This paper studies the human–wildlife interaction in Central Kerala, India, and attempts to understand local people’s attitude toward wildlife and conservation. Data were collected from April 2009 to March 2014. A structured questionnaire survey was carried out among people living in the fringe areas of the forest (n = 210). Self–reported household crop loss was modelled as a function of agricultural, demographic and environmental factors. Wild pig (Sus scrofa) (57.1 %) was the main crop foraging species, followed by Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) (12.9 %). It was reported that 36 % of farmers’ annual income was lost due to crop foraging by wild animals. Leopard (Panthera pardus) (69.76 %), Indian rock python (Python molurus) (13.95 %), dhole (Cuon alpinus) (9.3 %) and stray dogs (6.97 %) were responsible for the attacks on livestock. The factors that influenced crop loss according to the farmers were the extent of agriculture land that they owned (coefficient = 0.968), the distance to reserve forest from crop fields (–0.009), and age of respondents (0.78). Due to people’s awareness concerning the importance of wildlife, reports on human–wildlife interaction in the newspapers and strict enforcement of wildlife laws, people’s attitude towards conservation of wildlife was good, and they were not taking any negative precautions against wild animals.
Human–wildlife interaction, Wildlife conservation, Wildlife management
Reception date: 27 I 20 | Acceptation date: 24 III 21 | Publication date: 14 V 21
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