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Man-Animal Interaction: Conflict & Coexistance

Canada Wolverine Offline
( This post was last modified: 12-22-2018, 12:57 PM by Wolverine )

Indian wolf who stack its head inside a bottle was rescued near Nagpur

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author
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India Sanju Offline
( This post was last modified: 12-23-2018, 05:56 PM by Sanju )

Why there’s no conflict between wolves and shepherds in these Koppal villages
Mohit M.Rao  December 22, 2018 16:33 IST Updated: December 21, 2018 17:39 IST

*This image is copyright of its original author

The wolf today wanders across 86% of Koppal’s plains   | Photo Credit: M.R. Desai
Excellent story!!!!! Need a lot like this in India.
Uniquely, there is no culture of conflict between wolves and shepherds in these Koppal villages. One of the most great inspirational, kind and moral people.

The black soil rolls on for as far as the eye can see. In the distance, a herd of blackbuck grazing on a wilting groundnut crop stops and looks up nervously at our vehicle. In a flash they are gone, disappearing into the water channels that criss-cross the flat landscape.
I am in Sanganhal village in Karnataka’s Koppal district, where until recently, it was believed that larger fauna didn’t exist. Even now, for the forest department, the district is of little significance. Just over 5% of the geographical area is forest land, none of it declared protected area.

But in reality the district teems with wildlife.

Quote:According to a Wildlife Conservation Society study that concluded earlier this month, there are striped hyena, wild bore, sloth bear and the occasional leopard. Less than a century ago, the "Asiatic cheetah" used to zip down Koppal’s plains. The animal is extinct now. And today, it is the wolf that is the apex predator that wanders across 86% of this land. And this canine is wildlife ‘hero’ for the Deccan Conservation Foundation.

“I thought wolves disappeared in the 70s,” says founder Indrajit Ghorpade who had last seen one here as a child. And then in 2014, he spotted a majestic wolf on a mud embankment, and managed to get a shot of the animal: its triangular ears perked in rapt attention, its buff coat blending with the soil, its short tail limp. Inspired by the sighting, Ghorpade formed the foundation, determined to protect this species. A 2005 survey had estimated that just 25 wolves remained in Koppal.
The organisation reached out to villagers, set up camera traps, and in the next three years, helped prevent 12 instances of poaching and illegal quarrying.

Part of life
It helped that in Koppal wolves are an intrinsic part of cultural beliefs. Shepherds form one of the major pillars of the local economy, and they are unusually tolerant of these carnivores even though they often prey on their livestock, something that would have led to conflict elsewhere.

Quote:“One third of our flock is for god (losses through disease), one third is for us, and one-third is for wolves,” says Durganna. He lost a sheep to wolves just a few months ago. Wolves, he says, only eat the weakest of the flock, therefore determining natural selection and ensuring only the strong continue to breed. The presence of wolves, adds Durganna, “keeps sheep vigilant and healthy because they are constantly on the move.” Good muscle mass means that they fetch more in the market compared to their “lazier” counterparts from the “wolf-devoid” southern Karnataka. Wow

Quote:“Such cultural attitudes made it easier to get people on our side,” says Ghorpade, who has now recruited a group of villagers to keep a close eye on the wildlife, much in the way a forest guard does. The paid information network is now more than six strong. Wow

Project manager Vinay Shankar points to a pile of rocks by a vast line of windmills in Mandalmari village. “This den is where wolves nurse their young, after two months, they shift to another den,” he explains.
On the other side of the windmills is a dry channel, called twallahalla in Kannada, or ‘wolf stream’. The dense shrubs on its banks provide shelter to the wolves: 15 wolves in two packs have been camera-trapped here.

Enough for everyone
The foundation’s intervention has helped not just the wolves but other species too. In 2015, one peacock was spotted; by 2018, it was 20.
Grey francolin, a ground breeding bird once trapped for meat, can now be seen in significant numbers in the bushes.

Striped hyenas, monitor lizards, palm civet, rusty spotted cat, jungle cat and ruddy mongoose have been captured on camera traps.
There is a cultural acceptance of the wolf’s wild prey base too — blackbuck, for instance.

Quote:“If there is a good crop, we don’t mind if blackbuck eat from our fields. There is enough for them and for us,” says Yamanur Saab, a groundnut farmer from Sanganhal. Wow

It’s this "culture" of co-existence that makes the place ideally suited for wolf conservation, the foundation believes.

Quote:“If the tiger is the symbol of the Western Ghats, then wolves can be the symbol of Koppal,” says Ghorpode. All we need from the forest department is a plan to protect them from poaching and mining.
When Need turns to Greed, our Extinction happens.
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Canada Wolverine Offline

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author

Finland Shadow Offline

Future zoologist with firm hands. Watch and learn Wink


United States smedz Offline
Regular Member
( This post was last modified: 02-20-2019, 10:23 PM by Rishi )

Found this a while back, you could say this is the tigers way of saying, " We're helping you out, so can you stop killing us please?"

The ecological benefit of tigers (Panthera tigris) to farmers in reducing crop and livestock losses in the eastern Himalayas: Implications for conservation of large apex predators
Phuntsho Thinleya, Rajanathan Rajaratnamb, James P. Lassoiec, Stephen J. Morrealec, Paul D. Curtisc, Karl Vernesd, Leki Lekie, Sonam Phuntshoe, Tshering Dorjie, Pema Dorjiem

Attached Files
.pdf   pt1213.pdf (Size: 641.44 KB / Downloads: 8)
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India Sanju Offline
( This post was last modified: 02-21-2019, 08:33 AM by Sanju )

(Click to Play)
Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS India)

Wild Seve an initiative by the Centre for Wildlife Studies and Dr Krithi Karanth helps villages facing human-wildlife conflicts around Nagarhole and Bandipur. To learn more about how they have helped over 600 villages and filed 13,000 cases, watch the video!

See the first map of Man-Wildlife Conflict of India. Very insightful.
When Need turns to Greed, our Extinction happens.
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India Rishi Offline

Proper & commendable management initiatives being conducted by Gujarat Forest Dept. in Mahisagar district, where a tiger had arrived from Madhya Pradesh in August 2018.

The forest cover of the region being fragmented & sparse, they have deployed over 200 personnel. Forest officials in Mahisagar district have initiated awareness drive at village level. A training camp has also been organized for forest department staffers to help them deal during an encounter with the tiger.

The forest department has started distributing pamphlets and is guiding villagers about the dos and don’ts in the forest region of the district. “The villagers have encountered leopard several times in the past, but tiger is a new animal for them. It is important that they remain alert even as the tiger has not harmed them in past couple of months of its presence in the region,” said a forest official adding that they are also making sure that sure that people do not harm the tiger if they encounter it.

Residents have been asked to avoid going in the forest area after sunset and move around only in a group. It has been advised to people living near the forest area to not sleep in open and install fences around their houses.

Besides the toll free number of the forest department, mobile phone numbers of senior forest officials have also been given to villagers for contacting them in emergency situations.
"Everything not saved will be lost."

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Germany Lycaon Online
Regular Member

 Aditya Panchasara

A picture with thousands words.

This may lead to serious incidents which may called conflict of human and animals

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Switzerland Spalea Online
Wildanimal Lover

Numerous traffic jam because of lions on the road into a big African park. More revealing about us than about lions.

From "Adventure Films"...

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India Sanju Offline
( This post was last modified: 03-23-2019, 11:26 PM by Sanju )

In India, leopards and humans increasingly clash as wild spaces disappear and human-populated areas grow—but not in Bera.

This Indian community welcomes leopards
Devotees of Shiva, the god of wild things, the people of Bera have figured out how to coexist with one of India’s most feared predators—the leopard.
6 Minute Read

The odds of seeing a leopard in Bera, in northwestern India, are 90 percent, says Shatrunjay Pratap, a wine-maker-turned-conservationist and wildlife cameraman. At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking he was off his trolley. Not only is this not a wildlife reserve, it’s a region teeming with villagers and livestock—not the usual compadres of large predators.

Yet this pastoral region of just less than eight square miles in the Aravalli hills between the tourist meccas of Udaipur and Jodhpur contains the largest concentration of leopards on the planet. Some fifty leopards live here in rocky outcrops that rise amongst the irrigated fields and thorny desert scrub.

“Visitors can’t believe it,” says Pratap, who runs a homestay for leopard-seeking tourists. “We have people coming who have spent years on safari in Africa and never seen a leopard, and within an hour or two of them arriving here, we’ve shown them a leopard, sometimes even two.

The leopards’ conspicuous presence is due to a unique relationship with the Rabari villagers. The Rabari, a tribal caste of semi-nomadic cattle herders and shepherds believed to have migrated to Rajasthan from Iran via Afghanistan a thousand years ago, are devout Hindus. In particular, they’re devotees of Shiva—the god of wild things, who’s clad in a leopard skin.

The continent of India is home to as many as 14,000 leopards, up from a historical low of 6,000 to 7,000 in the 1960s. Leopards, like all wildlife in India, are protected by law—a reflection, in theory at least, of the Hindu tenet of ahimsa, or non-violence. But as leopard numbers increase, human-leopard conflicts have also risen.

Between 1995 and 2017, the nonprofit Wildlife Protection Society of India recorded 4,373 leopards killed. They were either poached for the illegal trade in body parts for medicines and aphrodisiacs or killed by farmers and villagers out of fear or retaliation for attacks on livestock.

In Bera, however, attitudes couldn’t be more different. When leopards occasionally vault into a livestock pen at night, dragging away a precious calf, goat or sheep, villagers are content to claim the modest recompense the State Forestry Department provides. They’ll get about $28 for a goat or sheep, $70 for a calf, and $280 for a bull or a camel—less than half the market price. Sometimes, they don’t even do this, considering the kill an offering to the god.

“If any leopard kills my livestock, Lord Shiva will give me double,” says Kesa Ram, 27, a herdsman and part-time leopard tracker for tourists.
Mutual Understanding

The leopards, in turn, seem to consider humans no threat. While, elsewhere in India, some 90 to a hundred are killed and nearly a thousand people are injured by leopards every year. But despite the high concentration of leopards, there’ve been no attacks on people in Bera for over a century, apart from one unfortunate incident 20 years or so ago when a leopard snatched a one-year-old in Vellar village. The girl’s family, however, considers themselves to blame, having left her wrapped in a bundle out in the open, near the cattle shed, late in the evening. When they shouted, the leopard dropped the child and ran off.

Santosh Kunwar Chauhan, now 24, and her family are undaunted by her brush with the predator, believing it even auspicious, the canine marks on her neck a talisman. She’s nicknamed Setri—the local word for a female leopard. Convinced the leopard made a genuine mistake, the villagers of Vellar still allow their children to play out in the open.

Close to a village temple, a female leopard waits for nightfall, when she’ll seek out a feral dog, goat, or calf as prey. When a village loses livestock to a leopard, they see it as an offering to the god Shiva.

It’s an astonishingly forgiving response in a country where poisoned meat is routinely left out for leopards and tigers that stray into farmland and villages. Many Rabari believe it is their dharma—their religious duty—to respect wildlife, feeding wild peacocks and langur monkeys at temples, for example.
But there’s a practical element too. The leopards’ presence is welcomed for keeping neelgai antelope, wild boar, and chinkara (Indian gazelles) away from crops of cotton, maize, wheat, mustard, and groundnut.

With livestock easy pickings, and a plentiful supply of stray dogs (the leopards’ standard fare), numbers of leopards are higher amongst the ten villages of Bera than on any wildlife reserve. One female recently raised a litter of four, thought to be a world record. Behavior is different, too. Leopards are generally loners, but in Bera it’s possible to see as many as five adult leopards together.

A favorite leopard haunt is a cave adjoining a small temple set 30 feet up in the crevice of a rocky outcrop. The evening we visited, villagers were climbing the steps with offerings, unconcerned that a young male leopard was emerging from the shadows with his sister. Just as nonchalantly, the leopards padded across the mouth of the cave and flopped down on a lookout rock. Fully grown, yet still playful, they rubbed muzzles and swatted each other with soft paws.

They seemed indifferent to our vehicle and two others from a neighboring camp that had joined us, but at 7:30 p.m. we backed off and left them to it. The curfew is self-imposed by the Rabari, who have a saying: “The day belongs to humans, but nights belong to the leopard.”

Local Businesses Versus Hotel Industry
Tourism is still low-key here and welcomed by villagers. Men are employed as trackers and alert hotels to leopard sightings. Women work in hotels as housekeepers, maids, and cooks, earning independent incomes for the first time. “With tourists coming to see the leopards, we women are starting to move out of our houses to work,” says Kesi Rabari, a 37-year-old housewife whose daughter works for Bera Safari Lodge. “Earlier our lives were just restricted to the fields.”
But word is getting out, and the big hotel industry is poised to move in. It’s a powerful economic force in India with strong connections to local government and the Forestry Department. Concerned about the impact on the landscape and their culture, the Rabari villages, aided by Pratap, are campaigning to have Bera designated a “community reserve,” only the second in India. It would ensure regulation—and income—remains in the hands of villagers.

A tourist watches a male leopard on the rocks nearby. Villages in Bera are seeking recognition as a community reserve so that they can maintain local control over the tourism sector, but already big hotel businesses are trying to move in.

“At the moment,” says Pratap, “You can expect to see maximum four or five tourist jeeps at a leopard sighting. It’s sustainable. But if we don’t get community reserve status, this site will go crazy. We’ll be overrun by overlanders and safari trucks charging in from every direction. Already, every year, three or four new hotels are built, and at the moment there’s no restriction where they build them. Obviously the sites they go for are the most scenic—the rocks where the leopards live.”

Under community reserve law, development within the area would be prohibited. The villagers would have the power to dictate the number and size of hotels serving the reserve and the number of jeeps allowed on safari at any one time. They would be able to enforce a nighttime curfew for leopard-watching and—crucially—ensure that locals continue to benefit from the jobs arising from tourism.

A pressing concern is that big hotels will import their own guides and staff. Marginalization of local people, Pratap argues, is where the national and state parks of India go wrong. Without the direct involvement of local communities acting as wildlife protectors, poaching, particularly of tigers and leopards, is rife.

As yet, though, the villagers’ petition for community reserve status to the chief minister of the government of Rajasthan, submitted in 2015, has been met with silence. According to Pratap, big hoteliers have been putting pressure on local government to “put the file to rest” and are trying to convince villagers that it’s in their interest to work with the industry rather than push for their own reserve. Almost all 21 villages in Bera had originally petitioned for the community reserve, but several villages have changed their minds. The longer the file sits unanswered in local government offices, the harder it will be to get a community reserve off the ground, Pratap believes.

“When we are demonstrating how well we can do as guardians of the leopards,” says Pratap, “why can’t we keep this place in the hands of the community, as an example to the world about co-existence?”
When Need turns to Greed, our Extinction happens.
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