Voon Mufeng [Wildlife Conservation & Science(Malaysia) Berhad – WCS]
This paper summarizes the impacts of human-wildlife conflicts on wildlife conservation, challenges in dealing with conflicts and the way forward. Human-wildlife conflicts are becoming prevalent as human population increases, creating more demand for food and space. As such wildlife populations are affected and most resulted in a severe decline in numbers. These conflicts also resulted in increased fear and frustration among affected residents as well as overload on government staffs in having to deal with conflicts. Some challenges to the human-wildlife conflict were discussed. Conflicts often occurred due to the fact that wildlife conservation not being viewed as an important agenda, misconception on ‘silver bullet’ for dealing with conflicts and the lack of integration between various agencies involved (government, NGOs, and private sectors).
Establishment and management of habitat connectivity becomes more important to enable wildlife to move freely between fragmented forest, and this has been at the forefront of species management plans, particularly for tigers and elephants in Peninsular Malaysia. The workforce also needs to be strengthened to efficiently tackle poaching as well as human-wildlife conflict. Most important is transparency and good communication among stakeholders. Last but not least, sharing of data and knowledge is of utmost importance and should be done for the sake of wildlife conservation.
This paper was presented at the “Biodiversity Forum 2016“, with the theme “Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation and Action in the Agricultural Sector” jointly organized by Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) with Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Peninsular Malaysia (PERHILITAN) in Awana Genting Resort on 23rd – 24th May 2016.
Reviewed by: Anna Norliza Zulkifli