Spatio–temporal pattern of human leopard conflict and mitigation strategy in Baitadi district, mid–hills of Nepal
Keywords:Conservation, habitat management, human–wildlife conflict, mitigation strategy
Human–wildlife conflict is increasing globally, particularly in the areas, where wildlife and humans coexist and share resources. Large mammalian predators such as common leopards not only kill livestock but they are also killing humans. Baitadi is among the top ranked districts in Nepal in terms of number of human common leopard conflict events in last 10 years. The fieldwork for this study was carried out between January and June 2020 in the villages of Bishalpur, Udayadev, Pancheshor and Aamchaura of Baitadi district. Field observation, questionnaire survey, key informant interview and literature review were used for the data collection. Our study found that common leopards killed 23 and injured eight people between 2011 and 2019 in the district. In retaliation, people killed 26 common leopards in the same period, which must have spelt disaster for these rare cats. Despite the increasing number of conflict events, the local people, in general, were found to have positive attitude towards wildlife conservation. Therefore, improved prey species management, awareness raising among the local people and detailed study on habitat assessment, population status of leopards and their prey species are the urgent needs for the mitigation of human common leopard conflict in the district.
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