Leopards provide public health benefits in Mumbai, India

Braczkowski, Alexander R., O'Bryan, Christopher J., Stringer, Martin J., Watson, James E. M., Possingham, Hugh P. and Beyer, Hawthorne L. (2018) Leopards provide public health benefits in Mumbai, India. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 16 3: 176-182. doi:10.1002/fee.1776

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Author Braczkowski, Alexander R.
O'Bryan, Christopher J.
Stringer, Martin J.
Watson, James E. M.
Possingham, Hugh P.
Beyer, Hawthorne L.
Title Leopards provide public health benefits in Mumbai, India
Journal name Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1540-9309
Publication date 2018-04-01
Year available 2018
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/fee.1776
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 16
Issue 3
Start page 176
End page 182
Total pages 7
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ United States
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Abstract Populations of large carnivores are often suppressed in human-dominated landscapes because they can kill or injure people and domestic animals. However, carnivores can also provide beneficial services to human societies, even in urban environments. We examined the services provided by leopards (Panthera pardus) to the residents of Mumbai, India, one of the world's largest cities. We suggest that by preying on stray dogs, leopards reduce the number of people bitten by dogs, the risk of rabies transmission, and the costs associated with dog sterilization and management. Under one set of assumptions, the presence of leopards in this highly urbanized area could save up to 90 human lives per year. A further indirect benefit of leopard presence may be an increase in local abundance of other wildlife species that would otherwise be predated by dogs. The effective conservation of carnivores in human-dominated landscapes involves difficult trade-offs between human safety and conservation concerns. Quantitative assessments of how large carnivores negatively and positively affect urban ecosystems are critical, along with improved education of local communities about large carnivores and their impacts.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Copyright by the Ecological Society of America.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
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Created: Fri, 06 Apr 2018, 00:02:58 EST