Human-Leopard conflict is one of the great conservation challenges of south Asia. The Leopard Task Force (LTF) is currently involved in developing and implementing mitigation strategies in highly affected areas in Nepal.
This can involve providing solutions to prevent human fatalities, livestock loss and retaliation against leopards.
Meet Nirajan Chhetri, our leopard monitor in the Tharkurdbaba area adjoining Bardia National Park in western Nepal. (Tribute to Nirajan HERE). Nirajan’s role is to reduce conflict between humans and leopards by monitoring leopard movement in the area. Nirajan communicates on a daily basis with local communities as well as National Park authorities and other conservation groups. In the situation where a leopard is spending time near village settlements Nirajan makes sure communities are aware, that guidelines are met particularly with regard to the safety of children. Livestock losses are recorded and preventative measures are undergone in conjunction with local stakeholders. Nirajan operates by the mandate that of leopards are given no opportunity to get into conflict situations then they will change their behaviour and concentrate on hunting prey in ways which do not adversely affect people and their livelihood. As the LeopardEye system progresses so does Nirajan’s capacity to do his work.
Another important aspect is education of local children. You can read about Ridem Tharu HERE and how she is an example of a small child “living with leopards” in that shared space which is typical of many places in South Asia. The greater the understanding small children obtain now means coexistence between people and leopards (and wildlife in general) can improve for the future.
The LTF is in constant dialogue with stakeholders in human-leopard conflict hotspots and strategy implementation is based on regional dynamics.