Conservation issues

Habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation: The wildlife here faces serious threat of habitat loss and fragmentation due to developmental projects and encroachment by villagers. As populations increase, the villages expand further into forest land, converting these habitats into agricultural land and grazing spots. Large areas of the forest are also being diverted for developmental projects, displacing wildlife and local communities living in the fringes.

The remaining forests are not as healthy and pristine as they were historically, due to increased human pressures. Frequent collection of fuelwood by villagers for cooking, heating and lighting, leads to degradation of the forest and constant interference disturbs wildlife. Furthermore, illegal and unregulated cattle grazing spread diseases amongst wild herbivores.

Human-wildlife conflict: The cluster of forests comprising the Ranthambore National Park is surrounded by heavily populated villages that depend on forest resources for their livelihood and energy needs. This results in frequent cases of human-wildlife conflict, where villagers are injured in chance encounters with wildlife such as tigers and leopards during their visits inside the forest for collection of fuelwood and fodder. Every year, several cases of cattle lifting are reported by villages, as tigers and leopards stray into human habitations in search of easy prey.

Poaching of tigers, co-predators and prey species: Historically, poaching has been the major reason for the decline in tiger populations in this landscape. It still remains a threat to wildlife, however it is not as widespread or frequent as it was in the past. Poaching is more for subsistence than commercial demands.
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