I just read a good paper on the management of existing and emerging human–wildlife conflicts authored by Piran C. L. White and Alastair I. Ward.
Human wildlife conflict is a product of a combination of human population growth, increased pressure on land and natural resources and climate change. Differences crop up when the factor is 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.
The authors say conflicts can be exacerbated by an incomplete understanding of their causes and/or inappropriate intervention measures. In this paper the authors highlight the potential strategic benefits that can be made by an interdisciplinary approach to human–wildlife conflict situation, by integrating knowledge and understanding across the natural and social sciences. They also stress the potential tactical benefits from combining new approaches to management with more traditional ones.
The researchers say 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. The researchers signs off saying that such holistic approach will help to develop more effective, but also more ethically and environmentally responsible, human–wildlife conflict management for the future.
I am indebted to Dr Piran C. L. White for graciously sending me a copy of the paper.
Interdisciplinary approaches for the management of existing and emerging human–wildlife conflicts
Piran C. L. White and Alastair I. Ward
Wildlife Research, 2010, 37, 623–629