Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2018, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (5): 554-565.doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.05.013

• Investigation and Monitoring of Biological Resources • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Conflict on the Range: Evaluating Driving Factors of Attitudes Toward Prey Species in Qilianshan

Casey D. SULLIVAN1, CHEN Pengju1, Justine Shanti ALEXANDER2, BAI Defeng1, SHI Kun1,3,*   

  1. 1. Wildlife Institute, School of Nature Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China;
    2. Snow Leopard Trust, Sunnyside Avenue, Seattle 98103, USA;
    3. Eco-Bridge Continental, Beijing 100085, China
  • Received:2018-03-14 Revised:2018-05-05 Online:2018-09-30 Published:2018-10-09
  • Contact: * SHI Kun, E-mail: kunshi@bjfu.edu.cn
  • Supported by:
    Assessment on Snow Leopard Population and Habitat of China, Second National Survey of Terrestrial Wildlife in China, State Forestry Administration and Grassland of China (2012-LYS-JWT-29)

Abstract: Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is a global conservation issue of increasing concern, and understanding the factors driving conflict is crucial for preventing or mitigating it. In many parts of China, large human populations and increasing development has led to an escalation in HWC with both carnivore and prey species. In this paper we assess herder attitudes toward blue sheep (Pseudaois nayaur, Hodgson, 1833), white lipped deer (Carvus albirostris, Przewalski, 1883), red deer (Cervus elaphus, Linnaeus, 1758), and marmot (Marmota himalayana Hodgson, 1841) through interview-based surveys conducted in 46 households across 8 villages in Qilianshan National Nature Reserve, Gansu, China. We also examine the perceived impact of three ecological-restoration policies (anti-grazing, sustainable grazing, and grass-planting policies) on livelihoods, and how this affects attitudes toward wildlife. Herders reported neutral attitudes toward wildlife species in general, but reported negative attitudes towards blue sheep. Mixed-effects modeling revealed that herder attitudes toward the target species varied significantly across villages, but other socioeconomic variables had limited explanatory power for attitudes. Furthermore, we found that while policy implementation was negatively perceived by herders, anti-grazing policy implementation and total policy implementation were positively correlated with positive attitudes toward wildlife, highlighting a potential gap between perceived threats and actual threats. Finally, we show that the leading cause of reported livestock death is preventable disease, alleviation of which may help improve attitudes toward wildlife.

Key words: China, ecological restoration, human-wildlife conflict, livestock, ungulates