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Human-Wildlife Conflict in High Altitude: a case from Gaurishankar Conservation Area (968 m – 7181m amsl), Nepal
  • +16
  • Abhinaya Pathak,
  • Saneer Lamichhane,
  • Maheshwar Dhakal,
  • Ajay Karki,
  • Chetri Madhu,
  • Jeffrey Mintz,
  • Prakash Pun,
  • Pramila Neupane,
  • Tulasi Dahal,
  • Trishna Rayamajhi,
  • Prashamsa Paudel,
  • Pramod Regmi,
  • Shankar Thami,
  • Ganesh Thapa,
  • Ashim Thapa,
  • Suraj Khanal,
  • Supriya Lama,
  • Jenisha Karki,
  • Arockia Ferdin
Abhinaya Pathak
Ministry of Forest and Environment, Nepal

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Saneer Lamichhane
Birat Environment Service
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Maheshwar Dhakal
DNPWC
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Ajay Karki
DNPWC
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Chetri Madhu
GCAP
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Jeffrey Mintz
USGS
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Prakash Pun
GCA
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Pramila Neupane
GCA
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Tulasi Dahal
National Trust for Nature Conservation
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Trishna Rayamajhi
Cornell University
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Prashamsa Paudel
Tribhuvan University
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Pramod Regmi
National Trust for Nature Conservation
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Shankar Thami
GCAP
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Ganesh Thapa
Division Forest Office
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Ashim Thapa
DNPWC
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Suraj Khanal
KAFCOL
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Supriya Lama
KAFCOL
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Jenisha Karki
KAFCOL
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Arockia Ferdin
NDHU
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Abstract

The human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is a serious problem that affects both human and wildlife populations worldwide. This study investigates the prevalence and increasing trend of HWC in the Gaurishankar Conservation Area (GCA) of Nepal, with a specific focus on leopard (Panthera pardus) and Himalayan black bear (Ursus thibetanus laniger) as conflict-causing species. The study analyzes a decade of HWC data and identifies goats as the livestock most targeted by leopards. The Dolakha district of GCA experiences the highest number of conflicts, highlighting the need for mitigation measures in the area. In GCA, livestock attacks alone accounted for 85% of compensation, with the remaining 15% for human injuries. Annual attack reports have shown a significant increase, with a 33% rise year-on-year. The rule change in 2076 BS led to 57 more attacks than expected based on the previous year’s growth. While bear attacks showed no significant change post-rule alteration (t = 0.725, p = 0.5105), leopard attack reports surged from 1 to 60 annually, indicating a significant increase in reporting rates (t = 9.77, p = 0.0097). The findings emphasize the economic impact of HWC on local communities and suggest strategies such as increasing prey populations, promoting community education and awareness, enhancing alternative livelihood options such as eco-tourism, and implementing secure enclosures (corrals) to minimize conflicts and foster harmonious coexistence. This research addresses a knowledge gap in HWC in high-altitude conservation areas like the GCA, providing valuable insights for conservation stakeholders and contributing to biodiversity conservation and the well-being of both humans and wildlife. Keywords: Human-wildlife conflict; High altitude, Leopard; Himalayan black bear; Gaurishankar Conservation Area; Conservation intervention; Co-existence
16 Oct 2023Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
17 Oct 2023Assigned to Editor
17 Oct 2023Submission Checks Completed
25 Oct 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
09 Nov 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
14 Nov 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor