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Wildlife and Coexistence: The Conflict Between Wild Animals and Humans

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Words: 1845 |

Pages: 4|

10 min read

Published: Jul 15, 2020

Words: 1845|Pages: 4|10 min read

Published: Jul 15, 2020

Coexistence can be defined the state of two or more parties existing or being together in the same environment and same time. When coexistence comes together with interaction, conflicts arise inevitably because of incompatible directions and intervention from the other parties. The biggest problem of this generation that is still continue growing and often discussed is definitely the human-wildlife conflict. This issue often followed by a question: Can human and wildlife coexist?

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The main reason contributing to the worsen of the problem is the booming of human population in recent decades. Human development activities which are significant to sustain human needs such as land exploitation for urbanisation, farming, industries, etc is the known as the core reason behind the conflict. The line drawn in between human and wildlife is blurred where this contributed to the increasing interaction between them. Certain extend of conflicts contribute to the damage of property such as crop raid and threaten the safety on both human and wildlife when human-wildlife increases. The rising of human activities too, has directly and indirectly causing the climate changes, wildlife’s habitat devastation and wildlife population fragmentation which are unhealthy for the wildlife nature. Being the species with highest intelligence, we have realised the problem and understand the impacts which will eventually fell on humans and the mother earth. Each country is working hard to try to protect their own nature preserves with different attempts and efforts, however, the efforts did not always pay off with the desired outcomes.

There are many measures that have been introduced to tackle the conflicts mentioned previously. The measures are applied based on the level of damage and conflict from physical barrier, education and awareness to population control. Dickman (2010) summarised there are three factors influencing the decision making, which are perceptions of risk, disproportionate response, and social influences. Risk perceptions of individual, families and society are strongly influenced by the history, locally-adapted culture values and cultures such as the fear of wildlife, crop consumption and damages by wildlife. However, the perceptions or even the data collected are often deviated and do not represent the real situation. Moreover, it is usually not single factor solely that is responsible to the conflicts, studies on the side factors would give you a bigger picture and bring out the core of the problem. Having mismatch perceptions will lead to inappropriate action taken that worsen the current situation. As the conflict is complex, hence by the attempt to reduce the damage of wildlife would not really give a long-term impact in solving the problem. Collaboration with different stakeholders such as scientists and communities are necessary to widen the approach in order to have a holistic view of the conflict from the perspectives of culture, economy, biodiversity, and etc. In this report, two case studies on tigers and primates or macaques will be discussed in the following.

In the Indonesian island of Sumatra off the Malaysian Peninsula, there exists the Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) which is the rarest and smallest subspecies of all living tigers. Now, it is the only species survives in Sumatra, out of the three subspecies of Indonesian tigers, which are the Bali tiger and the Javan tiger that had been declared extinct. Sumatran tiger is considered critically endangered as a result of human hunting and rapid deforestation. Since 1998, the flagship species has declined by an estimated 50% and it now occupies 7% of its historical range. In some places, Sumatran tiger coexist with human, especially in the areas around rivers or forest which connects the tiger habitat. There is higher risk of encountering with tiger on these areas. Higher possibility of encountering implies a higher conflict level which could be lethal in some cases to both sides. Conversation science is brought into picture when human becomes one of the dependencies in the management of ecosystem. However, the lack of knowledge on linkage between human decisions or interaction with causes of ecosystem and species has been a showstopper in defining the precise policy of resource management and also impacts of human-nature. Several factors are taken into consideration when addressing human-tiger conflict such as geographic profile, degree of tolerance and such. Conservation of the predator is critically affected by the human tolerance degree. Hence, it is crucial to understand the factors affecting the human’s degree of tolerance towards wildlife which in this case, the Sumatran tiger. A study had been conducted on socio-ecological approach which integrated encounter risk with data from Kerinchi Seblat, a core tiger area in Sumatra. Data from reports of local authorities and media were collected and mapped with the encounter risk by Struebig et al. They were then grouped into 4 types of categories in corresponds with the Indonesian Government’s Problem Tiger Management Strategy which are sightings, attacks on livestock, attacks on people and removal of tigers. It was revealed that 35% of the encounter cases escalated to another encounter that led to killing of tigers. In addition, there was increase in wildlife trade regionally such as demand for tiger skin that advocated infiltration of poachers, this in turn caused killing of tigers. A questionnaire was completed by 2, 386 people to address the factors which influence the human behaviour and attitude towards wildlife by St. John et al. It investigated human tolerance towards wildlife which might be impacted by human-wildlife conflict. Factors like beliefs and norms play the roles of human behaviour and response towards the conflicts. Tiger occasionally attacks livestock and people, this is associated with the human intention of hunting and how human perceive tiger when it comes to the case of conflict. The attitude towards killing or preserve was found to be positively related to intention, indicating that intention to kill increased with perceived goodness. Moreover, the descriptive norms that perceive tiger as dangerous was a strong encouragement to human intention to kill. Primates has been the third most diverse order of mammals in Taxonomic rank that includes lemurs, monkeys, apes, humans and so on. The close relation between human and other primates are proven genetically. Out of all the primates, macaque is one of the species that immerse with human habitat the most. They can be found in rural or urban area. Due to the common encounter with human, the conflict in between human and macaque is higher compared to other mammals.

On the other hand, cooperation relationship exists in parallel with conflict as macaques interact with human through various ways such as crop labours, pets, religious symbol and so on. Conflict happens in the cases where both parties have different intents and purposes behind the actions, resources competition, and being one’s obstacle in achieving a goal. According to AIMI, the earliest recorded macaque was nearly 430, 000 years ago and the oldest subfossil of human was 35, 000 years ago. This indicates that the coexistence of human and macaque has lasted for 35, 000 years together. Macaques were subjects of human hunting and food resources since the era of Neolithic. Along with the changes in culture and spiritual beliefs, perception of macaque by people in Japan had evolved towards a way that macaque becomes a symbolic element in Japan culture. When Japan was recovering from World War II, regulation on macaque hunting was enforced and macaque was put on a state of legal protection. However, severe crop damage was done by macaque in the 1970s when Japan was undergoing evolution and industries development which exploited natural habits. Following this event, culling of macaque as a pest had increased dramatically, exceeding 10, 000 animals per year in 1988. Crop raid by Macaque was threatening the livelihood of local rural communities in Indonesia also mentioned by Priston, Wyper, & Lee. Agriculture emerged as one of the main activities in Sulawesi, Indonesia which involves land conversion for agriculture. Studies on two of the species which are the Tonkean macaque M. tonkeana in central Sulawesi and the Buton macaque M. brunnescens on Buton Island had been carried out to investigate the role of macaque in local crop raiding and how local’s perspective towards macaque had changed following this raid.

With the increase of forest segmentation and industries development, human-macaque conflict has increased in correspond to the activities. The intense love-hate relationship of macaque with human can be seen in the Peninsular of India where macaque has inherited tendency to gravitate towards human habitations. Due to increase in intolerance towards macaque in urban areas and land conversion for agriculture, population of macaque had declined over the time. On the other hand, degree of aggression of macaque when interacting with tourists in certain touristic areas has seen a rise with underlying factors such as feeding supplants. This has resulted in a higher social tension. The data gathered in a study on proximate factors influencing the occurrence of macaque towards human and vice versa determine the extent to which human behaviours induce macaque aggression. Frequencies and instances of human-macaque interaction was recorded and analysed using an event sampling design in 4 different locations of Dehradun, India including a Buddhist temple, a Hindu temple, along a road side, and the campus of the Wildlife Institute of India. In a nutshell, crop raid and tourism sites are two of the few cases in the encounter models of human-macaque. To resolve the crop raid damage by macaque, several measures had been taken such as vigilant guarding and chasing off intruding monkeys. They were however ineffective in terms of cost and time. No single method so far is able to cope with the conditions causing conflict, having said that, multiple management approaches have to be deployed for each of the cases depending on the contexts. With ever-expanding agriculture and habitats exploitation, it is likely that the conflict of human-macaque would worsen in the future.

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Conservative and Preventive measures have to be taken uniquely for such cases to prevent or intervene human-wildlife conflict. Collaboration from stakeholders within the domain is required to build and structure the models of behavioural patterns in relative with economy as well as nature impacts. Analysis from future works regarding behavioural changes of human from interactions with wildlife are valuable for designing interventions to prevent further conflict resulting from a conflict. Perception towards wildlife for each of the cases discussed is unique and it does not represent all instances of conflict approaches. In the case of threats from wildlife such as attacks on livestock or even human, it leaves an impact to human attitudes and perceptions towards the wildlife. Degree of tolerance of human is affected by the negative perception which reflects the intention of culling of the wildlife. Understanding on the degree of tolerance as to the extent to kill is crucial in promoting coexistence. Wildlife conservation efforts are not achievable by only one side such as government. Involvement of the communities is the most crucial part in this as they are those who are encountering the conflicts. As they are competing for resources, it is important how conversation plan is implemented in which to protect wildlife while ensure human growth in terms of economy and so on.

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Wildlife and Coexistence: the Conflict Between Wild Animals and Humans. (2020, July 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/wildlife-and-coexistence-wild-animals-are-human-enemies/
“Wildlife and Coexistence: the Conflict Between Wild Animals and Humans.” GradesFixer, 14 Jul. 2020, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/wildlife-and-coexistence-wild-animals-are-human-enemies/
Wildlife and Coexistence: the Conflict Between Wild Animals and Humans. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/wildlife-and-coexistence-wild-animals-are-human-enemies/> [Accessed 28 May 2024].
Wildlife and Coexistence: the Conflict Between Wild Animals and Humans [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Jul 14 [cited 2024 May 28]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/wildlife-and-coexistence-wild-animals-are-human-enemies/
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