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Article     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 37(8)

Interdisciplinary approaches for the management of existing and emerging human–wildlife conflicts

Piran C. L. White A C and Alastair I. Ward B

A Environment Department, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK.
B Food and Environment Research Agency, Sand Hutton, York YO41 1 LZ, UK.
C Corresponding author. Email: piran.white@york.ac.uk

Wildlife Research 37(8) 623-629 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WR10191
Submitted: 21 October 2010  Accepted: 15 December 2010   Published: 22 December 2010


 
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Abstract

Human–wildlife conflicts are increasing throughout the world, principally due to a combination of human population growth, increased pressure on land and natural resources and climate change. Many human–wildlife conflicts stem from differences in objectives between various stakeholder groups, especially where the wildlife in question is a resource that can be exploited for economic or cultural benefit, or where the conservation of wildlife is at odds with human population growth or development pressure. Conflicts can be exacerbated by an incomplete understanding of their causes and/or inappropriate intervention measures. Many traditional forms of intervention are also subject to increasing scrutiny and criticism from society. Here, we highlight the potential strategic benefits that can be made by an interdisciplinary approach to human–wildlife conflict situations, by integrating knowledge and understanding across the natural and social sciences. We also stress the potential tactical benefits from combining new approaches to management with more traditional ones. We emphasise the potential contribution of more recent developments in decision-making under conditions of limited data availability and uncertainty. Finally, we recommend that monitoring should play a more prominent role, both in assessing the role of stakeholder engagement in participatory decision-making and in contributing to the evidence base that will allow competing hypotheses about specific systems to be evaluated in an iterative manner.

Additional keywords:decision-making, integrative, monitoring, participation, stakeholder engagement, uncertainty.


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