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When Human-Leopard Conflict Turns Deadly: A Cross-Country Situational Analysis

By Julie S. Viollaz

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Habitat destruction and pollution are two of the main causes for the decline of the planet’s biodiversity. Yet environmentalists are now recognizing that illegal wildlife killings, both poaching and retaliatory killings due to human-wildlife conflict, are perhaps the next major threat. Biologists have researched illegal killings and their effect on species conservation, but few researchers have applied criminological principles of crime reduction to them. This research will explore the situational factors that drive retaliatory leopard killings in parts of South Africa, Kenya, and India. These factors, human and environmental, include local expectations from wildlife, sensitivity to environmental issues, communication between conservation actors, leopard abundance, land-use overlap between humans and leopards, and poor leopard habitat conditions. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods (interview and media article content analysis and logistic regression and non-parametric tests) are used to understand which factors best predict where human-leopard conflicts will arise and deteriorate into retaliatory leopard killings. Strategies to reduce the incidence of retaliatory leopard killings are suggested based on the 25 techniques of situational crime prevention.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2016
Pages 262
Department Criminal Justice
Degree Ph. D.
Language English
University City University of New York (CUNY)
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Crime
  3. human-animal conflict
  4. human-wildlife interactions
  5. Leopards
  6. open access
  7. Wild animals
  1. open access