New Article to the Bibliography


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Title: Wild Predators, Livestock, and Free Ranging Dogs: Patterns of
Livestock Mortality and Attitudes of People Toward Predators in an
Urbanizing Trans-Himalayan Landscape

Author: Pahuja, M., Sharma, R. K.

Abstract: Livestock depredation by large carnivores is a significant
source of conflicts over predators and an important conservation and
economic concern. Preventing livestock loss to wild predators is a
substantial focus of human-carnivore conflict mitigation programs. A key
assumption of the preventive strategy is reduction in the livestock
losses leading to a positive shift in the attitudes toward predators.
Therefore, it is important to quantify the true extent of livestock
mortality caused by wild predators and its influence on attitudes of the
affected communities. We examined seasonal and spatial patterns of
livestock mortality and factors influencing people’s attitudes toward
wild predators i.e., snow leopards (Panthera uncia) and wolves (Canis
lupus chanco) and free-ranging dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) in a
Trans-Himalayan urbanizing landscape in India. We used systematic
sampling to select the survey households and implemented a semi-
structured questionnaire to respondents. The sampled villages (n = 16)
represent a mosaic of urban and agricultural ecosystems within a radius
of 40 km of Leh town. In 2016–2017, 93% of the sampled households lost
livestock to predators, accounting for 0.93 animals per household per
year. However, of the total events of livestock mortality, 33% were
because of weather/natural events, 24% by snow leopards, 20% because of
disease, 15% because of free-ranging dogs and 9% because of wolves. The
annual economic loss per household because of livestock mortality was
USD 371, a substantial loss given the average per capita income of USD
270 in the region. Of the total loss, weather/natural events caused
highest loss of USD 131 (35%), followed by snow leopards USD 91 (25%),
disease USD 87 (24%), free ranging dogs USD 48 (13%), and wolves USD 14
(4%). Despite losing a considerable proportion of livestock (33 %) to
wild predators, respondents showed a positive attitude toward them but
exhibited neutral attitudes toward fre
e-ranging dogs. Gender emerged as the most important determinant of
attitudes toward wild predators, with men showing higher positive
attitude score toward wild predators than women. Our findings highlight
the context specific variation in human-wildlife interactions and
emphasize that generalizations must be avoided in the absence of site
specific evidence.


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