Conserving livelihoods and Semnopithecus Ajax: Resolving conflicts around Khajiar-Kalatop Sanctuary

Martina Anandam

Human-primate conflict is a burning issue in Chamba, northern India, with 76 of the 244 surveyed sites reporting conflict with Chamba sacred langurs, otherwise known as Himalayan grey langurs (Semnopithecus ajax), due to crop raiding. As there is no crop-protection system in place, farmers often feel unprotected and helpless which drives them to take extreme measures which in turn has adverse conservation implications. The project seeks to address the conservation issue through methodological study of temporal and spatial dynamics influencing raiding, analysing raider behaviour and quantifying damage suffered after raiding events have taken place. The information will help in designing and evaluating site specific crop-raid deterrents and explore ways of reducing crop loss. The identified stakeholders will be involved in the project in every step and will be partners in building a Conflict Mitigation and Conservation Management System. This stakeholder system will be empowered to sustain a conflict-free environment in Chamba and a sustainable future for Semnopithecus ajax.

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