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Are conflict-causing tigers different? Another perspective for understanding human-tiger conflict in Chitwan National Park, Nepal
- Lamichhane, B.R., Persoon, G.A., Leirs, H., Musters, C.J.M., Subedi, N., Gairhe, K.P., Pokheral, C.P., Poudel, S., Mishra, R., Dhakal, M., Smith, J.L.D., de Iongh, H.H.
- Global ecology and conservation 2017 v.11 pp. 177-187
- Panthera tigris, camera trapping, early warning systems, human-wildlife relations, humans, livestock, national parks, people, probability, risk reduction, Nepal
- 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.