• 14 June 2024

Silent Predators: Counting the Cost of India’s Wildlife Encounters

Jan 25, 2024

“Silent Predators: Counting the Cost of India’s Wildlife Encounters” delves into a crucial study conducted by the Centre for Wildlife Studies and the University of British Columbia. This research explores the impacts of human-wildlife conflicts on communities living near protected areas in India. The study sheds light on the human costs of these encounters, emphasizing the need for better understanding, compensation, and conservation strategies.

Silent Predators(Tiger):Human-Wildlife conflicts

Research Study and Participants:

  • Conducted by the Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) and the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada. Utilizes historical and contemporary vignettes related to key species that encroach into human cultivation and habitation spaces.

Dominant Costs of Human-Wildlife Conflict:

  • According to the study, human death and injury constitute the primary costs of human-wildlife conflict in India.
  • Inadequate state compensation for these incidents remains a significant concern.
  • Primary costs are human death and injury, according to the study.
  • Raises concerns about inadequate state compensation in India.
  • Surveyed 5,196 households within a 10-kilometer buffer zone around 11 protected areas in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra.
  • Aimed to estimate human costs related to conflicts with 15 common wildlife species in India.
  • Farmers facing negative interactions with elephants incur damages 600-900 times more than those with other costly herbivores like pigs and nilgai.
  • Negative interaction with a tiger results in damages 3 times higher than those caused by a leopard and 100 times higher than a wolf.
  • Elephant interactions pose significant financial burdens on farmers, highlighting the need for targeted interventions.
  • Tiger encounters result in notably higher damages compared to leopards and wolves.
  • Farmers facing wildlife conflicts, especially with elephants and tigers, experience substantial economic losses, emphasizing the need for sustainable solutions.
Silent Predators:Human-Wildlife conflicts

Diverse Nature of Human-Wildlife Encounters:

  • Human-wildlife encounters range along a continuum from negative to positive engagements.
  • Protracted conflict with wildlife reflects violence across rural and urban ecologies in India.
  • In India, conflicts with wildlife reflect violence across rural and urban environments, highlighting the complexity of human-non-human interactions.
  • Protracted conflict with wildlife in India is just one aspect of the broader spectrum of ongoing human-non-human encounters.
  • Shared spaces witness elements of acceptance, tolerance, and reverence, influenced by context, lived experiences, worldviews, and a moral economy.

Focus of Conservation Management:

  • Prioritize reducing human deaths and injuries in wildlife interactions for effective conservation.
  • Center conservation management in India on preserving wild animals and habitats.
  • Recognize the crucial role of wildlife resources for human survival, leading to global interest and research.
  • Address severe pressure on wildlife habitats through urgent conservation efforts.
  • Emphasize the critical importance of effective conservation measures for endangered species.
  • Recognize the interconnectedness between wildlife preservation and human well-being.
  • Integrate the conservation and management of protected areas as essential components.
  • Focus on natural resource conservation and protection of endangered species within protected areas.
  • Highlight urgency in conserving a large number of endangered wild fauna species.
  • Present statistics on the total area and distribution of protected regions in India.
  • Provide data on the number and conservation status of species protected within these areas.
  • Investigate human-wildlife conflicts and enhance conservation efforts in conflict-prone areas.
  • Examine the economic impact and losses due to conflicts between humans and wildlife.
  • Evaluate the success rates of conservation programs in different Indian regions.
  • Assess the effectiveness of strategies employed to conserve specific species and their habitats.
  • Allocate the government budget specifically for wildlife conservation.
  • Compare financial resources allocated to different conservation projects and their outcomes.

Compensation Disparities:

  • Compensation for human death varies across states, ranging from Rs.76,400 in Haryana to Rs.8,73,995 in Maharashtra.
  • Nationally, the average compensation for human death is Rs.1,91,437, while it is Rs.6,185 for an injury.

Call for Policy Emphasis:

  • The findings underscore the importance of policies that address the human costs of wildlife encounters, emphasizing the need for adequate compensation and risk reduction strategies.

Holistic Understanding of Human-Non-Human Encounter:

  • Human-wildlife conflict is recognized as one aspect of the broader spectrum of ongoing human-non-human encounters in India.

Research Insight for Conservation:

  • The study provides valuable insights for conservation efforts, guiding a more comprehensive approach to managing human-wildlife interactions in India.


In examining the toll of wildlife encounters in India, the study underscores the dominant costs of human death and injury. It calls for urgent attention to inadequate state compensation and emphasizes the importance of conservation efforts that prioritize human safety. By highlighting the disparities in compensation and offering insights into the diverse nature of human-wildlife encounters, the study serves as a valuable resource for shaping policies that foster coexistence and reduce the impact of these silent predators on communities.

Also, read https://thelogicalpie.com/human-animal-bonds10-heartwarming-stories-of-animal-companionship/worl

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