Mt. Qomolangma Protection Area faces human animal conflicts after improvements

The Snow-leopard Center of Mount Qomolangma recently has carried out an investigation regarding accidents caused by wild animal in the four counties of Kyirong, Nyalam, Dingri and Dingkye of the Shigatse City belonging to the Reserve and discovered that every year there are almost 10,000 domesticated animals being hunted by the wild animals. This indicates that after the ecological improvements, the Mount Qomolangma area has been facing a “human-mammal conflict”.

The investigation indicates that wolf, lynx and snow-leopard are the three main animals that cause incidents, of which, the wolf kills the domesticated animals the most, the average numbers of domesticated animals killed by wolf and by lynx every year have reached respectively 3,400 and 3,100, and that killed by the snow-leopard numbers to less than 2,000.

Wolves and lynx like to kill small domesticated animals such as goat and sheep while snow-leopards tend to kill big domesticated animals like yaks, zhos, and oxes. Generally, accidents caused by wild animals often happen during the period from March to July. The accident situation varies in different places, the most serious case is that in which the domesticated animals that are killed numbers to 5% of the breeding stock.

In reality, this is not a unique phenomena only seen in the Mt. Qomolangma Natural Protection Area. Along the vast Qiangtang grassland it is the same. And in Youqia township in Nagqu County a brown bear even took the opportunity to enter and occupy a house when the herder was not at home, damaging foodstuff, and it even opened a pull-top can and drank some of the soda pop inside. Because it is not permitted to kill brown bears, even when they wanted to think of a way to compel the bear to leave they could not think of a way, and so it was necessary to ask the Forest Industry Bureau expert to come out and assist in the effort.

This is the“new trouble” that improvement of the ecological environment has been bringing to the herders. Following an increase in the herds and expansion of activity areas of brown bears, wild yaks and snow leopards amongst other wild animals have consequently getting more and more into the daily lives of the herders, disturbing domesticated animals, destroying fences and even endangering the lives of herders, and for these reasons have become a serious threat to livestock productions and herder safety.

A rapid increase in the number of wild animals is a direct cause leading up to these conflicts. The person in charge of the Tibet Autonomous Region Forest Industry Office explained that in recent years Tibet has increasingly expanded natural protection areas and therefore wild animal reserves have increased 30% from that seen 20 years ago. According to what was understood, at present there are more than 100,000 wild yaks and antelopes as well as more than 80,000 wild donkeys in Nagqu Prefecture.

For the purpose of protecting against incidences of wild animal “disturbances” and the benefits of local people, Tibet issued and implemented the Tibet Autonomous Region Focal Points Terrestrial Wild Animal Personal and Property Damage Compensation Provision Law in 2006, under which the government provides economic compensation for related damages and costs caused by brown bears and wild yaks etc.