Jungle cat (Felis chaus) in farmlands: potential benefits of coexistence and human-wildlife conflicts in West Bengal, India

Mahato, Santanu and Ghosh, Tanmoy and Sinha, Shuvra K. and Yardi, Kranti and Bharucha, Erach (2022) Jungle cat (Felis chaus) in farmlands: potential benefits of coexistence and human-wildlife conflicts in West Bengal, India. Ethology Ecology & Evolution. ISSN 1828-7131

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/03949370.2022.2152102


Human-wildlife coexistence has increasingly been known for providing diverse ecological services to humans. However, the global repercussions of the Anthropocene epoch have changed the status and future of human-wildlife relationships. In this paper, we shed light on the significance of a positive attitude towards sharing space with animals in identifying and managing both conflict and ecological aspects of human-wildlife interactions in an agrarian landscape. We tried to understand how interactions between meso-carnivores like jungle cats (Felis chaus) and humans influence their survival in dense human populations. We evaluate the abundance and habitat use by jungle cats seasonally and diet, as well as their interactions with farmers in West Bengal, India. The mean encounter rate of jungle cats was assessed and used as a proxy for their abundance. Using a combination of direct sign surveys, we found that the habitat preference and seasonal distribution of jungle cats were influenced by the change in seasons with respect to different habitats. Our results indicate that jungle cats were more associated with human settlements during the monsoon. Scat analysis revealed the dominance of rodents in the diets of jungle cats. This activity helps to control the rodent population from destroying crops. However, our interactions with farmers showed their negative attitude towards the species due to the instances of livestock (poultry birds) depredation. We suggest that, more interdisciplinary researches are required to address how affectively socioeconomic structures shape up positive human-wildlife interaction. Planning and implementation of conservation education programmes are also necessary to help people for understanding the economic and ecological benefits provided by jungle cats and other wide-ranging carnivores.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: agrarian landscape; Felis chaus; ecosystem services; abundance; habitat use; co-existence; farmers' perceptions
Subjects: B Life Science > Zoology
Divisions: Department of > Institution of Excellence
Depositing User: C Swapna Library Assistant
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2023 06:32
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2023 06:32
URI: http://eprints.uni-mysore.ac.in/id/eprint/17702

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