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Open AccessArticle

Spatial Concentrations of Wildlife Attacks on Humans in Chitwan National Park, Nepal

1
Department of Environmentalistics and Natural Resources, Mendel University in Brno, 60200 Brno, Czech Republic
2
Department of Parks Recreation and Wildlife Management, Institute of Forestry, Tribhuvan University, Pokhara 44618, Nepal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(1), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010153
Received: 15 November 2019 / Revised: 18 December 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2020 / Published: 16 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
Wildlife attacks on people in and around protected areas, where the same resources are shared by both people and wildlife, are one of the major conservation challenges in getting effective public support. This empirical study contributed to new understanding of wildlife attacks on people in the landscape of Chitwan National Park (CNP) and its neighborhood based on quantitative survey data from 2003–2013. The results show that the majority of wildlife attacks occurred in forests and cultivated land where people mostly unaware of the behavior of animals were attacked. Mostly the concentration of the attacks occurred in less than one victim per km2. A relatively important correlation between land use and animal attacks is visible in the cases of the sloth bear and the leopard. The typical land use structure of sloth bear attacks with more than one victim per 2 km2 is given by the dominant percentage of cultivated land, forest, and sandy areas. The remarkably high bear density is due to a relatively high percentage of water bodies, grass land and bush land preferred by the bear. Potential attacks can be reduced through effective management of park and buffer zones, and concerned authorities should also provide education about species-specific behavior of animal attacks.
The study was conducted within and adjacent to Chitwan National Park in Nepal (CNP), where several wildlife species are involved in conflicts with humans. We assessed the spatial relationships between the number of victims/km2 (=victim density or VD) of attack by wildlife (elephant, rhino, wild boar, sloth bear, leopard or tiger) versus landscape features, including both natural habitat type and land use by humans (e.g., nursery, orchard or cultivated). We identified four levels of VD, ranging from <1 V (victim)/4 km2 to >1 V/2 km2 for each land use zone, then tested for correlations at one or more of those VD between each pair of wildlife species across different land use types. Our results high correlation for sloth bear and leopard (r ≈ 0.8), for all species except elephant and wild boar at VD > 1 V/4 km2 (r > 0.9) and for leopard vs. rhinoceros (r = 0.99) across land use types at 1 V/4 km2) indicate some risk-reduction measures. One of them would be division of each buffer zone into three concentric rings, for instance ranging from high-risk adjacent areas to areas of high use by humans, to low-risk where human use is low. This revision would facilitate giving local people more voice in implementing conservation measures and reducing risks. View Full-Text
Keywords: conservation management; GIS modelling; land use; victims’ density estimation; wildlife attacks conservation management; GIS modelling; land use; victims’ density estimation; wildlife attacks
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ruda, A.; Kolejka, J.; Silwal, T. Spatial Concentrations of Wildlife Attacks on Humans in Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Animals 2020, 10, 153.

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