In coexisting carnivorans (Carnivora) relying on the same food resources, the dominant species imposes a cost on the inferior competitor by limiting its foraging ability. Tigers Panthera tigris and leopards Panthera pardus live in sympatry in most Asian countries and, because of their similar trophic niche, 'interference competition' may exist between these two predators. In fact, since tigers generally occupy prime habitats, leopards could be forced to roam into peripheral areas that are heavily used by humans to avoid competition, consequently increasing the risk of human-leopard conflicts. Using information collected from the reviewed scientific literature, the purposes of this work were: 1) to assess if livestock predation by leopards increases in areas of coexistence with tigers, and 2) to characterise leopard attacks on livestock to discern the main factors involved in the human-leopard conflict. Our findings showed that the leopard's 'overall' livestock predation rate (i.e. individuals taken/year) was higher in the absence of tigers than in their presence, and the same was observed for the 'sheep and goat' predation rate. These results confirm the leopard's tendency to take livestock and, especially, smaller prey. Conversely, the 'cattle' and 'other' predation rates were higher in the presence of tigers than in their absence, suggesting the existence of a sort of spatial segregation between predators in certain contexts. Lower levels of predation by leopards were observed on farms in which more prevention measures were used, than in those in which only one measure was implemented. We stress the importance of using proper prevention measures to mitigate human-leopard conflicts. However, because their implementation may not be easy or economically feasible, the financial support given by carnivoran-policy makers assumes remarkable importance to minimise the economic impact on local families and, in turn, to foster the coexistence between leopards and humans in shared landscapes.

Interference competition driven by co-occurrence with tigers Panthera tigris may increase livestock predation by leopards Panthera pardus: a first step meta-analysis

Franchini, M
Primo
;
2023-01-01

Abstract

In coexisting carnivorans (Carnivora) relying on the same food resources, the dominant species imposes a cost on the inferior competitor by limiting its foraging ability. Tigers Panthera tigris and leopards Panthera pardus live in sympatry in most Asian countries and, because of their similar trophic niche, 'interference competition' may exist between these two predators. In fact, since tigers generally occupy prime habitats, leopards could be forced to roam into peripheral areas that are heavily used by humans to avoid competition, consequently increasing the risk of human-leopard conflicts. Using information collected from the reviewed scientific literature, the purposes of this work were: 1) to assess if livestock predation by leopards increases in areas of coexistence with tigers, and 2) to characterise leopard attacks on livestock to discern the main factors involved in the human-leopard conflict. Our findings showed that the leopard's 'overall' livestock predation rate (i.e. individuals taken/year) was higher in the absence of tigers than in their presence, and the same was observed for the 'sheep and goat' predation rate. These results confirm the leopard's tendency to take livestock and, especially, smaller prey. Conversely, the 'cattle' and 'other' predation rates were higher in the presence of tigers than in their absence, suggesting the existence of a sort of spatial segregation between predators in certain contexts. Lower levels of predation by leopards were observed on farms in which more prevention measures were used, than in those in which only one measure was implemented. We stress the importance of using proper prevention measures to mitigate human-leopard conflicts. However, because their implementation may not be easy or economically feasible, the financial support given by carnivoran-policy makers assumes remarkable importance to minimise the economic impact on local families and, in turn, to foster the coexistence between leopards and humans in shared landscapes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11390/1256224
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