The last Asiatic lions on Earth inhabit the Indian State of Gujarat. After being at the brink of extinction 100 years ago, the lion population is steadily growing, and the local community is overall supportive. But, new space is urgently needed, and Gujarat doesn’t want to share.
As elusive as this big cat is, for the agro-pastoralist population of the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, snow leopards are a real threat. Here we meet the NGO that became the global pioneer of developing a livestock insurance scheme connected to this vulnerable species, which many countries adapted since. So what lies in the center of the conflict, and how can such an insurance scheme lead to the conservation of the snow leopard and at the same time support local livelihoods?
Before we arrived in India, we had a certain eurocentric picture of human-wildlife conflict and its challenging mitigation. Unfortunately, where humans and large carnivores share space, a diversity of conflicts can emerge. And across Europe, there is a low tolerance for the presence of these species.
So what can we expect as we reach the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, which is regarded as the second most affected state by human-tiger conflicts in the whole country?
What needs to be done to make sure humans and big cats coexist peacefully now and in the future? Nowhere is this question more evident than in India, where around 32 million people are already living as next-door-neighbors to tigers in a country that hosts over 70% of the world’s remaining wild tigers.