Status and distribution of Asiatic black bear and the status of human-bear conflict at Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary, Darjeeling, West Bengal

Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) is one of the largest carnivores of Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS). This 38.97 km2 sanctuary is known to have 19 villages along its periphery and inside it and incidents of human wildlife conflict in these villages is common. However, information on conflict related to Asiatic black bear is very less. Further, little information is available on ecology of Asiatic black bear from this sanctuary. With this background, this present study was initiated at Senchal WLS, in collaboration with West Bengal Forest Department, to understand the status and distribution of Asiatic black bears and simultaneously to understand the human-wildlife conflict situation in the sanctuary and the role of Asiatic black bear in it.