Human-animal interface in the Nepalese wildlife corridor
Elephants, however, weren’t the only sightings of wildlife Chaudhary had. On May 28, the animal guide came across a tiger 400 m away, on the outskirts of the village.
“I threw caution to the winds and followed the tiger from a distance, taking pictures. The tiger knew I was there, but he left me alone – we were both at peace with the world, ”says Chaudhary, who had never seen a big cat up close while he was a guide and wildlife tracker.
Half a kilometer from the village of Dalla Homestay, the tiger stopped at a water point in the buffer zone of Bardia National Park. He was drinking deeply.
During hot summers, the water sources in Bardia National Park that fill natural waterholes dry up, forcing many wild animals to take refuge in rivers and ponds near towns and villages.
from Nepal conservation success has also led to the overpopulation of large mammals in protected areas and national parks, in turn resulting in scarcity of prey populations. This forced the tigers and elephants to venture into human settlements.
There has been an increase in human-animal confrontations. This is more prevalent in the Khata Wildlife Corridor (read the report above) compared to other parts of western Nepal.
Conservation models should include strategies for reduce human-animal conflicts and local governments should introduce alternative livelihoods for communities living near protected areas to reduce their dependence on forests. Likewise, infrastructures, new and those undergoing modernization, must include wildlife is said to reduce road mortality.
On the other hand, the proximity of endangered species to human settlements has made frequent sightings quite common, stimulating local ecotourism and providing indigenous communities engaged in homestay activities with additional income.
This has been made possible through the combined conservation effort of communities, local governments and conservationists, and there are lessons to be learned.
According to Salik Ram Chaudhary: “Like in Bardia, we need to step up conservation efforts across Nepal so that we can use the lockdown to share space and live with Nepal’s rich biodiversity.”