Understanding people’s responses toward predators in the Indian Himalaya

S. Bhatia*, K. Suryawanshi, S. M. Redpath, C. Mishra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research on human–wildlife interactions has largely focused on the magnitude of wildlife-caused damage, and the patterns and correlates of human attitudes and behaviors. We assessed the role of five pathways through which various correlates potentially influence human responses toward wild animals, namely, value orientation, social interactions (i.e. social cohesion and support), dependence on resources such as agriculture and livestock, risk perception and nature of interaction with the wild animal. We specifically evaluated their influence on people’s responses toward two large carnivores, the snow leopard Panthera uncia and the wolf Canis lupus in an agropastoral landscape in the Indian Trans-Himalaya. We found that the nature of the interaction (location, impact and length of time since an encounter or depredation event), and risk perception (cognitive and affective evaluation of the threat posed by the animal) had a significant influence on attitudes and behaviors toward the snow leopard. For wolves, risk perception and social interactions (the relationship of people with local institutions and inter-community dynamics) were significant. Our findings underscore the importance of interventions that reduce people’s threat perceptions from carnivores, improve their connection with nature and strengthen the conservation capacity of local institutions especially in the context of wolves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal Conservation
Early online date11 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • carnivores
  • Himalaya
  • human attitudes to wildlife
  • human–wildlife conflict
  • human–wildlife relationships
  • risk perception
  • tolerance
  • value orientation
  • WOLVES
  • HUMAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT
  • human-wildlife conflict
  • PROTECTED AREA
  • ATTITUDES
  • COEXISTENCE
  • LARGE CARNIVORES
  • CONSERVATION
  • human-wildlife relationships
  • LOCAL PEOPLE
  • WOLF
  • PERCEPTIONS

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