Wild versus domestic prey in the diet of reintroduced tigers (Panthera tigris) in the livestock-dominated multiple-use forests of Panna Tiger Reserve, India
Wild versus domestic prey in the diet of reintroduced tigers (Panthera tigris) in the livestock-dominated multiple-use forests of Panna Tiger Reserve, India
S. S. Kolipaka 0 1 2
W. L. M. Tamis 0 1 2
M. van `t Zelfde 0 1 2
G. A. Persoon 0 2
H. H. de Iongh 0 1 2
0 Funding: We thank the Madhya Pradesh State Biodiversity Board, India, Louwes Fund for Water and Food, Leiden University and DeFries- Bajpai foundation for partially funding Kolipaka's studies in the Panna region of India. The funders had no role in study design , data collection and analysis
1 Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), Leiden University , Leiden , The Netherlands , 2 Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (FSW), Leiden University , Leiden , The Netherlands
2 Editor: Marco Festa-Bianchet , UniversiteÂ de Sherbrooke , CANADA
Grazing livestock in openly accessible areas is a common practice in the multiple-use forests of India; however, its compatibility with the reintroduction of tigers to these areas requires examination. Here, we investigated the diet of tigers in a livestock-dominated multiple-use buffer zone of the Panna Tiger Reserve, India. We hypothesised that the presence of feral cattle, along with open-access grazing practices in multiple-use forests, would increase the incidence of predation on livestock by tigers, even when wild prey are available. We used generalised linear models to test whether predation of livestock versus wild animals was influenced by (1) the sex and age class of tigers, (2) season, and (3) the distance of prey from the core-zone boundary of the reserve. Overall, sub-adult tigers and male tigers killed more livestock than wild prey, even when wild prey was available. In the winter and rainy seasons livestock were killed in higher numbers in the buffer zone than in summers, this may be because of the seasonally changing livestock herding patterns in the area. Further, with increasing distance from the core-zone boundary, all tigers killed more livestock, possibly because livestock were more easily accessible than wild prey. Our results show that open-access and unregulated livestock grazing is not currently compatible with large carnivore conservation in the same landscape. Such practices will lead to an increase in negative tiger-human-livestock interactions. In conclusion, we suggest the need to encourage locals to corral valuable cattle, leaving feral/unwanted livestock for tigers. This simple strategy would benefit both local inhabitants and tiger conservation in the multiple-use forests of India.
The successful conservation of carnivores outside of protected areas is hindered by human±
carnivore conflicts associated with livestock predation and attacks on humans [
]. In many
countries, livestock provide stable livelihoods and sustenance for people [
]. However, when
decision to publish, or preparation of the
large carnivores inhabit the same landscapes that are also used by livestock, carnivores
inevitably encounter and prey upon on livestock, as well as presenting a potential threat to people.
Ultimately, the magnitude of livestock losses and ability of people to cope with such losses
shapes their willingness to share the landscape with carnivores [
]. Therefore, it is essential
to minimize the incidence of predation where possible and ensure human safety to manage
and successfully protect threatened carnivores in shared landscapes.
There are approximately 3000 tigers (Panthera tigris) left in the wild, and their numbers are
still declining, despite sustained conservation efforts [
]. There are global efforts to safeguard
the future survival of this iconic species in the wild. The forests of India support over 50% of
the world's remaining wild tiger population; thus, these areas are important for the future
survival of tigers. At present, wild tigers mostly inhabit protected tiger reserves in India, where
human presence and activities are limited [
]. However, to safeguard their future, networks
of corridors have been proposed between tiger reserves, allowing free movement of tigers
among protected areas, and access to a larger landscape with suitable habitat for population
India retains large tracts of government-controlled forests that extend beyond most
protected tiger reserves. Within these forests, economically poor rural people pursue traditional
livelihoods, collecting forest produce, such as fuelwood, fodder, timber, resins, fruits, and
roots, in addition to grazing their cattle [
]. For example, The per capita income of people
living in the Panna district of Madhya Pradesh, India, where the Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) is
located is 523 US $ (or 31,389 Indian Rupees) . The rural people living in the 42 villages in
the buffer zone of the PTR keep approximately 25,000 cows, 5000 domestic buffalo and 15,000
]. Cows are mostly kept for sustenance and provide vital protein in the form of milk
to rural residents. Buffalo can be purchased for 500 US $/individual (or 30,000 Indian Rupees)
and reared for its high-fat milk, which is sold. Goats are bred for meat, and are valued at
approximately 30 US $ (2000 Indian Rupees) for a 10 kg male goat. Local people have
traditional rights to access multi-purpose forests, with their activities mostly controlled through
informal community-level norms rather than regulated by formal government authorities [
However, the park management body has no control on how many cattle, whose cattle, or
where the cattle are grazed in the buffer zone forests. Such unchecked grazing in multiple-use
forests by local communities and poor regulation of forest use is widespread in India.
People's use of forests can have both costs and benefit for carnivores using the same area [
12, 13, 14, 15
]. For instance, poor livestock husbandry practices increase their vulnerability to
5, 12, 13, 16
]. Furthermore, the unchecked and unregulated use of forests decreases
the quantity and quality of habitat available for wildlife [
] and local communities [
Consequently, a lack of regulations in shared landscapes makes it difficult to enforce
sustainable natural resource management that also benefits wildlife [
]. On the other hand, people's
practices could also have positive benefits on carnivores. For instance, over 2,500 cattle perish
each year from disease, predation, and seasonal extreme weather conditions in the 42 buffer
zone villages of the PTR [
]. Villagers dump cattle carcasses at the village-forest fringes,
where they are easily accessible as carrion for many carnivores [
]. Striped hyenas (Hyaena
hyaena), village dogs (Canis familiaris), wild pigs (Sus scrofa), jackals (Canis aureus), and
raptors (e.g., vultures) opportunistically feed on these carcasses and thrive [
]. Large carnivores,
like leopards, persist in highly modified farmland by killing available wild and domestic prey,
like pigs and dogs [
]. Wolves (Canis lupus) also survive in the heavily degraded forests of
central and western India by predating and scavenging on available wild and smaller domestic
]. However, it remains unclear to what extent tigers exploit livestock in
multipleuse zones, and to what extent tigers might be dependent on domestic animals to expand into
habitat beyond the boundaries of protected areas [
]. Yet, such information is required
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because the Indian authorities plan to extend tiger conservation to create corridors beyond the
reserves into these tracts of forests that are widely used by local communities.
The endangered tiger is a conservation dependent species [
]. From the perspective of
recovering the tiger population, tigers need to expand beyond the confines of the protected
reserves to maintain a strong gene pool and avoid local extinctions of the source population
]. Therefore, both male and female tigers need to survive when outside protected reserves
to facilitate population recovery. Here we investigate the case of tigers from PTR, where they
became locally extinct during 2008 and were reintroduced into the same livestock dominated
environment in 2009. The growing population of reintroduced tigers enter the adjoining
multiple-use buffer zone where thousands of livestock graze, along with over 9000 feral cattle [
]. With this, the compensations paid for livestock losses by PTR management are also
increasing (see the compensations records presented in (S3 Table). Tigers prey on large and
intermediate bodied prey animals [
24, 25, 26, 27, 28
]. Thus, understanding how people and
tigers interact in this landscape might provide conservation planners with important
management insights for tiger conservation in livestock dominated landscapes. We hypothesised that
the presence of feral cattle, along with open-access grazing practices in multiple-use forests,
would increase the incidence of predation on livestock by tigers, even when wild prey are
available. We examined kill data belonging to a group of radio-collared tigers inhabiting the PTR
and we collected tiger scats in the multiple-use forest. We used generalised linear models to
test the wild and domestic prey killed in relation to: (1) sex and age of tigers, (2) season, (3) the
distance from the core-zone boundary of the reserve, and (4) water bodies. We expect our
results to provide insights on livestock predation and management options to reduce tiger
predation on livestock and facilitate the coexistence of people and tigers in multiple-use
Field data collection permits were issued by the Chief Wildlife Wardens Office of Madhya
Pradesh Forest Department, India to S. S. Kolipaka. Permit Number: 4029/9-6-2015. Data on tiger
kills was obtained from the records of Panna Tiger Reserve, issued to S. S. Kolipaka under a
mutual agreement. Permit Reference: Proceedings of the meeting 02.06.2014".
Our study was carried out in the PTR (24Ê 274' N to 24Ê 905' N latitude; 79Ê 556' E to 80Ê
273' E longitude), which is a protected area that is located in the Bundelkhand region of
north-central Madhya Pradesh, India. The reserve covers a 1645 km area and is divided into
two management units, a core zone and a multiple-use buffer zone (Fig 1). The core zone is
550 km, while the buffer zone is 1095 km. Human activity is restricted and natural resource
extraction is prohibited in the core zone, whereas the buffer zone is a multiple-use zone. The
tiger reserve is approximately 30 km at its widest (range: 10 to 30 km) and approximately
100 km in length (Fig 1), and is surrounded by multiple-use and human-dominated lands.
Please see S1 Text for information on the climate, geography, and vegetation composition of
Traditional livestock management practices
Human presence and activity is high up to a 2 km distance from the centre of the villages
during the daytime (07:00 to 17:00), with activity dropping between dusk to dawn (17:00 to
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Fig 1. Map of the study area, the Panna Tiger Reserve. The core and multiple-use buffer zones, villages, and
water bodies are shown. The circles and triangles represent the spatial location of wild and domestic prey items
killed by 10 radio-collared tigers between 2009 and 2014.
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7:00). Water is a scarce resource in the study area, with reliable water bodies being limited.
Consequently, people must share the same water bodies with their livestock and wildlife.
Herders graze livestock up to a distance of 5 km from the village centre, with travel distances
being highest during winter and rainy season to access good grazing sites and to keep cattle
away from crops in the fields. This reverses in the summer months when temperatures get
extremely hot and because livestock can also graze in fallow agricultural fields in villages.
We examined the response of tigers using the buffer zones to these conditions near villages
and water bodies.
Distribution of livestock in the PTR
The presence and distribution of livestock in PTR are influenced by local husbandry strategies
and prevailing cultural practices [
]. Consequently, livestock that graze in the forests of the
PTR buffer zone are grouped into three categories: (1) feral cattle, (2) native cattle that are
owned but are not economically valuable, e.g., for commercial milk production (3) valuable
buffalos and goats that are economically valuable, e.g., for milk and goats for meat. First, feral
livestock primarily cows and bulls. Second, owned native cattle, lacking village grazing lands,
villagers drive several thousands of cows to graze in the forests of PTR, mostly during the
winter and monsoon farming seasons. Such cattle graze in the forests unaccompanied by herders
during the day and aggregate near the village fringes at night. Most native varieties of cows do
not yield sufficient milk; thus, they are not considered economically valuable by villagers. Yet
people keep them because of religious sanctions that prohibit selling cows to tanners .
Third, valuable livestock that provide livelihoods for people, including milk yielding cows, and
buffalos and goats. These valuable animals are herded during the day and are corralled at
Over 20 terrestrial mammalian carnivores have been documented in the core and buffer zones
of the PTR. Large terrestrial carnivores (>20 kg body weight) include the tiger, leopard, Indian
wild dog or dhole (Cuon alpinus), wolf, striped hyena, sloth bear (Melursus ursinus), and
domestic dog [
The tigers are part of a reintroduction project that commenced in 2009. Six founder tigers,
which were reintroduced between 2009 and 2013 (5♀ and 1♂), and 4-second generation tigers
(1♀, 3♂; born between 2010 and 2011). All 6 founder tigers and 6 of their offspring have been
fitted with VHF radio collars by reserve authorities. Details of this equipment are provided by
Sarkar et al. [
]. PTR tiger monitoring teams working in three 8-h shifts followed
radio-collared tigers each day using a handheld VHF antenna between 2009 and 2014. The teams were
tasked with recording the spatial locations of the tigers on an hourly basis. Following the
signals from the transmitters, members from the monitoring team located individual tigers and
homed-in. Tigers spent considerable time near carcasses and, whenever opportunity
permitted, members from the team visually inspected kills after the animals left the carcass, recording
details about the kill. Monitoring teams successfully recorded large bodied animal carcasses,
but most of the carcasses of intermediate and smaller sized prey were either dragged deep into
the thickets or were completely eaten by the tigers. Since we were more interested in livestock
kills, the collected dataset provided sufficient information that was also reliable. The collected
data were manually recorded into books maintained separately for each tiger and, where
possible, photographs were taken. Recorded information on kills included the spatial locations of
the kill, prey species, age group, and sex of prey. A small percentage (3%) of the kills could not
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be identified to the species level because carcasses were destroyed too much during the kill and
subsequent feeding. Such information was excluded from the final analyses.
Categorisation of tiger kills
We classified potential mammal prey into 3 size-based categories: large (>150 kg),
intermediate (20±149 kg), and small (<19 kg). Potential large sized prey animals included the sambar
deer (Rusa unicolor), nilgai antelope (Boselaphus tragocamelus), domestic cow (Bos taurus),
and domestic water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis). Potential intermediate sized prey included the
young of sambar deer, nilgai and cattle, chital deer (Axis axis), wild boar, chinkara antelope
(Gazella bennettii), and four-horned antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis). Potential small-sized
prey included the plains grey langur (Semnopithecus entellus), the domestic pig, goat, and
domestic dogs [
Analysis of scats
We collected tiger scats from the buffer zone during 2015 to investigate the presence of small
prey that might be poorly represented by kill data. Since scats and kills were from different
years, we did not include scats analysis here, but we did use the findings to support kill data as
a validation technique. For details, see Table A in S2 Table.
We considered depredation rates (domestic versus wild) in relation to 3 landscape
characteristics: management zone (core versus buffer zones), within and beyond 2 km of villages, and
within and beyond 250 m of water sources.
In the first analysis, prey (domestic or wild) was the dependent variable, while zone (buffer/
core), generation (first generation = mature adults; second generation = young adults) and sex
(male/female) of tigers, and season (summer, rainy, winter) were included as independent
variables. In the second analysis, we included ªDistance,º which was the distance from the core
zone boundary to kill location and ªnear villagesº (inside/outside 2 km of villages, which are
high human density areas) as independent variables. In the third analysis, we used ªwaterº and
ªnear waterº (inside/outside 250 m of water body) as the independent variables (rather than
those of village).
All analyses were performed using generalised linear models (GLMs) in R 2.12.0 [
Adequate model fits were ensured by the stepwise removal of non-significant (significance
p < 0.05) three-way and two-way interactions. We optimised the model based on all main
effects and by only using the three±way and two-way interactions that were significant (See
S1 Table for coefficients and the model selection procedure).
Our final analysis included 627 kills from 10 tigers (6 ♀ and 4 ♂) collected over a 5-year period
between 2009 and 2014. Tigers primarily preyed on large and intermediate sized wild and
domestic prey animals in the PTR (Table 1). Wild prey represented 54% of all kills made by
tigers, while domestic prey animals represented 43%. Sambar deer represented 70% of all wild
prey that were killed. Cows represented 87% of all domestic animals killed (Table 1).
Smallsized prey animals (like reptiles, birds, and mongoose) represented <5% of the tiger diet, and
were better represented in tiger scats compared to carcass counts; however, large prey were
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D = domestic; W = wild; L = large (>150 kg); In = intermediate (20±149 kg); S = small (<20 kg); BZ = buffer zone;
(**) = Represented by scats only and not kills (see supplement for more details); The average weight of the domestic cows and buffalos is less as they are
native varieties and have a small structure compared to dairy cattle.
also predominant in scats. As a result, scat analysis was used only used to validate the presence
and quantity of small prey in the tiger diet (see online supplement).
Predation in relation to the core and buffer zone
Domestic animals represented 57% of prey animals killed by tigers in the multiple-use buffer
zone. In comparison, 40% of animals killed in the core zone were domestic. Male tigers killed a
higher percentage of domestic animals in both the zones (66% and 79% in the core and buffer
zone, respectively) than female tigers (29% and 39% in the core and buffer zone, respectively)
(Fig 2; Table B in S2 Table). However, a similar proportion of male and female domestic prey
was killed in the core and buffer zones (Fig 2).
There was seasonal variation in the number of domestic prey animals killed by tigers in
the core and buffer zones. In the core zone, tigers killed a higher percentage of domestic prey
animals (66%) during the summer months, with this percentage dropping in the rainy and
winter seasons. In the buffer zone, this situation was reversed, with tigers killing more
domestic prey animals during the winter (73%) and rainy season (59%), and fewer in the
summer (Fig 3).
Predation incidents near areas of high human activity in the buffer zone
Twenty-five percent of all kills made by tigers were within 2 km of villages. In these areas,
tigers killed both domestic (52%) and wild animals (43%). However, proximity to villages was
not statistically significant for predation, whereas distance from the core zone was significant
(S1 Table). The predation of domestic animals increased with increasing distance from the
core zone boundary to areas in the buffer zone (Table E in S2 Table). Male tigers killed more
(N = 57) domestic animals than females (N = 39) up to a distance of 10 km from the core zone.
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Fig 2. Percentage of domestic animals killed by male and female tigers in the core (black bars) and
buffer (grey bars) zone of the PTR between 2009 and 2014. There was a significant interaction between
sex * zone (df = 2, p < 0.05), with similar proportions of domestic animals being killed in core and buffer zones
by males and females.
At 10 km beyond the core zone, males and females killed similar proportions (Male (N = 27),
Female (N = 28) of domestic animals (Fig 4).
Tigers killed more domestic animals with increasing distance from the core zone during
the rainy and winter seasons. The proportion of domestic animal kills in each season differed
for each distance group from the core (Fig 5).
Fig 3. Percentage of domestic animals killed in the multiple-use buffer zone of the PTR by tigers
during different seasons. There was a significant interaction between seasons * zone (p = < 0.001), with the
proportion of domestic animals killed in the buffer being highest during the rainy season.
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Fig 4. Percentage of domestic animals killed by male (black bars) and female (grey bars) tigers
increased with distance from the core zone of PTR. At >10 km distance from the core zone, males and
females killed domestic animals in similar proportions, with this result being statistically significant (df = 2, p =
Fig 5. Percentage of domestic animals killed by tigers during the summer (black bars), rainy (dark
grey bars), and winter (light grey bars) seasons with increasing distance from the core zone. The
proportion of domestic animals killed doubled at >2 km distance from the core during the rainy and winter
seasons (df = 4, p = 0.006), but remained low during the summer.
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Twenty-nine percent of prey killed by tigers was near water (<250 m of water). Domestic
and wild prey represented 45% and 52% of kills, respectively. However, there was no
significant difference in the incidence of predation at <250 m and >250 of water bodies.
This study demonstrated that tigers primarily fed on large-bodied prey, including both
domestic and wild animals. Livestock were preferentially preyed upon with increasing distance from
the protected core zone. Of note, female tigers primarily fed on wild prey when closer to the
core zone, whereas male tigers targeted both domestic and wild prey. However, the proportion
of domestic prey killed by males and females in core and buffer zones was comparable.
Furthermore, seasonally changes in the distribution of domestic animals, reflecting seasonal
variation in practices and livestock management, influenced the predation rate of livestock by tigers
in the core and buffer zones. Our results demonstrate that open-access livestock grazing is not
currently compatible with large carnivore conservation in the same landscape. However, our
results also provide important information that could help reduce negative
tiger-human-livestock interactions in the livestock-dominated buffer zone of the PTR.
Prey items of tigers
Supporting previous studies, the tigers in the livestock-dominated PTR primarily preyed upon
large and intermediate sized prey species [32, 24, and 25]. It is likely that our estimates based
on kills alone underestimate the contribution of intermediate and small-sized prey, as
demonstrated by our scat analyses (see supplementary material), and should be interpreted with
caution. Our independent analysis of tiger scats validated that large animals represented the
largest component of prey items; however, more small prey items were detected using this
Sambar deer and cows represented the wild and domestic prey animals, respectively, that
were primarily killed by tigers, supporting the results of previous studies [
]. Unlike cows,
buffalos tend to be accompanied by herders in our study area and are corralled at night .
The better herding and corralling practices extended to buffalos might explain the low losses
of buffalo in comparison to cows. Our results show that the contribution of domestic animals
to the diet of tigers was much higher in our study area compared to other geographically
similar sites, where livestock is also predominantly found [
]. However, similar levels of
livestock predation have been detected for lions (Panthera leo) in similar livestock dominated
habitats of western India . The high predation of livestock by tigers in our study area is
probably because of local livestock management practices. For instance, villagers follow a
traditional practice called `Anna Pratha'. In this practice, villagers that cannot fend for their cattle
during periods of stress (such as droughts) release their animals to fend for themselves or
allow them to die out of sight [
]. As a result, thousands of feral cattle and free roaming cattle
move inside the reserve area [
Predation in relation to the protection zones
Overall, distance from the core zone boundary significantly explained the predation of
domestic prey animals. More domestic animals were killed in the buffer zone than in the core zone of
the PTR. The large number of wild animals killed near the core zone boundary was because of
the availability of wild prey in these areas, and also because wild prey frequently raid crops in
agricultural fields near peripheral areas [
Of note, more domestic animals were killed in the core zone during the summer, and vice
versa during the rainy and winter seasons. Locally prevailing ecological conditions shape the
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movements of tigers [
] and livestock in the core and buffer zone, and probably influence
predation rates. During the hot summer months, shepherds do not move their herds far from
villages. They also allow livestock to graze on low-quality forage that is available in fallow
agricultural fields. In comparison, feral and free roaming cattle move into the core zones to access
better grazing and water sources. These movement patterns are reversed during the rainy and
Tigers, especially males, killed more domestic animals with increasing distance from the
core zone boundary (up to 10 km), supporting that reported by Karanth and Sunquist [
contrast, female tigers killed more wild prey animals than domestic prey animals in the core
zone. Female tigers might preferentially target wild prey because they raise their young in the
core zone and tend to have smaller home ranges than males. Thus, females probably choose
areas that are far from human activity and where they are more likely to encounter wild prey.
In contrast, males and young tigers move further afield and encounter more domestic prey.
Predation in relation to villages and water bodies
Unexpectedly, predation near villages and water bodies in the multiple-use buffer zone was
not significant. In other words, the incidence of tiger predation did not appear to increase near
villages or water bodies, due to the presence of livestock. This result was interesting, especially
because the presence of tigers was significantly high near villages but low near water bodies in
the buffer zone, at least based on our unpublished data of the spatial movement patterns of
tigers. However, the high presence of tigers did not translate into more killings. Our findings
show that tigers spend considerable time near villages. It is likely that tigers are attracted to
villages by people's activities (such as dumping cattle carcasses near village fringes), un-corralled
cows aggregating near villages at night, wild prey entering agricultural fields, and the presence
of water bodies near village peripheries. However, as observed for lions in Kenya [
might not be able to fully utilise the available resources near villages or water bodies, where
human presence and activity are high, while still continuing to use other parts of the
humandominated landscape. For instance, our study showed that livestock were preyed upon in
greater numbers in other parts of the buffer zone and not necessarily near villages.
Our study showed that local practices, leading to the presence of livestock (feral and owned)
throughout the multiple-use area, exhibit both costs and benefits to tigers using such areas,
supporting the findings of Sharma et al. [
]. Livestock are important to people's culture,
livelihood, and well-being in India, as well as in most rural areas of the world. Consequently,
livestock grazing will continue to remain a major land-use type in multiple-use landscapes,
characterising such landscapes. Therefore, it is important to develop ways to decrease the
predation of livestock by carnivores requiring conservation in multiple-use landscapes.
Our results clearly show that free-for-all livestock grazing is not compatible with large
carnivore conservation in the same landscape. Such practices will cause negative
tiger-humanlivestock interactions to increase, particularly as the government is implementing initiatives to
increase the size of the tiger population . From the management perspective, this issue
generates the need to consider new management options for tiger conservation in multiple-use
landscapes. For instance, if the observed livestock management practices are widespread and
commonly practised by thousands of people (like in the study area), attempting large-scale
changes to people's practices is not a viable option.
Instead, reserve management must innovatively model certain local practices to suit tiger
conservation. For instance, as observed in the study area [
], many rural societies have
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traditional belief systems and norms that regulate their use and movement in forests. Likewise,
people also have taboos towards hunting wild animals like nilgai and pigs that are potential
prey of tigers [
]. These traditional practices reduce direct encounters between people and
dangerous wildlife, including tigers, and also safeguard the prey of tigers [
]. By incorporating
some of these traditional practices into management plans, managers might be able to retain
existing levels of low interactions between people and tigers.
Furthermore, not all livestock predation incidents generate conflict with humans. Tigers
might actually be providing a service to local communities by predating and regulating feral
and unwanted animals. For instance, educational programs could be used to inform local
communities about how tigers target prey items to encourage them to corral valuable cattle and
leave feral/unwanted livestock for tigers. Local communities could establish ways to separate
valuable village cattle from feral and unwanted cattle by means of tattoos or markings. In
addition, fenced grazing zones could be set up for valuable cattle, restricting their movement in the
forests. This simple strategy would benefit both local people and tiger conservation in the
multiple-use forests of India, particularly in light of managers planning to implement corridors to
connect protected areas to increase the gene flow among tiger populations.
This study provides novel insights into the prey choice of tigers in a human-dominated
landscape with potential overlap between wild and domestic animal prey. While tigers were more
likely to prey upon livestock with increasing distance from the core protection zone, we found
no evidence that tigers kill more prey animals near villages or near shared water bodies. Thus,
feral and free-roaming village cattle represent key targets for some tigers. In conclusion, for
tigers to persist in multiple-use landscape, concepts that incorporate the needs of both wildlife
and people must be implemented, rather than unregulated free-for-all land use.
S1 Table. Coefficients for analysis (1) Zone, (2) Village, (3) Prey age, (4) Prey Sex, (5)
Water and (6) Scat and Kill.
S2 Table. Details of data analysis.
S1 Fig. Compensation amounts paid to livestock owners by PTR management between
2009 and 2014.
S1 Text. Climate, geography, vegetation and the practice of Anna Pratha in the study area.
We thank the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department and the management and field staff of
Panna Tiger Reserve for enthusiastically supporting the study. We thank para-ecologist Mr
Sushil Kumar and the volunteers who have contributed to the project. We thank the M.P. State
Biodiversity Board, Louwes Fund for Water and Food, Leiden University and DeFries-Bajpai
Foundation for partially funding Kolipaka's studies in Panna. We also thank an anonymous
reviewer for critically commenting on the manuscript.
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Conceptualization: SSK HHI.
Data curation: SSK WLMT.
Formal analysis: SSK WLMT.
Funding acquisition: SSK HHI GAP.
Methodology: SSK WLMT HHI.
Project administration: SSK HHI.
Resources: SSK MZ HHI.
Supervision: SSK HHI.
Validation: SSK WLMT MZ HHI GAP.
Visualization: SSK WLMT MZ.
Writing ± original draft: SSK.
Writing ± review & editing: SSK WLMT HHI GAP.
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