Human-Animal Conflict | 13 Mar 2024

For Prelims: Human-Animal Conflict, Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

For Mains: Human-Animal Conflict, Issues of Human-Wildlife Conflict and Solutions.

Source: IE

Why in News?

Amid repeated deaths from animal attacks and rising anger over them, Kerala has declared the Human-Animal Conflict as a state-specific disaster.

  • This declaration signals a significant shift in how the government addresses this pressing issue, altering the responsibilities and authorities involved.

How State Handle Human-Animal Conflict as a State-Specific Disaster?

Aspect Current Management Proposed Change (State Specific Disaster)
Responsibility Forest department under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. State disaster management authority under the Disaster Management Act
Decision Making Authority Chief Wildlife Warden State Disaster Management Authority (Chief Minister at State Level)
District Level Authority District Collector as the executive magistrate District Collector as a Chairperson of District Disaster Management Authority
Intervention Capability Limited by Wildlife Protection Act Enhanced powers to take decisive actions under Disaster Management Act 2005
Judicial Oversight Decisions may be questioned in court under wildlife laws Limited judicial interference due to provisions of Disaster Management Act
Jurisdiction of Courts Courts can entertain suits under relevant wildlife laws

Only the Supreme Court or High Court can entertain suits related to actions under Disaster Management Act, 2025 (Section 71).

Norms Override Capability Limited under Wildlife Protection Act Authority to override other norms, including wildlife laws, during the declared disaster period (Under Section 72)
  • As per section 71 of the Disaster Management Act, no court (except the Supreme Court or a High Court) shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of anything done by relevant authorities in pursuance of any power conferred by this Act.
    • Section 72 of the Act says that the provisions of this Act will have an overriding effect on any other law during the specific period that a disaster has been declared.
  • Other State-Specific Disasters:
    • In 2015, Odisha declared snakebite a state-specific disaster.
    • In 2020, Kerala declared Covid-19 as a state specific disaster.
      • Besides, heat waves, sunburn and sunstroke have been declared so in 2019, the phenomenon of soil piping in 2017, and lightning and coastal erosion in 2015.

What is Human-Animal Conflict?

  • About:
    • Human-animal conflict refers to situations where human activities, such as agriculture, infrastructure development, or resource extraction, come into conflict with wild animals, leading to negative outcomes for both humans and animals.
  • Implications:
    • Economic Losses: Human-animal conflict can result in significant economic losses for people, especially farmers and livestock herders. Wild animals can destroy crops, damage infrastructure, and kill livestock, leading to financial hardship.
    • Threats to Human Safety: Wild animals can pose a threat to human safety, especially in areas where people and wildlife coexist. Attacks by large predators such as lions, tigers, and bears can result in serious injury or death.
    • Ecological Damage: Human-animal conflict can have a negative impact on the environment. For example, when humans kill predators, it can lead to an increase in prey populations, which can then cause ecological imbalances.
    • Conservation Challenges: Human-animal conflict can also pose a challenge to conservation efforts, as it can lead to negative perceptions of wildlife and make it difficult to implement conservation measures.
    • Psychological Impacts: Human-animal conflict can also have psychological impacts on people, especially those who have experienced attacks or property damage. It can lead to fear, anxiety, and trauma.

What Strategies Can be Implemented to Mitigate Human-Animal Conflict?

  • Habitat Management:
    • Protecting and restoring natural habitats for wildlife can reduce their need to encroach on human settlements in search of food and shelter.
    • This can involve creating wildlife corridors, establishing protected areas, and implementing sustainable land-use practices.
  • Crop Protection Measures:
    • Implementing techniques such as fencing, scare devices, and crop diversification can help protect crops from wildlife damage, reducing economic losses for farmers.
  • Early Warning Systems:
    • Developing and deploying early warning systems, such as alerting communities about the presence of wildlife nearby, can help prevent human-wildlife conflicts and mitigate threats to human safety.
  • Community Engagement and Education:
    • Educating local communities about coexisting with wildlife, raising awareness about the importance of conservation, and providing training in conflict resolution techniques can foster greater understanding and tolerance toward wild animals.
  • Conflict Resolution Mechanisms:
    • Setting up conflict resolution mechanisms, such as wildlife conflict response teams or hotlines, can facilitate timely interventions and minimise conflicts between humans and animals.

What are the Government Measures to Tackle Human-Animal Conflict?

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q. Consider the following statements in respect of Trade Related Analysis of Fauna and Flora in Commerce (TRAFFIC): (2017)

  1. TRAFFIC is a bureau under United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  2. The mission of TRAFFIC is to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (b)


  • Trade Related Analysis of Fauna and Flora in Commerce (TRAFFIC), the wildlife trade monitoring network, is a joint program of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and IUCN – the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It was founded in 1976. It is not a bureau under UNEP. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • TRAFFIC works to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • TRAFFIC focuses on leveraging resources, expertise and awareness of the latest globally urgent species trade issues such as tiger parts, elephant ivory and rhino horn. Large scale commercial trade in commodities like timber and fisheries products is also addressed and linked to work on developing rapid results and policy improvements. Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.


Q.1 Discuss the recent measures initiated in disaster management by the Government of India departing from the earlier reactive approach. (2020)

Q.2 With reference to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) guidelines, discuss the measures to be adopted to mitigate the impact of the recent incidents of cloudbursts in many places of Uttarakhand. (2016)