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Human-animal conflict

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Environment Conservation


Source: Indian Express

Context: The article gives a few data points on Human-Animal Conflict. No need to remember, just notice the trend, and reasons for such conflicts and note down unique solutions and case studies in your notes.


  • Elephant: Between 2018-19 and 2020-21, 222 elephants were killed by electrocution across the country, 45 by trains, 29 by poachers and 11 by poisoning.
  • Tigers: Among tigers, too, 29 were killed by poaching between 2019 and 2021, while 197 tiger deaths are under scrutiny.
  • Human casualties: Elephants killed 1,579 humans in three years — 585 in 2019-20

(most in Odisha) and Tigers killed 125 humans (2019- 2021)- most in Maharastra.

Definition: Human-wildlife conflict refers to the interaction between wild animals and people and the resultant negative impact on people or their resources or wild animals or their habitat. It occurs when growing human/animal populations overlap with established wildlife/human territory, creating a reduction of resources or life for some people and/or wild animals.

 Reasons for the conflict: Main causes of human-wildlife conflict include habitat loss, growth of the population of wild animals, changing cropping patterns that attract wild animals to farmlands, movement of wild animals from forests area to human-dominated landscapes for food and fodder, movement of human beings to forests for illegal collection of forest produce, habitat degradation due to the growth of invasive alien species, etc.

 Suggestions and Way forward

  • A Future For All Report 2021 report jointly published by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was titled: A future for all – the need for human-wildlife co-existence.
    • The report suggests an approach of coexistence between humans and wildlife, and involvement of local communities, as it is not possible to wholly suppress human-wildlife conflict.

Case study: Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area in Southern Africa; the local communities installed fixed and mobile lion-proof corrals for night-time protection in risk-prone areas, which led to a 95% reduction in livestock killings in 2016, and there were zero retaliatory killings of lions in 2016 (compared to 17 killed in 2012 and 2013).

  • Community Participation: The full participation of local communities can help reduce HWC and lead to coexistence between humans and wildlife.
    • Periodic awareness campaigns to sensitize guide and advise the general public on man-animal conflict, including dissemination of information through various forms of media.
    • It is necessary to include positive interactions, coexistence, and attitudes of tolerance toward wildlife.
  • Skill-development programs for people living in and around the forest would offer them better opportunities for self-employment and consequently reduce the combined pressures on agricultural land as well as forest land.
  • Specific targets for coexistence must be key elements within the Global Biodiversity Framework of the CBD.
    • Global leaders such as those at the CoP work hand-in-hand with local communities and other stakeholders across Asia and the world to secure a future in which Wildlife and people live in harmony.
  • Implementing Wildlife Institute of India Guidelines “Eco-Friendly Measures to Mitigate Impacts of linear infrastructure on Wildlife”
    • These guidelines suggest modification in the designs of the linear infrastructures by way of providing an eco-friendly structure that will ensure the safe movement of wildlife across these linear infrastructures.


Insta Links

Human-Animal Conflict


Practice Questions

Q. Conflict between people and animals is one of the main threats to the continued survival of many species. Analyse the causes behind rising cases of man-animal conflict. (15M)