The Surprising Ways Tigers Benefit Farmers and Livestock Owners

12 February 2018

The Revelator

A new study finds that the often-feared big cats actually help keep crops and domesticated animals safe from other threats.

Farmers and livestock owners tend not to like living too close to large predators, but maybe that’s something they should reconsider. New research finds that the presence of nearby tigers (Panthera tigris) actually benefits farming communities in some pretty surprising ways.

According to a paper published last week in the journal Biological Conservation, tigers tend to live in the deepest, most pristine habitats they can find. In Bhutan, where the study was conducted, tigers then push two other predator species — leopards (Panthera pardus) and dholes (Cuon alpinus) — to the edge of those habitats, where they’re closer to human villages and agricultural areas.

This doesn’t put people or livestock at risk, though. Instead, the leopards and dholes (a type of wild dog) end up preying on the smaller herbivores such as wild pigs (Sus scrofa) that would otherwise be eating farmers’ crops. The crops end up doing better, as do the farmers.

Read the full article here


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