Negative human-wildlife interactions in traditional agroforestry systems in Assam, India

Main Article Content

Manoj Singh
Awadhesh Kumar
Madhubala Sharma


Traditional agroforestry systems are designed to provide maximum and diverse yield (ranging from agricultural crops, forest trees, livestock and fish) to people.  They also act as sources of food and shelter to wild animals leading to crop destruction, livestock depredation and injuries to people giving rise to negative human-wildlife interactions.  The present study was carried out in three different agroforestry systems namely tea gardens, homegardens, and agrisilvicultural systems in Assam to document the attitude of people towards wild animals which damage the crops and livestock, through questionnaire surveys.  In agroforestry systems, 13 animals were reported as destructive; rodents at 13% followed by Indian Hare at 12%.  The least destructive were birds and bats with 4% each.  In tea gardens majority of the people killed animals for meat (95%) and the most common method for killing was the use of catapults (77%).  In homegardens and agrisilvicultural systems, owners chased the animals away (82%) by using catapults (68%).  Hunting of animals and intolerance of people towards crop destruction and livestock depredation done by wild animals were the two main reasons causing negative human-wildlife interactions in agroforestry systems.  The present study concludes that wildlife species found in the agroforestry system in Assam were threatened by local inhabitants and thus, a suitable conservation awareness and policy action plan should be developed in consultation with the owners of agroforestry systems by considering the ecological significance of the wildlife species found therein.

Article Details

How to Cite
Yashmita-Ulman, Singh, M., Kumar, A. and Sharma, M. 2020. Negative human-wildlife interactions in traditional agroforestry systems in Assam, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 12, 10 (Jul. 2020), 16230–16238. DOI:


Ahire, M. & B. Kumar (2006). Training needs of rural girls. The Allahabad Farmer 11: 28–33.

Aiyadurai, A. (2007). Pheasant hunting: a cultural practice in Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India. The International Newsletter of the World Pheasant Association 79: 6–7.

Aiyadurai, A. (2011). Wildlife hunting and conservation in Northeast India: a need for an interdisciplinary understanding. International Journal of Galliformes Conservation 2: 61–73.

Arlet, M.E. & F. Molleman (2010). Farmer’s perceptions of the impact of wildlife on small-scale cacao cultivation at the northern periphery of Dja Faunal Reserve, Cameroon. African Primates 7(1): 27–34.

Bal, P., C.D. Nath, K.M. Nanaya, C.G. Kushalappa & C. Garcia (2011). Erratum to: Elephants also like coffee: Trends and drivers of human-elephant conflicts in coffee agroforestry landscapes of Kodagu, Western Ghats, India. Environmental Management 48: 263–275. DOI:

Bandara, R. & C. Tisdell (2002). Asian elephants as agricultural pests: economics of control and compensation in Sri Lanka. Natural Resources Journal 42: 491–519.

Chartier, L., A. Zimmermann & R.J. Ladle (2011). Habitat loss and human-elephant conflict in Assam, India: does a critical threshold exist? Oryx 45(4): 528–533. DOI:

Chhangani, A.K., P. Robbins & S.M. Mahnot (2010). Major threats to the faunal diversity of Kumhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary in the Aravalli hills of Rajasthan. Indian Forester 136(10): 1410–1421.

Conover, M.R. (1994). Perceptions of grass-roots leaders of the agricultural community about wildlife damage on their farms and ranches. Wildlife Society Bulletin 22(1): 94–100.

Conover, M.R. & G.G. Chasko (1985). Nuisance Canada Goose Problems in the Eastern Unites States. Wildlife Society Bulletin 13(3): 228–233.

Datta, A. (2002). Status of hornbills and hunting among tribal communities in eastern Arunachal Pradesh. Unpublished report. Wildlife Conservation Society and WCS-India Program, Bangalore, India, 72pp.

Datta, A., R. Naniwadekar & M.O. Anand (2008). Occurrence and conservation status of small carnivores in two protected areas in Arunachal Pradesh. Small Carnivore Conservation 39: 1–10.

Gillingham, S. & P.C. Lee (2003). People and protected areas: a study of local perceptions of wildlife crop-damage conflict in an area bordering the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania. Oryx 37(3): 316–325. DOI:

Gubbi, S. & M. Linkie (2012). Wildlife hunting patterns, techniques, and profile of hunters in and around Periyar Tiger Reserve. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 109(3): 165–172.

Hill, C.M. (1997). Crop-raiding by wild vertebrates: the farmer’s perspective in an agricultural community in western Uganda. International Journal of Pest Management 43(1): 77–84. DOI:

Kumar, M.A., D. Mudappa, T.R.S. Raman & M.D. Madhusudan (2004). The elephant hills: Conservation of wild Asian elephants in a landscape of fragmented rainforests and plantations in the Anaimalais, India. CERC Technical Report No. 10, Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore, Karnataka, India. pp. 98.

Kumara, H.N., A.M. Kumar, A.K. Sharma, H.S. Sushma, M. Singh & M. Singh (2004). Diversity and management of wild mammals in tea gardens in the rain-forest regions of the Western Ghats, India: a case study from a tea estate in the Anaimalai hills. Current Science 87: 1282–1287.

Kushwaha, S.P.S. & R. Hazarika (2004). Assessment of habitat loss in Kameng and Sonitpur Elephant Reserves. Current Science 87: 1447–1453.

Lees, A.C. & C.A. Peres (2008). Avian life-history determinants of local extinction risk in a hyper-fragmented neotropical fragmented landscape. Animal Conservation 11: 128–137. DOI:

Lenz, J., W. Fiedler, T. Caprano, W. Friedrichs, B.H. Gaese, M. Wikelski & K. Bohning-Gaese (2011). Seed-dispersal distributions by trumpeter hornbills in fragmented landscapes. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 278: 2257–2264. DOI:

Lyngdoh, S., G.V. Gopi & B. Habib (2011). Hunting record of a Spotted Linsang Prionodon pardicolor from Lower Subansiri District, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Small Carnivore Conservation 44: 27–28.

Marchal, V. & C. Hill (2009). Primate crop-raiding: a study of local perceptions in four villages in North Sumatra, Indonesia. Primate Conservation 24: 107–116.

Mishra, C., M.D. Madhusudan & A. Datta (2006). Mammals of the high altitudes of western Arunachal Pradesh, eastern Himalaya: an assessment of threats and conservation needs. Oryx 40(1): 1–7. DOI:

Mueller, T., J. Lenz, T. Caprano, W. Fiedler & K. Bohning-Gaese (2014). Large frugivorous birds facilitate functional connectivity of fragmented landscapes. Journal of Applied Ecology 51: 684–692. DOI:

Namsa, N.D., M. Mandal & S. Tangjang (2011). Anti-malarial herbal remedies of northeast India, Assam: An ethnobotanical survey. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 133: 565–572. DOI:

Naughton-Treves, L. & A. Treves (2005). Socio-ecological factors shaping local support for wildlife: crop-raiding by elephants and other wildlife in Africa. In: Woodroffe, R., S. Thirgood & A. Rabinowitz (eds.). People and Wildlife: Conflict or co-existence? Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 497pp.

Naughton-Treves, L., J.L. Mena, A. Treves, N. Alvarez & V.C. Radeloff (2003). Wildlife survival beyond park boundaries: the impact of slash-and-burn agriculture and hunting on mammals in Tambopata, Peru. Conservation Biology 17(4): 1106–1117.

Nyhus, P.J., R. Tilson & Sumianto (2000). Crop-raiding elephants and conservation implications at Way Kambas National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia. Oryx 34(4): 262–274. DOI:

Pawar, S. & A. Birand (2001). A survey of amphibians, reptiles, and birds in Northeast India. In. Centre for Ecological Research and Conservation, Mysore, India, 118pp.

Santiapillai, C., S. Wijeyamohan, G. Bandara, R. Athurupana, N. Dissanayake & B. Read (2010). An assessment of the human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka. Ceylon Journal of Biological Science 39(1): 21–33. DOI:

Shrivastava, R.J. (2002). Natural resource use and park-people relations at Kaziranga National Park and world heritage site, India. M.Sc. Thesis, Florida International University, Miami, USA, 193pp.

Varma, S., N.X. Dang, T.V. Thanh & R. Sukumar (2008). The elephants Elephas maximus of Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam: status and conservation of a vanishing population. Oryx 42(1): 92–99. DOI:

Velho, N. & W.F. Laurance (2013). Hunting practices of an Indo-Tibetian buddhist tribe in Arunachal Pradesh, north-east India. Oryx 47(3): 389–392. DOI:

Wadley, R.L., C.J.P. Colfer & I.G. Hood (1997). Hunting primates and managing forests: the case of Iban forest farmers in Indonesian Borneo. Human Ecology 25(2): 243–271. DOI:

Wang, S.W., P.D. Curtis & J.P. Lassoie (2006). Farmer perceptions of crop damage by wildlife in Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park, Bhutan. Wildlife Society Bulletin 34(2): 359–365.[359:FPOCDB]2.0.CO;2

Weladji, R.B. & N.M. Tchamba (2003). Conflict between people and protected areas within the Bénoué Wildlife Conservation Area, North Cameroon. Oryx 37(1): 72–79. DOI:

Yashmita-Ulman, A. Kumar & M. Sharma (2017). Traditional homegarden agroforestry systems: habitat for conservation of Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus (Passeriformes: Ploceidae) in Assam, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 9(4): 10076–10083. DOI:

Yashmita-Ulman, M. Sharma & A. Kumar (2018). Agroforestry systems as habitat for avian species: Assessing its role in conservation. Proceedings of Zoological Society 71: 127–145. DOI:

Yashmita-Ulman, M. Singh, A. Kumar & M. Sharma (2020). Agroforestry systems: A boon or bane for mammal conservation in northeast India?. Proceedings of Zoological Society DOI: