What is Human-Wildlife Conflict?
Human-wildlife conflict refers to the negative interactions and conflicts that arise between humans and wildlife when their interests and activities overlap. It occurs when wildlife species come into close proximity with human settlements, agricultural areas, or infrastructure, leading to detrimental consequences for both humans and wildlife.
Human-wildlife conflict is a significant problem for several reasons:
Livelihood and Food Security: Wildlife can cause damage to crops, livestock, and agricultural infrastructure, resulting in economic losses for farmers and communities. For people dependent on agriculture or livestock for their livelihoods, such conflicts can threaten their food security and income.
Threats to Human Safety: In some cases, wildlife species can pose direct threats to human safety. Predatory animals, such as lions, leopards, or crocodiles, may attack humans, leading to injuries or even fatalities. Elephants can also cause accidents or damage property when they venture into human-populated areas.
Conservation Challenges: Human-wildlife conflict can create negative perceptions towards wildlife, leading to retaliatory killings or illegal hunting of problematic species. This can pose a significant threat to wildlife conservation efforts and biodiversity preservation.
Disruption of Ecosystem Balance: Human-wildlife conflict can disturb the delicate balance of ecosystems. Overexploitation of resources, such as killing predators or disrupting natural habitats, can have cascading effects on other species and the overall ecosystem health.