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Manipal University (2016)

Resolving conflict between conservation and livelihoods crop damage by blackbuck Antilope cervicapra in semi arid India

Chaitanya Krishna

Titre : Resolving conflict between conservation and livelihoods crop damage by blackbuck Antilope cervicapra in semi arid India

Auteur : Chaitanya Krishna

Université de soutenance : Manipal University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2016

Résumé
The dryland biome occupies two-fifths of the terrestrial land mass and harbours unique biodiversity adapted to the climatic conditions therein. This biome is critical for sustaining one-third of the global human and half of global livestock populations. It is therefore vital to assess the degree of ‘wildlife friendliness’ in dryland human-production systems. I examined the processes by which blackbuck can persist in human-modified dryland habitats. Their habitat use varied dynamically with seasonally-changing levels of resources and risks, with protected habitats registering maximum use. Blackbuck appeared to overcome risks through fine-scale spatial and temporal responses in grouping behaviour. The findings show that human activities can strongly influence and perhaps limit ungulate habitat-use and behaviour ; but spatial heterogeneity in risk, particularly the presence of refuges, can allow ungulates to persist in landscapes with high human and livestock densities. The use of agricultural habitats is restricted to fields adjoining natural habitats, and the intensity of crop use increased with the number of nonagricultural habitat sides. While the dryland farming system in the study area is largely “blackbuck friendly” due to the monsoon-driven, single-crop agriculture practices, there are limits due to species traits that result in a dynamically changing patchwork of friendly and unfriendly agricultural habitats. Vehicular-traffic is a major mortality factor in agricultural landscapes. Among mammals, blackbuck accounted for 70% of all roadrelated mortalities in the study area. Male wolves and blackbuck were four times more at risk of vehicular-traffic related mortality. As road-related mortalities of non-mammalian taxa are not prioritized for record keeping and the likelihood of injured animals moving away from the road and succumbing to injuries afterwards, the reported figures are an underestimate of the actual mortality that is occurring in the area. I find that even small well-protected areas are able to buffer a large wild ungulate against the risks posed by human activities. These results are important as they show that it is possible to find mechanisms through which wildlife and human interests can perhaps be met simultaneously

Présentation et version intégrale (Shodhganga)

Page publiée le 19 février 2021