Assessment of changes over a decade in the patterns of livestock depredation by the Himalayan Brown Bear in Ladakh, India

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Aishwarya Maheshwari
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6338-4254
A. Arun Kumar
Sambandam Sathyakumar

Abstract

Conflicts between large carnivores and shepherds constitute a major socio-ecological concern across the Himalaya and affects community attitudes and tolerance toward carnivores. We assessed the extent and intensity of Human-Brown Bear interactions in the same villages of Zanskar and Suru Valleys, Ladakh, in the Indian Trans-Himalaya during two time periods (2001–2003 and 2009–2012) through field and questionnaire surveys. During 2001–2003, 180 families of 32 villages in Zanskar, and 232 families of 49 villages in Suru were interviewed, and during 2009–2012, 145 families of 23 villages in Zanskar and 115 families of 33 villages in Suru were interviewed. Overall, 475 (119/year) and 454 (151/year) heads of livestock were reportedly killed by Brown Bears. The surveys of 2009–2012 revealed that livestock predation in ‘doksas’ (summer grazing camps) was higher (68 %) compared to the surveys carried out during 2001–2003 (42 %). The increased livestock depredation in doksas might be due to the extended stay and use of pastures by the local communities during spring and autumn. Damage to property in the form of breaking open of doors and windows by Brown Bear were reported during both the surveys. Economic losses and declining tolerance of people may trigger retaliatory killings of Brown Bear in Ladakh. We recommend compensation for livestock loss and improved husbandry practices in the conflict zones for bear-human coexistence.

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
Maheshwari, A., Kumar, A.A. and Sathyakumar, S. 2021. Assessment of changes over a decade in the patterns of livestock depredation by the Himalayan Brown Bear in Ladakh, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 13, 7 (Jun. 2021), 18695–18702. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.7177.13.7.18695-18702.
Section
Communications

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