Growing human population, demands for cultivable lands and alteration of forest habitat to human habitation and cropland resulted serious human-wildlife conflict in around Protected Areas of Assam.
Occasionally the rhinos, elephants, deer and wild boars of the park stray out into the fringe areas and cause damage to the crops, killing livestock and including killing human being. Injury and death caused to human being by wild elephant, tiger and bear are not very common but in record. The total absence of provision to mitigate or for redressal of man-animal conflict is prominent. The south boundary abruptly encountering a sea of human being all along posses serious threats to wild animals and causes conflict. The human wildlife conflict in the Manas National Park prevailed in the following direction-
- Human-elephant conflict: The human-elephant is most prominent type of conflicts around Manas. The intensity of the conflict is relatively more in the Panbari and Bhuyanpara area.
- Human carnivore conflict: The livestock killing takes place mostly inside the park. The leopard and tiger are responsible mainly for livestock predation.
- Human wild boar conflict: The human-wild boar conflict is another common type of conflict seen around. Reports regarding damage and loss of agricultural crops due to wild boar is the order of the day, and the conflict is acute.
Human elephant conflict refers to a range of direct and indirect negative interactions between people and elephants which potentially harm both. The most publicized are crop damage by elephants and injury or death to people. Human-elephant conflict is a closely related problem of elephant conservation scenario. The conflict problem is a cause for concern because it threatens to erode local support for conservation in areas where human life and property are at high risk of destruction by wild elephants. Depredation by wild elephants in Panbari, Bansbari and eastern portion of the Park is prevalent. This happens mostly in the winter season.
Crop damage incidents were mostly concentrated along the Park boundary areas and highest depredation occurred in the villages that are located adjacent to the Park. It was observed that as the distance increased the conflict gradually decreased and vice versa. During the study period it was found that within the distance class 0-500m of the Park boundary highly significantly more incidents of crop raiding occurred.
Crop raiding in the fringe areas around Manas National Park was found to be a seasonal phenomenon. Due to its large extent of cultivation in the study area Paddy was raided highly significantly more frequently than the other crops. In the study area both summer and winter paddy were cultivated however, the extent of cultivation of summer paddy was comparatively less.
A total of 26 different species of crops were recorded which were raided (consumed /trampled/damaged) by elephants in the affected villages around Manas National Park (Nath, 2011). All the house and property damages were reported to be caused by single bull elephants. Majority of the victims did not claim compensation for the losses occurred due to house and property damage.