Why forest connectivity is essential in reducing human/tiger conflict.
In the past 3 months 6 human deaths have been reported at Pilibhit. In 2014 Pilibhit was declared a tiger reserve and this helped create a sucess story for tiger conservation with the big cat population increasing from 28 to about 50. However at Pilibhit and a small number of other tiger reserves a common denominator can be recognised as the main causes of human injury and deaths. As an example at Pilibhit villagers are growing the wrong type of crops on large swathes of land adjacent to the forest. These crops of sugar cane are difficult for the tiger and other wildlife to distinguish between forest and agriculture. Upon entering the sugar cane the next stop for wildlife would be human habitation and conflict. Cash crops such as sugar cane and mustard seed are in many ways ideal where the tiger can hide, rest and even bring up their young which is obviously a disaster waiting to happen. Similar stories can be seen at Tadoba, Corbett and the Sunderbans where change of land use i.e.logging, honey collecting, fishing, harvesting bamboo all add to the problem with people venturing into the tiger inhabited forest and coming face to face with the big cats. Hopefully in the long run more sense will prevail over land use in order to diminish this problem. See the link to the Indian Express to read a most interesting article.