(Environment & Ecology)General Studies Paper 3
Question:- 83. Discuss the reasons for human- animal conflict wrt tigers in India. Also, suggest a way forward to reduce such cases. Answer in 150 words.
Oct 05, 2022


According to the 4th Tiger Census, there are approximately 2,967 tigers in India. Tigers count in India has increased from 1,411 in 2006 marking the success of Project Tiger. Through this, India has achieved the goal of doubling the number of tigers as highlighted by the St Petersburg declaration (Tx20) 2010.

However, according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), India can have a maximum of 3,000 tigers with respect to the available area of tiger reserves. As the current tiger population is reaching a maximum level of carrying capacity of the ecosystem, this could result in increased human-animal conflict.



1.Habitat Loss: 

Only 5% of India’s geographical area is in the protected area category. This space is not enough to have a full-fledged habitat for wild animals.

As a result, the territorial animals do not have enough space within reserves and their prey does not have enough fodder to thrive on.

This has forced the wild animals to move out and venture close to human habitation in search of food, resulting in human-animal conflict.

2. Increasing infrastructure development 

Relaxations in norms to allow for a widening of highway and railway networks near these protected areas are the new threats, adding to the old ones of retaliatory poisoning and poaching.

Apart from highways, railway and irrigation projects are coming up in tiger reserves. For example- the Ken-Betwariver interlinking project will submerge 100 sq. km of Panna Tiger Reserve.

3. Also, wildlife experts estimate that 29% of the tigers in India are outside the protected areas.



According to the Wildlife experts, if wildlife protection is confined to reserves and parks alone, several species will stand at the brink of extinction. For example, the Great Indian Bustard, which is a Schedule-I animal. Despite having sanctuaries to itself, the bird has been driven to the brink of extinction.

Co-occurrence approach: Building community participation in conservation is a better idea than just having protected areas.

Events of Human-Animal conflict can be reduced by integrating early warning systems with simpler damage-prevention practices (such as improving fencing of crops or better livestock husbandry).

Hunting of prey animals, such as deer and pig, needs to stop as they form the base for the growth of tiger and other carnivore populations.

Efforts can be taken to better wildlife management practices and understanding of animal behaviour. So that people don’t kill an animal out of panic.


The tiger population seems to be growing in various states which is a positive sign but as the country celebrates its conservation success, policymakers and scientists will have to put their heads together to devise more creative solutions.