Ten challenges when living with big cats

The idea of introducing big cats back into areas from which they have been extirpated seems  one of the great opportunities in conservation. Survival of big cats, as apex predators, is an indication of a generally healthy ecosystem. However the practical challenges faced by people who have to live in regions where big cats are present are not insignificant. Here are a few:

Leopard attack

A leopard attacks a forest guard near Siliguri, India. People attacked the leopard which later died. Picture: AP Source: AP

1. Risk of personal attack

2. Additional personal protection required

3. New routines for organising work and travel

4. Extra effort required to protect livestock

5. Reduced access to hunting

6. Threats to animals living in or near homes

7. Temptation for locals to seek risky revenge attacks on dangerous animals

8. Inconvenience of fencing, installed for protection, but reduces  access

9. Potential ‘no go’ areas prevent safe grazing or agricultural land use

10. Everyday tasks become risky (e.g. water or wood collection)

Photosource: http://www.news.com.au/world/rampaging-leopard-mauls-11/story-fn6sb9br-1226099449916


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