Wild Tiger Health Project
Created by Dr John C M Lewis

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Response to predation of livestock

Response to predation of livestock (including dogs):

When responding to livestock predations it is important to understand how and where the attack took place, whether this is the first time it has happened and, if not, what strategies have been tried so far.

Attacks taking place within protected areas usually do not warrant immediate action. Tiger response teams may visit the farmer to discuss the situation and provide advice on management strategies that will reduce the chance of further attacks.

If livestock are attacked near habitations or within a village, a greater response is appropriate. Farmers should still be given help and advice on ways to improve their livestock management (see Preventative measures), but in addition the area around the village or habitation should be monitored for signs that the tiger may be returning. Camera traps can be particularly useful for this and should ideally be positioned near livestock so they can catch the tiger in the act. If there is evidence the tiger is returning further efforts should be made to deter it which can include the use of loud noises, fireworks and flares. A single isolated attack on livestock does not generally warrant capture unless credible witness statements indicate that the tiger in question was injured or in need of treatment.

If the tiger persists in the local area or continues to attack livestock an attempt may be made to capture it for assessment. Villagers should be advised to take precautions such as avoiding walking around alone or after dark. If possible, DNA samples should be collected from conflict sites, and tested as a potential means of identification. Suitable samples include scat, hair and blood.

The tiger response team should remain in the local area until the situation has been resolved.