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Assessment of Crop Damage by Protected Wild Mammalian Herbivores on the Western Boundary of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), Central India.

Bayani A, Tiwade D, Dongre A, Dongre AP, Phatak R, Watve M - PLoS ONE (2016)

Bottom Line: Since there is orders of magnitude difference between farmers' perception of damage and the compensation given by the government, an objective and realistic estimate of damage was found essential.These approaches highlight different aspects of the problem but converge on an estimated damage of over 50% for the fields adjacent to the forest, gradually reducing in intensity with distance.We found that the visual damage assessment method currently employed by the government for paying compensation to farmers was uncorrelated to and grossly underestimated actual damage.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, Dr. Homi Bhabha Road, Pashan, Pune 411008, Maharashtra, India.

ABSTRACT
Crop raiding by wild herbivores close to an area of protected wildlife is a serious problem that can potentially undermine conservation efforts. Since there is orders of magnitude difference between farmers' perception of damage and the compensation given by the government, an objective and realistic estimate of damage was found essential. We employed four different approaches to estimate the extent of and patterns in crop damage by wild herbivores along the western boundary of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve in the state of Maharashtra, central India. These approaches highlight different aspects of the problem but converge on an estimated damage of over 50% for the fields adjacent to the forest, gradually reducing in intensity with distance. We found that the visual damage assessment method currently employed by the government for paying compensation to farmers was uncorrelated to and grossly underestimated actual damage. The findings necessitate a radical rethinking of policies to assess, mitigate as well as compensate for crop damage caused by protected wildlife species.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Map and location of study area.Light gray shaded zones denote villages and dark gray denote Division Forest area; both together constituting the buffer zone. The buffer area comprises over 70 villages with agriculture as the main livelihood. The dotted ellipse represents our study area. Location of the experimental plots is indicated by the dark triangle and the three transect lines extending from forest boundary into agricultural lands are shown by dotted arrows.
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pone.0153854.g001: Map and location of study area.Light gray shaded zones denote villages and dark gray denote Division Forest area; both together constituting the buffer zone. The buffer area comprises over 70 villages with agriculture as the main livelihood. The dotted ellipse represents our study area. Location of the experimental plots is indicated by the dark triangle and the three transect lines extending from forest boundary into agricultural lands are shown by dotted arrows.

Mentions: The Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR, 19° 59’–20° 29’ N and 79° 11’–79° 40’ E) is located in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra, India. The Tiger Reserve extends over 1727 sq. km out of which 625.5 sq. km is the core zone (Fig 1). TATR is a Teak (Tectona grandis) dominated mixed forest of deciduous trees including Diospyros melanoxylon, Terminalia elliptica, Butea monosperma, Chloroxylon sweitenia and bamboo (Dendrocalamus sp. and Bambusa sp.), supporting good faunal diversity. We selected the western boundary buffer (of the core) where through most of the length, the transition between forest cover and agriculture lands creates a sharp ecotone. Only in certain areas outside the western boundary, there is a mosaic of agricultural lands and forest patches. Crops are cultivated in two seasons, viz. kharif (monsoon crops) and rabi (winter crops). Rice (Oryza sativa) and soybean (Glycine max) are the primary kharif crops whereas wheat (Triticum aestivum) and chickpea (Cicer arietinum) are primary rabi crops. We selected these four crop species for all of our observations and experiments as they are the most abundant crops in the study area. Apart from these, cotton (Gossypium arboreum), turmeric (Curcuma longa), flax or linseed (Linum usitatissimum), and grass pea or sweet blue pea (Lathyrus sativa) are other secondary crops taken in comparatively lesser extent. The mammalian fauna of the western periphery of TATR is dominated by herbivore species including nilgai (B. tragocamelus), chital or spotted deer (A. axis), wild pig (S. scrofa) and carnivore species including tiger (Panthera tigris), leopard (Panthera pardus), dhole (Cuon alpinus) and sloth bear (Melursus ursinus).


Assessment of Crop Damage by Protected Wild Mammalian Herbivores on the Western Boundary of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), Central India.

Bayani A, Tiwade D, Dongre A, Dongre AP, Phatak R, Watve M - PLoS ONE (2016)

Map and location of study area.Light gray shaded zones denote villages and dark gray denote Division Forest area; both together constituting the buffer zone. The buffer area comprises over 70 villages with agriculture as the main livelihood. The dotted ellipse represents our study area. Location of the experimental plots is indicated by the dark triangle and the three transect lines extending from forest boundary into agricultural lands are shown by dotted arrows.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4836666&req=5

pone.0153854.g001: Map and location of study area.Light gray shaded zones denote villages and dark gray denote Division Forest area; both together constituting the buffer zone. The buffer area comprises over 70 villages with agriculture as the main livelihood. The dotted ellipse represents our study area. Location of the experimental plots is indicated by the dark triangle and the three transect lines extending from forest boundary into agricultural lands are shown by dotted arrows.
Mentions: The Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR, 19° 59’–20° 29’ N and 79° 11’–79° 40’ E) is located in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra, India. The Tiger Reserve extends over 1727 sq. km out of which 625.5 sq. km is the core zone (Fig 1). TATR is a Teak (Tectona grandis) dominated mixed forest of deciduous trees including Diospyros melanoxylon, Terminalia elliptica, Butea monosperma, Chloroxylon sweitenia and bamboo (Dendrocalamus sp. and Bambusa sp.), supporting good faunal diversity. We selected the western boundary buffer (of the core) where through most of the length, the transition between forest cover and agriculture lands creates a sharp ecotone. Only in certain areas outside the western boundary, there is a mosaic of agricultural lands and forest patches. Crops are cultivated in two seasons, viz. kharif (monsoon crops) and rabi (winter crops). Rice (Oryza sativa) and soybean (Glycine max) are the primary kharif crops whereas wheat (Triticum aestivum) and chickpea (Cicer arietinum) are primary rabi crops. We selected these four crop species for all of our observations and experiments as they are the most abundant crops in the study area. Apart from these, cotton (Gossypium arboreum), turmeric (Curcuma longa), flax or linseed (Linum usitatissimum), and grass pea or sweet blue pea (Lathyrus sativa) are other secondary crops taken in comparatively lesser extent. The mammalian fauna of the western periphery of TATR is dominated by herbivore species including nilgai (B. tragocamelus), chital or spotted deer (A. axis), wild pig (S. scrofa) and carnivore species including tiger (Panthera tigris), leopard (Panthera pardus), dhole (Cuon alpinus) and sloth bear (Melursus ursinus).

Bottom Line: Since there is orders of magnitude difference between farmers' perception of damage and the compensation given by the government, an objective and realistic estimate of damage was found essential.These approaches highlight different aspects of the problem but converge on an estimated damage of over 50% for the fields adjacent to the forest, gradually reducing in intensity with distance.We found that the visual damage assessment method currently employed by the government for paying compensation to farmers was uncorrelated to and grossly underestimated actual damage.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, Dr. Homi Bhabha Road, Pashan, Pune 411008, Maharashtra, India.

ABSTRACT
Crop raiding by wild herbivores close to an area of protected wildlife is a serious problem that can potentially undermine conservation efforts. Since there is orders of magnitude difference between farmers' perception of damage and the compensation given by the government, an objective and realistic estimate of damage was found essential. We employed four different approaches to estimate the extent of and patterns in crop damage by wild herbivores along the western boundary of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve in the state of Maharashtra, central India. These approaches highlight different aspects of the problem but converge on an estimated damage of over 50% for the fields adjacent to the forest, gradually reducing in intensity with distance. We found that the visual damage assessment method currently employed by the government for paying compensation to farmers was uncorrelated to and grossly underestimated actual damage. The findings necessitate a radical rethinking of policies to assess, mitigate as well as compensate for crop damage caused by protected wildlife species.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus