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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Relocate local pastoralist communities to reduce human-wildlife conflict Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Key messages

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  • One study evaluated the effects on mammals of relocating local pastoralists to reduce human-wildlife conflict. This study was in India.



  • Abundance (1 study): A study in India found that after most pastoralists were relocated outside of an area, Asiatic lion numbers increased.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


A study in 1974–2010 of forest and savanna in one area in Gujarat, India (Singh & Gibson 2011) found that after most pastoralists were relocated outside of the area, Asiatic lion Panthera leo persica numbers increased. The lion population increased during the study period from 180 in 1974 to 411 individuals 36 years later. This coincided with increased abundance of wild ungulates from 5,600 individuals prior to the start of the study, in 1969–1970, to 64,850 individuals in 2010. Scat analysis showed that domestic livestock formed 75% of lions’ diets four years before the main study period which fell to 25% at the end of the study. A wildlife sanctuary was created in 1965 and was expanded and declared a National Park in 1975. Four further areas were protected between 1989 and 2007. Three core protected areas covered 1,452 km2. Over two thirds of indigenous pastoral Maldharis and their livestock were relocated from the area, commencing in 1972. The number of domestic buffalo and cattle in the protected areas fell from 24,250 animals in the 1970s to 12,500 in the mid-1980s but then increased to 23,440 in 2010. Lions were visually surveyed at 5–6-year intervals, from 1974–2010.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Littlewood, N.A., Rocha, R., Smith, R.K., Martin, P.A., Lockhart, S.L., Schoonover, R.F., Wilman, E., Bladon, A.J., Sainsbury, K.A., Pimm S. and Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Terrestrial Mammal Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for terrestrial mammals excluding bats and primates. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.