims are generally of two types—shermen and tiger prawn seed col-
lectors. In Sundarban, hundreds of people, mostly women and young children, get
engaged in prawn seed collection everyday. Wading through waist-deep or even neck-
deep water, they lter out of spawn of shrimps using ne nylon nets. In an area where
the scope of alternative employment is limited, this activity has become popular in
Sundarban during the last two decades as it yields very high returns (Ray, 2000). It is
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 19
also done on a commercial scale, with nets spread across almost the entire width of the
river with help of boats and buoys.
According to a survey, some 103 people were attacked by crocodiles during 1997–
2008; out of these, 61.16 per cent succumbed to death on an average 7.9 persons every
year (Table 7). Almost 80 per cent of victims were prawn seed collectors and belonged
to the age group of 11 to 50. They were mostly children and women. Male victims are
slightly lower (46.60%) than the females (53.40%) . It is probably due to the more
engagement of female population in the collection of tiger prawn and crabs in Sundar-
ban. Most of the cases were recorded from Gosaba (34 %), followed by Patharpratima
(25.24 %) and Namkhana (18.45 %).
Apart from the crocodiles, the persons being exposed to the creeks of Sundarban are
also vulnerable to attack from sharks—locally called kāmots. Shark bite is a relatively
recent phenomenon in Sundarban that started to arise about 15 to 20 years ago (Kan-
jilal, 2000).
Block Gosaba Nam-
Pratima Kultali
Rest of
Number of
incidents 35 19 26 15 8103
Number of
death 28 10 14 7 4 63
age of all
33.98 18.45 25.24 14.56 7.77 100
average of
2.69 1.46 2.00 1.15 0.62 7.92
Prawn seed collection
Table 7 Distribution of
Crocodile victims by Block:
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 20
Block Gosaba Nam-
Pratima Kultali
Rest of
Yearly aver-
age of death 2.23 0.83 1.17 0.58 0.33 5.25
ability per
0.12 0.9 0.07 0.06 -0.09
per 10,000
0.10 0.05 0.04 0.03 -0.06
Source: Village survey, STR and RCHP, Forest Ofces of 24 Pgs (South & North) Divi-
This was the time when prawn seed collection was introduced in Sundarban. Indeed,
majority of shark attacks occur to the prawn seed collectors. About four species of
sharks of Sundarban (Scoliodon sorrakowah, Scoliodon dumerilii, Scoliodon palasor-
rah and Scoliodon walbeehmi) are known to attack humans (Sinha et al., 2000).
The attacks, however, occur mostly through accidents as the shark mistakes a person
standing or oating in water as its natural prey. A victim of the attack often does not
realise that she or he is being bitten although a chunk of esh or even a limb may get
severed off.
However, the risk of injury from shark attacks is negligible compared to the threats
posed by snakes and tigers.
Decision makers are often forced to opt for an instant conict resolution options and
are biased. The biasness many a times is due to lack of data & being unaware by the
root causes. The failure of the interventions discussed in former sections, to reduce
human conict necessitate for opting a frame-work which sets objectives rank actions
in terms of numbers of lives ensuring that selection of an action focuses on reduction
of the conict, rather than addressing additional objectives the decision makers may
have. Objectives should be specic, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound
(SMART) (Tucker et. al. 2005).The true test of a management framework is its applica-
bility in Sundarbans landscape.
The present review builds the conict proles using the Action–Selection Frame-
work (Barlow et. al, 2010) [Fig 8] of the three most important fauna inhabiting the
supra-littoral forests, intertidal mudats and estuaries of Sundarbans viz. The Royal
Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), &venomous snakes. The proles contain general
description of the circumstances in which the conict takes place and specic informa-
tion on the severity of the conict and its spatial, temporal, and social characteristics.
The severity of the conict would reveal the relative size of each aspect of the conict
and help the concerned administrative bodies to estimate the potential impact and
costs of actions (Graham et. al. 2005). Spatial information on the conict would help
in focussing actions in areas where they can be most effective. Information on tem-
poral characteristics may help in identify the seasonal variations and ideal time to
implement the actions. Understanding social characteristics would help identify target
groups (Barlow et. al., 2010). The conict prole would also highlight the gaps that
require further research to identify & prioritise the actions for conict resolution.
Scoliodon sorrakowah, Sco-
liodon dumerilii, Scoliodon
palasor rah and Scoliodon
walbeehmi attack humans
in Sundarban
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 21
The conict proles (Table 8-10)
prepared in view of the framework
proposed (Fig 8) is a rst step
towards the development of a com-
prehensive, yet structured approach
to better understand and manage
biodiversity conict. As a guiding
instrument for conict analysis, it
provides a more holistic picture of
the actual reasons attributing to the
conict situation and improves our
understanding of factors that trigger
or worsen conictive situations.
On analysing the framework, the
concerned authorities would be in
a better stand to take interventions
that is ecologically, economically
and socially viable.
The framework if implemented
would also open the way for a future research programme that aims to explore in detail
relevant factors of the conict, relations between factors and indicators and their
usefulness as conict indicators. Exploring the links between factors and indicators of
biodiversity conicts provides fundamental insights and, at the same time, supports
the development of management options that aim to inuence social, ecological or
economic parameters, or external cues to individuals such as protection regime (White
et. al., 2009).
Fig 8: Steps of framework for
selecting actions to mitigate
human-carnivore conict
(Barlow et. al., 2010)
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 22
A: Tiger attack in tiger territory (1985-2009).
Item Conict description Causality
On an average 33 people encounter with
tiger each year of which 28 died due to
confrontation. Vulnerability rate per
10,000 persons is 0.32 among the people
of Gosaba, Hingalganj, Canning II & Bas-
anti Blocks.
- 13677 (6277 Legal
entrants & 7400 Illegal en-
trants) Forest entrants in
STR between 1992-2001.
-higher chance of human
encounters with tigers in
the forest
Some 59 per cent of the tiger attack
victims were residents of Gosaba block.
Hingalganj (14.96) was the second most
vulnerable block followed by Basanti,
(9.99%), Hasnabad (3.8%) and Canning
II (2.54%), Pathar Pratima (2.54), Kultali
- Most humans killed by tigers in North-
east Sundarbans
- Forest users spread
throughout region; Crab
collection is higher in
eastern Sundarban while
shing is in western part.
- Honey collection concen-
trated is also seen in the
North Eastern side.
-High number of human victims in April
& January.
-Low numbers of victims in almost all
the months of monsoon & post monsoon
-Human activity peaks in
December and January
coinciding with collection
of wood and thatching
-Honey collection mostly
carried out in April;
-Overall human activity
less in monsoon (June–
Majority of fatal victims are sherman
(63.51%), followed by crab collector
(16.22%), honey gatherers (13.81%) &
woodcutters (5.41%);
- Forest user groups
vulnerable to attack when
they get onto land;
- Honey collectors vulner-
able because they spread
out in the forest as they
search for honey combs
Table 8: Prole of human–
tiger conict in the Indian
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 23
B: Tiger straying into the human habitation (1986-2009)
Item Conict description Causality
-279 incidents of straying occurred with
an average of 12 incidents per year. In 126
cases (45.8 percent), approximately 326
livestock were killed i.e. 2.6 per straying.
-During last 20 years (1990- 2009) at least
twelve tigers have been reported to be
killed by the villagers of Sundarban
-Tiger swim across the riv-
ers or creaks to reach the
villages in the fringe zone
mainly in darkness.
-Sharp increased over the
last two decades mainly
due to the increased hu-
man intervention into the
tiger’s territories as well
as destruction of their
-The major affected villages include
Samsernagar (29.9 %), Kalitala (9.3 %),
Hemnagar in Hingalganj Block, Rajat
Jubilee (17.8 %), Jamespur Kalitala (9.3
%), Dayapur Kumirmari in Gosaba Block,
Jhorkhali in Basanti Block, Kultali, Sunki-
jan, Dealbari, Nagenabad in Kultali Block
and Sitarampur, Dashpur, K Plot and Kes-
horimohonpur in Pathar Pratima Block.
-Sundarban tigers cross
creeks or rivers between
50 and 150 m in width to
enter into the villages in
Bagna range (Hingalganj
block) but 300- 900 m
in width to enter into the
villages of Sajnekhali range
(Gosaba block) and cross
more than km width rivers
of Raimongal rivers of
Kultali block.
-Peak season is the winter (Dec-Feb) when
42% tiger straying incidents occurred
with January is the top of the list (16.8 per
cent). Post monsoon period (Sept-Nov) is
the least affected season accounting only
14% of straying.
Most incidents occur at night. Only in 3.95
percent in daytime.
-Tiger’s movement
increases in the winter
season as winter months
are the peak season for
-Tigers are nocturnal in
nature and, therefore, they
loss their direction or path
during nigh.
-Straying tigers commonly kill livestock.
and tigers in general attack men as they
venture into the forest in search of liveli-
hood, the villagers become habitually
revengeful to the tigers.
-This attitude is even more
intensied by peoples’
resentment towards strict
enforcement of laws
concerning entry into
the jungles by the Forest
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 24
Item Conict description Causality
40 human deaths each year on an average.
Vulnerability rate per 10,000 persons is
0.57. Mortality rate per 10,000 persons is
0.54 in four most affected blocks ( Gosaba,
Basanti, Canning I & Canning II)
Higher probability of
human encounters with
snakes in & around habita-
tion. Higher mortality is
related to lack of good
transport as well as poor
infrastructure of health
High incidence in the Patharpratima,
Namkhana and Gosaba (>10% of recorded
cases) blocks & low in Joynagar, Ma-
thurapur blocks
Loss of snake habitat
due to Increased human
Coincide with monsoon rainfall (71%:
July–September). Low incidents during
the post- and pre-monsoons (November–
March) and recorded peak values during
the last phase of the monsoons (August–
Cold-blooded animals
and hibernate during
the winter. On the other
hand, forced to come out
for search of alternative
shelter and food when
water starts to ood their
resting-places with the
onset of the monsoons.
Most of the fatal snakebite victims
(76.12%) received treatment from sha-
mans (locally called ojhās) instead of
receiving treatments in hospitals
Unavailability of AVS
& doctors in the nearby
health centre.
Superstition and lack of
knowledge of poisonous
Item Conict description Causality
103 people were attacked by crocodiles
out of this 61 per cent succumbed to
death, at an average rate of 5.25 person
yr–1. Average yearly vulnerability and mor-
tality rates per 10,000 persons are 0.09
and 0.06 respectively.
Victims are generally of
two types—shermen and
tiger prawn seed (P. Mono-
don) collectors
Dominating in western Sundarban. Go-
saba (34%), followed by Patharpratima
(25%), Namkhana (18%) and Kultali (15%)
Collection of tiger prawn
seed is the important sec-
ondary occupation among
female & children. Forest
creek or Khari with low
mud at is ideal place for
Winter (November–January) is the peak
period of attack corresponding to the
main shing season.
crocodile attacks during
crab collection and the col-
lection of tiger prawn seed
Table 10 : Prole of Crocodile
victims in the Indian Sundar-
ban (1997–2009)
Table 9 : Prole of snakebite
victims in the Indian Sundar-
ban (1993-2005)
Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 25
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Analyzing Human Wildlife Conicts in Sundarban page 27
... Apart from the crocodiles, the persons being exposed to the creeks of Sundarban are also vulnerable to attack from sharks locally called kāmots. Shark bite is a relatively recent phenomenon in Sundarban that started to arise about 15 to 20 years ago (Das 2017). Increasing population pressure and dire poverty urge the people to take the risk of facing natural hazards as well as attack from wild animals as they venture into the jungle. ...
... Analyses of activities that led to a maximum exposure clearly showed that entering into creeks in forested areas for fishing, collection of crab, prawn seed, and fuelwood compelled the people to become most vulnerable. Analyses of seasonal incidences showed that maximum exposure normally happened during winter (59.7%), followed by monsoon period (18.6%) and then the summer months being remarkably low (1.7%) (Das 2017(Das , 2018. ...
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Euphony of Sundarban mangrove lies in its picturesque beauty. Keeping aside Bangladesh part, Indian Sundarban mangrove forest alone have been dwindled about 58%, from 10,000 km2 to 4226.6 km2. By this time it has witnessed to the extinction of five important mammalian species along with ecosystems existing around them. In the array many others seem threatened. Nevertheless, the biological diversity is very much rich; so are enriched ecosystem services and economic benefits harnessed from this mangrove forest in the purpose of livelihood. The Indian Sundarban mangrove forest is the largest one in view of both area coverage and floral diversity as assessed 62% and 90% respectively, amongst other mangrove forests in India. The ecosystem services of the forest renders are noteworthy that includes nutrient release, increasing soil and water fertility, mitigation of other adversities including natural calamities which coastal areas very often encounter. The ecosystem services sustain both terrestrial and aquatic food chain that in turn facilitates economic benefits such as food, fodder, medicines, timbers, etc. upon which local people are dependent. However, a conflict prevails between resources and livelihood that apparently reflects the poor indices of ecofootprint of the Indian Sundarban areas. Some measures, if undertaken, may ensure the protection of Indian Sundarban from further degradation.
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Conflict between people and felids is one of the most urgent wild cat conservation issues worldwide, yet efforts to synthesize knowledge about these conflicts have been few. For management strategies to be effective a thorough understanding of the dynamics of human-felid conflicts is necessary. Here we present the results of a cross-species, systematic review of human-felid conflicts worldwide. Using a combination of literature review and geographical information system analyses, we provide a quantitative as well as qualitative assessment of patterns and determinants that are known to influence the severity of human-felid conflicts, and a geographical overview of the occurrence of conflict worldwide. We found evidence of conflict affecting over 75% of the world's felid species. The severity of conflict increases with felid body mass and is of greatest conservation significance to nine species: caracal, cheetah, Eurasian lynx, jaguar, leopard, lion, puma, snow leopard and tiger. We also reveal specific gaps in knowledge about human-felid conflicts, and required actions within this aspect of felid conservation. With only 31% of implemented management strategies having been evaluated scientifically, there is a need for greater and more rigorous evaluation and a wider dissemination of results. Also urgently required are standardized reporting techniques to reduce the current disparity in conflict reporting methods and facilitate resolution of patterns and trends in the scale of human-felid conflict worldwide. This review provides a basis both for further synthesis and for the coordination of human-felid conflict management among researchers, practitioners and organizations.
Asiatic lions (Panthera leo persica) now occur in the wild only as a small population (about 250 animals) within a single reserve, the Gir forest in Gujarat state in western India. Persistent attacks by lions on humans hinder support among local peoples for lion conservation. We analyzed 193 attacks by lions on humans and conducted interviews with 73 villagers to identify the spatial, temporal, and social factors associated with lion-human conflict in the region. An average of 14.8 attacks by lions and 2.2 lion-caused deaths occurred annually between 1978 and 1991, and most attacks (82%) occurred on private lands outside the forest reserve. A drought in 1987–1988 precipitated an increase in rates of conflicts (from 7.3 to 40.0 attacks/year) and in the proportion of attacks that occurred outside the reserve (from 75% to 87%). The spatial pattern of lion attacks could not be distinguished from random before the drought, whereas attacks were clustered after the drought in village subdistricts with a higher ratio of revenue land to forest edge and those closer to sites where lions were formerly baited for tourist shows. Subadult lions were involved in conflicts in disproportion to their relative abundance. A majority of villagers interviewed expressed hostile attitudes toward lions owing to the threat of personal injury and economic hardship (mainly livestock damage) posed by lions. The escalation in lion-human conflict following the drought probably resulted from a combination of increased aggressiveness in lions and a tendency for villagers to bring their surviving livestock into their dwellings. Dissatisfaction with the government’s compensation system for lion-depredated livestock was reported widely. The current strategy for coping with problem lions—that is, returning them to areas in the Gir forest already saturated with lions—is inadequate, as indicated by the sharp increase in lion-human conflict since 1988. Prohibiting lion baiting for tourist shows, consolidation of reserve boundaries, and implementation of a more equitable and simpler system for compensating villagers for livestock destroyed by lions could provide short-term alleviation of lion-human conflict in the region. Long-term alleviation may entail reducing the lion population by relocating or culling lions.Los leones Asiáticos (Panthera leo persica) se encuentran en estado salvaje sólo como una pequeña población (ca. 251 animales) dentro de una única reserva, en el bosque de Gir en el estado de Gujarat, al oeste de India. Los persistentes ataques de leones a humanos obstaculizan el apoyo de la población local para la conservación de leones. Nosotros analizamos 193 ataques de leones a humanos y conducimos encuestas a 73 pobladores locales para identificar los factores espaciales, temporales y sociales asociados con los conflictos entre leones y humanos en la región. Un promedio de 14.8 ataques por leones y 2.2 muertes causadas por leones ocurrieron anualmente entre 1978–91, la mayoría de los ataques (82%) ocurrieron en tierras privadas fuera de la reserva del bosque. Una sequía en 1987–91 precipitó un incremento en la tasa de los conflictos (de 7.3 a 40.0 ataques/año) y en la proporción de ataques ocurridos fuera de la reserva (de 75% a 87%). El patrón espacial de ataque de los leones no pudo ser distinguido del aleatorio antes de la sequía, mientras que los ataques después de la sequía pudieron ser agrupados en sub-distritos poblacionales con una relación tierras explotables: bordes de foresta más alta y aquellos más cercanos a sitios dónde los leones eran cebados para espectáculos turísticos. Los leones subadultos se vieron envueltos en conflictos en forma desproporcionada a su abundancia relativa. La mayoría de los pobladores encuestados expresaron su hostilidad hacia los leones debido al peligro de daños personales y pérdidas económicas (principalmente daños en el ganado) causados por los leones. La escalda de conflictos entre leones y humanos que siguió a la sequía, es probablemente el resultado de la combinación del incremento en la agresividad de los leones y la tendencia de los pobladores a llevar el ganado sobreviviente a sus moradas. Se reportó ampliamente una desatisfacción con respecto a la compensación que el gobierno brinda por la predación por leones del ganado. La presente estrategia para enfrentar los leones problemáticos, consistente en retornarlos a las áreas en el bosque de Gir que ya están saturadas con leones, es inadecuada, tal como lo indica el marcado incremento en el aumento de conflictos entre leones y humanos desde 1988. El prohibir que los leones sean cebados para los espectaculos turisticos, la consolidación de los límites de la reserva y la implementación de un sistema más equitativo y simple para compensar a los pobladores por el ganado perdido a causa de los leones puede mitigar en el corto plazo el conflicto entre leones y humanos en la región. Una mitigación a largo plazo podría implicar la reducción de la población de leones a través de la relocalización o eliminación de los leones menos aptos.
Conflicts between humans and predators are the product of socio-economic and political landscapes and are particularly controversial because the resources concerned have economic value and the predators involved are high profile and often legally protected. We surveyed the current literature for information on ecological and social factors common to human–predator–prey conflicts. We used this information to examine whether losses to predators and patterns of investment in husbandry could be linked to these factors. We found that livestock losses to predators were low and were negatively associated with net primary productivity and predator home range sizes, but were not affected by predator density, methods of husbandry or human population density. While there was no effect of husbandry on losses, variation in husbandry was explained by net primary productivity, predator density and percentage of stock killed by predators. Inconsistent and sparse data across conflicts may have limited our ability to identify important factors and resolve patterns, and suggests that there is no reliable or consistent framework for assessing and managing human–predator conflicts that involve game and livestock species. Our approach highlights the type of data that could be very informative to management if collected across a range of cases and habitats.
Human-carnivore conflict is manifested in the death of humans, livestock, and carnivores. The resulting negative local attitudes and retribution killings imperil the future of many endangered carnivores. We tailored existing management tools to create a framework to facilitate the selection of actions to alleviate human-carnivore conflict and applied the framework to the human-tiger conflict in the Bangladesh Sundarbans. We identified potential actions that consider previous management efforts, local knowledge, cost-effectiveness, fieldwork experience of authors and project staff, previous research on tiger ecology by the authors, and recommendations from human-carnivore conflict studies in other countries. Our framework includes creation of a profile to improve understanding of the nature of the conflict and its underlying causality. Identified actions include deterrents, education, direct tiger management, and response teams. We ranked actions by their potential to reduce conflict and the monetary cost of their implementation. We ranked tiger-response teams and monitoring problem tigers as the two best actions because both had relatively high impact and cost-effectiveness. We believe this framework could be used under a wide range of human-wildlife conflict situations because it provides a structured approach to selection of mitigating actions.
A common rule for the scaling of carnivore density
  • C Carbon
  • J L Gittelman
Carbon, C. and Gittelman, J. L. (2002). A common rule for the scaling of carnivore density, Science, 295, 2273-2276
Tiger attack in Sundarban: nature and victims, Banabithi: Journal of Forest Department, West Bengal, Wild Life Special Issue
  • C S Das
Das, C.S. (2002). Tiger attack in Sundarban: nature and victims, Banabithi: Journal of Forest Department, West Bengal, Wild Life Special Issue. 30-39.
An appraisal of the snake and snakebite in south 24-Parganas district
  • C S Das
Das, C.S. (1996). An appraisal of the snake and snakebite in south 24-Parganas district, West Bengal, Indian Journal of Landscape Systems and Ecological Studies, 19(1): 147-154.