Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is a global conservation issue of increasing concern, and understanding the factors driving conflict is crucial for preventing or mitigating it. In many parts of China, large human populations and increasing development has led to an escalation in HWC with both carnivore and prey species. In this paper we assess herder attitudes toward blue sheep (Pseudaois nayaur, Hodgson, 1833), white lipped deer (Carvus albirostris, Przewalski, 1883), red deer (Cervus elaphus, Linnaeus, 1758), and marmot (Marmota himalayana Hodgson, 1841) through interview-based surveys conducted in 46 households across 8 villages in Qilianshan National Nature Reserve, Gansu, China. We also examine the perceived impact of three ecological-restoration policies (anti-grazing, sustainable grazing, and grass-planting policies) on livelihoods, and how this affects attitudes toward wildlife. Herders reported neutral attitudes toward wildlife species in general, but reported negative attitudes towards blue sheep. Mixed-effects modeling revealed that herder attitudes toward the target species varied significantly across villages, but other socioeconomic variables had limited explanatory power for attitudes. Furthermore, we found that while policy implementation was negatively perceived by herders, anti-grazing policy implementation and total policy implementation were positively correlated with positive attitudes toward wildlife, highlighting a potential gap between perceived threats and actual threats. Finally, we show that the leading cause of reported livestock death is preventable disease, alleviation of which may help improve attitudes toward wildlife.
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