Trends of crop damage by wild animals in Darjeeling Hills, W | 98103
An International Journal

Agricultural and Biological Research

ISSN - 0970-1907
RNI # 24/103/2012-R1


Trends of crop damage by wild animals in Darjeeling Hills, West Bengal, India

Prantik Hazra*

Human-wildlife conflict is a contentious issue and crop damage by wild animals is one of the major problems in Darjeeling Hills. A study on human-wildlife conflict was conducted in seven villages in the hilly region of Darjeeling District, West Bengal, India, from April 2018 to March 2022 to assess the crop damage by wild animals and the economic loss incurred to the marginal farmers. The study indicated that crop damage by wild animals has increased significantly in recent years to such a great extent that the farmers have to abandon agriculture totally or change their agriculture practices as an adaptation to the conflict. The key reasons are decreasing natural habitat and expansion of tea gardens, and also the significant decline of the key predator of this region, the leopard that checks the population of wild herbivores. Replacement of agricultural crops by the cultivation of medicinal plant species, which are not raided by wildlife, is suggested as a mitigation measure.

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