Commensal in conflict: Livestock depredation patterns by freeranging domestic dogs in the Upper Spiti Landscape, Himachal Pradesh, India

Home, Chandrima and Pal, Ranjana and Sharma, Rishi Kumar and Suryawanshi, Kulbhushansingh R. and Bhatnagar, Yash Veer and Vanak, Abi Tamin (2017) Commensal in conflict: Livestock depredation patterns by freeranging domestic dogs in the Upper Spiti Landscape, Himachal Pradesh, India. Ambio - A Journal of the Human Environment. ISSN 1654-7209

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Abstract

In human-populated landscapes worldwide, domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are the most abundant terrestrial carnivore. Although dogs have been used for the protection of livestock from wild carnivores, they have also been implicated as predators of livestock. We used a combination of methods (field surveys, interview surveys, and data from secondary sources) to examine the patterns and factors driving livestock depredation by free-ranging dogs, as well as economic losses to local communities in a Trans-Himalayan agropastoralist landscape in India. Our results show that livestock abundance was a better predictor of depredation in the villages than local dog abundance. Dogs mainly killed small-bodied livestock and sheep were the most selected prey. Dogs were responsible for the majority of livestock losses, with losses being comparable to that by snow leopards. This high level of conflict may disrupt community benefits from conservation programs and potentially undermine the conservation efforts in the region through a range of cascading effects.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Canis lupus familiaris � Economic loss � High-altitude desert � Human–animal conflict � Human-subsidized carnivore
Subjects: Research > Research Center - Technical
Depositing User: MIT Library
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2017 04:51
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 04:51
URI: http://eprints.manipal.edu/id/eprint/150270

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