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Abstract

In a recent analysis Woodroffe (2000) found a positive relationship between historical patterns of large carnivore extinction probability and human population density. However, much of the data in this analysis came from a period when carnivore extermination was a management objective. In order to explore the hypothesis that large carnivores can persist at high human densities when the management regime is more favourable we have repeated the analysis using up-to-date data from North America and Europe. In North America we found that large carnivore populations have increased after favourable legislation was introduced, despite further increases in human population density. In Europe we found no clear relationship between present carnivore distribution and human population density. We therefore believe that the existence of effective wildlife management structures is more important than human density per se.
Predators and people: conservation of large carnivores is
possible at high human densities if management policy
is favourable
INTRODUCTION
In our modern and crowded world, large carnivores are
among the most challenging taxonomic groups to con-
serve (Mech, 1995). Their massive area requirements
and predatory behaviour (on both wild prey and live-
stock) lie at the core of the problem (Nowell & Jackson,
1996). In addition, their populations have been dramat-
ically reduced during the last 200 years. However, their
decline has not been uniform throughout the world, and
while some populations have been exterminated, others
have survived to a far greater degree. In a recent analy-
sis of historic trends, Woodroffe (2000) attempted to
explain some of this variation by examining the rela-
tionship between large carnivore extinction probability
and increasing human population density. For a variety
of species, Woodroffe found a clear positive relationship
between human density and extinction probability.
However, we believe that while being a fair analysis of
past processes her analysis does not present an accurate
picture of the ability for large carnivores to persist in the
modern world under favourable management regimes.
Instead, against a background of European experience
and an examination of more modern North American
data (which were not covered by Woodroffe), we pre-
sent the thesis that large carnivore persistence is more
adequately explained by management policy, and the
enforcement of this policy, than human population den-
sity per se.
RECENT TRENDS IN NORTH AMERICAN
LARGE CARNIVORE POPULATIONS
The North American extinction data used by Woodroffe
(2000) stem from the late 1800s and early 1900s. During
this entire period the widespread social agenda, and
politically sanctioned policy, was to eradicate large car-
nivores (Mech, 1970; Brown, 1983; chapters in Novak
et al., 1987). Bounties were offered at various times by
county, state and federal administrations. In addition,
large amounts of federal money were used to support
professional hunters who used all available methods (e.g.,
traps, poison, aerial hunting) to kill carnivores. During
the same time period, there was widespread conversion
of forest habitats to farmland, and decimation of the prey
base of native ungulates on which large carnivores
depend. As human population size also correlates with
time, the data analyzed by Woodroffe (2000) describe
the progressive success of this extermination policy, and
the temporal progression of immigrant expansion into
relatively unsettled territory, rather than a simple causal
density-dependent relationship between human density
and carnivore extinction. Woodroffe’s critical human
density appears to be a measure of the effort that humans
must make in order to exterminate large carnivores
when they are trying. Therefore we believe that it is not
Animal Conservation (2001) 4, 345–349 © 2001 The Zoological Society of London Printed in the United Kingdom
John D. C. Linnell1, Jon E. Swenson1,2 and Reidar Andersen1,3
1Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Tungasletta 2, 7485 Trondheim, Norway
2Department of Biology and Nature Conservation, Agricultural University of Norway, PO Box 5014, 1432 Ås, Norway
3Zoology Department, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
(Received 12 September 2000; accepted 11 June 2001)
Abstract
In a recent analysis Woodroffe (2000) found a positive relationship between historical patterns of
large carnivore extinction probability and human population density. However, much of the data in
this analysis came from a period when carnivore extermination was a management objective. In order
to explore the hypothesis that large carnivores can persist at high human densities when the man-
agement regime is more favourable we have repeated the analysis using up-to-date data from North
America and Europe. In North America we found that large carnivore populations have increased
after favourable legislation was introduced, despite further increases in human population density. In
Europe we found no clear relationship between present carnivore distribution and human population
density. We therefore believe that the existence of effective wildlife management structures is more
important than human density per se.
All correspondence to: John Linnell. Tel: ++ 47 73 801 442;
Fax: ++ 47 73 801 401; E-mail: john.linnell@ninatrd.ninaniku.no
directly relevant to the discussion about how to conserve
large carnivores when we actually try.
If our hypothesis on the role of management policy is
correct, large carnivore populations should have stabi-
lized or recovered once policy objectives changed,
despite the fact that human density remained stable or
increased further. Official policy towards all predators,
including large carnivores, began changing after the
1940s, but the most dramatic changes occurred during
the early 1970s (Novak et al., 1987, and references
therein). The indiscriminate use of toxicants for carni-
vore control was banned in the United States in 1972,
and wolves (Canis lupus) and grizzly bears (Ursus arc-
tos) were placed on the endangered species list (in
the lower 48 states) in 1974 and 1975, respectively.
Similarly, bounties were removed from wolves in
the various Canadian provinces between 1949
(Saskatchewan) and 1975 (Northwest Territories). By
the mid-1970s wolves, grizzly bears and cougars (Puma
concolor) were all either protected or managed as har-
vestable game species (game or furbearer designations)
throughout Canada and the United States (Novak et al.,
1987, and references therein).
In the subsequent 25 years, there have been no fur-
ther extinctions of these three species in their range
states/provinces (Table 1). Although there have been
some local declines, these either have been due to
planned population reductions, or were reversed after the
decline was detected. In fact, most populations have
expanded. Wolves have naturally expanded from north-
eastern Minnesota (the only area where they persisted in
the lower 48 states) to recolonize central Minnesota,
upper Michigan and parts of Wisconsin and North
Dakota. In addition, northern Montana has been recolo-
nized from Alberta (Mech, 1995). In addition, the delib-
erate reintroduction of wolves into formerly occupied
habitats in Idaho and the Greater Yellowstone ecosys-
tem has been a success (Bangs et al., 1998), and a new
reintroduction is underway in the southwestern states
(Parsons, 1998). Grizzly bear populations in Alaska and
Canada remain secure, and even the five remnant pop-
ulations in the lower 48 states have generally held their
own (Servheen, Herrero & Peyton, 1999). Augmentation
of the grizzly bear population in the Cabinet–Yaak area
of Montana has been carried out, and a reintroduction
into the Selway–Bitteroot area on the Idaho–Montana
border is being planned (Servheen et al., 1999). Wildlife
managers in 15 states and provinces have reported that
their cougar populations are either stable or increasing,
including the isolated population of cougars in Florida
(reports in Paldey, 1997). This is all despite the fact that
the human population of North America has almost
quadrupled since 1900 (Woodroffe’s survey date) and
has increased by 25% since 1975 when the modern era
of conservation-orientated large carnivore management
began. Many of these states (Table 1) have human pop-
ulations well above Woodroffe’s cut-off densities (4–14
people km–2), and wolf recovery plans are being seriously
evaluated for northeastern states like New York which
has 148 people per km2 (Mladenoff & Sickley, 1998).
CARNIVORE PERSISTENCE IN EUROPE AT
HIGH HUMAN DENSITY
If large carnivore persistence is simply linked to human
population density per se, we should expect to find a sim-
ilar relationship between carnivore persistence and
human population density in an area not considered by
Woodroffe. To examine this issue we collated data on
the past distribution and present status of brown bear
(Ursus arctos), wolf and Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx, the
ecological equivalent of a cougar) in Europe from a series
of action plans, recently published by the Council of
Europe (Boitani, 2000; Breitenmoser et al., 2000;
Swenson et al., 2000) and the IUCN (Nowell & Jackson,
1996; Servheen et al., 1999). Additional status updates
presented at a meeting of the ‘Group of Experts on Large
Carnivores to the Council of Europe’s Bern Convention’
in Oslo in June 2000 were included in some cases. We
considered countries to be former-range states if large
carnivore populations had persisted into the early 1800s
(this excludes cases like wolf extinction from Britain and
Ireland that occurred in the 1600s for example).
Extinction was defined if a given species did not occur
in a consistently reproducing status for a period of at least
some decades (Table 2). In order to test for the ability
of large carnivores to persist under modern manage-
ment regimes we repeated the analysis using present
346 J. D. C. L
INNELL ET AL
.
Table 1. Present trends in wolf and cougar populations in North
American states in relation to present human population density.
Human population densities are for the year 2000 (US Census
Bureau). Carnivore population trends are indicated by arrow symbols
("= increasing, #= stable, $= decreasing)
State/province Human density Cougar1Wolf2
Alaska 0.4 #
Alberta 4.1 "#
Arizona 16.2 #
BC 3.9 ""
California 82.1 "
Colorado 15.1 "
Florida 108.1 #
Idaho 5.8 "
Labrador 1.4 #
Manitoba 1.7 #
Michigan 67.0 "
Minnesota 23.2 "
Montana 2.3 ""
Nevada 6.4 "
New Mexico 5.5 "
NWT30.02 #
Ontario 10.0 "
Oregon 13.3 "
Quebec 4.6 "
Saskatchewan 1.5 #
Texas 29.6 "
Utah 10.0 "
Washington 33.4 "
Wisconsin 37.3 "
Wyoming 1.9 "
Yukon 0.06 #
1Source = state-by-state survey from fifth mountain lion workshop
in 1996 (Paldey, 1997).
2Source = Hayes & Gunson, 1995; Stephenson et al., 1995; Thiel &
Ream, 1995; figures generally include up to 1992.
3Trend does not include High Arctic areas where data are lacking.
distributions of reproductive populations (including the
results of both natural recolonization and reintroduction).
There was some subjectivity associated with classify-
ing a population within a national border as simply
present or extinct, because many populations straddle
international borders and are in a dynamic state. This
was especially true for Norway, as wolves only recolo-
nized in 1998 (represented by only three packs that use
Norwegian territory exclusively in 2000) and no repro-
ducing female bears exclusively use Norwegian territory
(Swenson, Sandegren & Söderberg, 1998). As Norway
has by far the lowest human population density in main-
land Europe, the classification of its wolf and bear pop-
ulations can have a dramatic effect on the analysis.
Therefore, we carried out separate analyses where these
populations were considered as either present or extinct,
respectively. Human population densities were taken
from the estimated present densities (year 2000) by the
United States Census Bureau. Although some countries’
populations may have grown at slightly different rates
during the last two centuries, we believe that the rela-
tive rankings should be unchanged, and present human
density is directly relevant to the analysis for persistence
at the present time.
The only species showing a significant relationship
between human population density and historical extinc-
tion since the early 1800s was the Eurasian lynx (Tables
2 and 3). This probably reflects the greater vulnerabil-
ity of lynx to human influences on their ungulate prey
base rather than disproportionate human persecution.
Lynx are strictly carnivorous and therefore cannot sur-
vive in the absence of prey species; wolves and bears
are better able to survive on garbage and plants, respec-
tively. With regard to present coexistence with humans,
lynx showed no relationship to human density, owing to
their successful reintroduction and recolonization in
many countries in central Europe. Although the present
status of both wolves and bears appeared to show a rela-
tionship with human density, this was due to the influ-
ence of Norway as an outlying data point (Table 3). If
Norwegian wolf and bear populations were included in
the analysis as functionally extinct, then there was no
significant relationship between human density and car-
nivore presence.
There is no doubt that Europe’s large carnivores have
been greatly reduced owing to human activities during
past centuries. Direct persecution, destruction of their
prey base and deforestation have all led to dramatic
reductions in distribution and numbers (Boitani, 1995;
Breitenmoser, 1998). Large carnivores were driven to
extinction in many countries, often early in historic or
even prehistoric times. However, the results from our
analysis show that, in general, there are few consistent
relationships between human population density and
large carnivore extinction in Europe. In addition, the crit-
ical densities are far higher than those found by
Woodroffe for North American large carnivores. Why is
this?
We believe that it is due to two factors. First, it is
important to remember that Europeans have shared their
continent with large carnivores for around 30,000 years.
347Large carnivores, human density and management policy
Table 2. Present trends in large carnivore populations in European
countries in relation to present human population density. P? = repro-
ducing population present but trend is uncertain; T = only transient
individuals present; E = extinct; NP = never present. Human popu-
lation densities are for the year 2000 (US Census Bureau). Carnivore
population trends are indicated by arrow symbols ("= increasing,
#= stable, $= decreasing)
Country Human Lynx1Bear2Wolf3
density (km–2)
Albania 121.40 ?P? #"
Austria 96.97 T "E
Bosnia 75.02 ?P? ?P? $
Bulgaria 70.30 E $#
Croatia 75.73 ## "
Czech Republic 130.30 #T "
Estonia 31.73 ## #
Finland 15.33 """
France 107.98 "#"
Germany 232.12 "E T
Greece 80.35 ?P? $#
Hungary 108.99 T E #T#
Italy 191.33 T #"
Latvia 37.76 ###
Lithuania 55.54 #T "
Macedonia (FYROM) 79.37 ?P? #"
Moldova 131.48 E E #
Norway 13.82 #" "
Poland 123.59 ## "
Portugal 109.12 NP E #
Romania 94.36 #($)4"
Slovakia 110.29 $"#
Slovenia 95.21 ## "
Spain 79.24 NP $"
Sweden 19.73 """
Switzerland 175.89 #E #T"
Ukraine 81.42 ?P? $#
Yugoslavia 104.36 ?P? ?P? ?P?
1Source = Breitenmoser et al., 2000; figures are for 1998.
2Source = Swenson et al., 2000; figures are for 1998.
3Source = Boitani, 2000; figures are for 1998.
4Reducing the brown bear population is currently a management goal
in Romania.
Table 3. Logistic regression analysis of large carnivore extinction in
European countries with respect to human population density. ‘Past
extinction’ includes countries where the species became extinct for a
period of at least several decades after 1800. ‘Present status’ is based
on the data in Table 2, and includes the results of population persis-
tence, recolonization and reintroduction. The later analysis has been
presented with and without Norway, as the country’s low population
density gives it a strong effect on the analysis, and the status of wolves
and bears is undergoing rapid change
N c2PMean human Mean human
density at density at
extinction persistence
Lynx
Past extinction 26 9.0 0.003
Present status 26 0.2 0.677 94.0 ± 32.8 94.7 ± 55.1
Brown bear
Past extinction 28 1.1 0.3
Present status 28 4.8 0.03 135.5 ± 61.2 83.4 ± 42.4
Present status 28 0.4 0.52
(Norway set as extinct)
Wolf
Past extinction 28 0.01 0.904
Present status 28 6.7 0.01 168.3 ± 67.9 85.8 ± 41.7
Present status 28 0.08 0.773
(Norway set as extinct)
This long-term overlap has led to a relatively high degree
of coexistence, for example with wolves exploiting
anthropomorphic food sources when wild prey are
absent (Vos, 2000), and with shepherds adopting effec-
tive methods of guarding their livestock (Coppinger &
Schneider, 1995). The second factor is clearly one of tra-
dition, which is expressed through management regula-
tion (Boitani, 1995). Royal decrees to regulate hunting
of bears date back to the 1600s in some cases, and most
countries were managing bears as game species by the
early- to mid-1900s. There is no doubt that the concept
of hunting large carnivores as game species is far older
in Europe than in North America and contributed greatly
to their persistence. In addition, despite the very high
human densities in Europe today (Table 2), the historic
declines in large carnivore numbers appear to have been
reversed with only a few exceptions. Large carnivore
population trends in most countries are stable or increas-
ing, and intensive conservation efforts are underway to
reverse the slow declines occurring in a few areas.
One example that clearly shows the importance of
management policy is that of brown bears in Scandinavia
(Swenson et al., 1995). Both countries have low human
population densities (14 km–2 in Norway, 20 km–2 in
Sweden). Bounties on bears were introduced early (1733
in Norway, 1647 in Sweden). As a result, bear popula-
tions were rapidly reduced in both countries. However,
management policy diverged in the late 1800s. Bounties
were removed in Sweden in 1893, and increasing levels
of protection were phased in from 1909. This led to such
an increase that managed hunting could begin in 1943.
Today there is a population of about 1000 bears, that is
still increasing despite providing an annual harvest of 50
bears (Sandegren & Swenson, 1997). In contrast, despite
phasing out the state bounty in 1930 in Norway, unreg-
ulated killing was still permitted up until 1972, when
bears were finally given protection. By this time they
were functionally extinct (Swenson et al., 1995, 1998).
Recolonization from Sweden, Russia and Finland is
presently allowing a slow recovery of the Norwegian
population.
CONCLUSIONS
In conclusion, the data support our hypothesis that pat-
terns of large carnivore extinction and persistence in
Europe and North America are more adequately
explained by management policy and its enforcement
than by human population density. We therefore predict
that human density and carnivore density interact dif-
ferently in two phases of the development of wildlife
management structures. First, where there is no effec-
tive regulation of human behaviour, weapons (and poi-
son) are available, and a rapid period of human
expansion occurs into areas where resource exploitation
is not controlled, large carnivore extinction should be
related positively to human density (the ‘frontier’ phase).
This is mediated by a combination of habitat change,
destruction of prey base and direct persecution. This sit-
uation broadly corresponds to North America up until
the mid-1900s, and much of the developing world today.
Woodroffe’s (2000) analysis of North American data has
clearly shown how large carnivore extermination can be
achieved (if desired) even at very low human densities.
Second, where there is effective regulation of human
behaviour and established human populations in areas
where resource exploitation is regulated, there should be
no strong correlation between human density and carni-
vore extinction (the ‘stabilised’ or ‘wildlife manage-
ment’ phase). This corresponds to most of Europe and
North America today. In this phase, large carnivore
recovery into remaining habitat can occur, through either
natural recolonization or planned reintroduction. The
European experience shows how brown bears, lynx and
wolves can survive at high human densities.
The important implication of our results is that large
carnivore conservation requires the rapid establishment
of effective wildlife management and enforcement struc-
tures that either make protection effective or regulate
harvest of both large carnivores and their prey at sus-
tainable levels. Of course, achieving this in the devel-
oping world requires a whole range of measures, like
slowing human population growth, and fostering sus-
tainable socio-economic development. The point is that
large carnivore conservation is possible at high human
density, and that even wilderness protection is no guar-
antee of persistence (Woodroffe & Ginsberg, 1998).
European and North American experience clearly shows
that large carnivores and their prey can persist within
many heavily modified habitats (though not all) at high
human densities and even where both predators and their
prey are being harvested. In the face of the pressures on
wilderness areas today, this is extremely good news for
large carnivores (Linnell, Swenson & Andersen, 2000).
Implementation of such a policy requires an urgent
building of bridges between the academic field of con-
servation biology and the hands-on field of wildlife man-
agement.
Acknowledgements
We would like to thank Hans C. Pedersen, Henrik
Brøseth, John Odden and Erling J. Solberg for con-
structive input into this discussion.
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349Large carnivores, human density and management policy
... Carnivores are primarily drawn into human-dominated landscapes because of their protein-rich diets and extensive home ranges , and are therefore especially prone to conflict with people, who often share their spatial and dietary requirements (Linnell et al. 2001). This is especially true for males of a particular species, mainly owing to their larger home range requirements, higher dispersal rates and probable larger body size (Linnell et al. 2001;Bunnefeld et al. 2006;. ...
... Carnivores are primarily drawn into human-dominated landscapes because of their protein-rich diets and extensive home ranges , and are therefore especially prone to conflict with people, who often share their spatial and dietary requirements (Linnell et al. 2001). This is especially true for males of a particular species, mainly owing to their larger home range requirements, higher dispersal rates and probable larger body size (Linnell et al. 2001;Bunnefeld et al. 2006;. Consequently, HCC is particularly rife in non-protected areas bordering reserves (Thorn et al. 2013), where a conflict of interest arises . ...
... Consequently, large carnivores are often described as inimical to animal farming and viewed as undesirable at a local level (Woodroffe et al. 2005), where they tend to experience the worst consequences of human-carnivore conflict (HCC) . The high incidence of HCC is largely attributed to the protein-rich diets and extensive home ranges of large carnivore species , drawing them into areas where their spatial and dietary needs overlap with those of humans (Linnell et al. 2001). The important regulatory roles fulfilled by carnivores in terrestrial ecosystems are however undisputed (Estes et al. 2011), resulting in carnivores being widely regarded as flagship species at national and global levels , and thus requiring substantial conservation interventions to promote their continued existence. ...
Thesis
Three major forms of hunting are believed to be on the increase in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, posing independently and synergistically some of the greatest threats to the continued survival of local wildlife. Firstly, there is growing evidence of the presence and reliance of local communities on bushmeat harvesting by means of wire-snare poaching, potentially implying severe reductions or extirpations of target species, high rates of non-target off-take, and the loss of entire communities. Secondly, human-wildlife conflict poses a threat to the livelihoods and agricultural security of many stakeholders living at the interface of human development and natural habitat in the Boland, resulting in the vast eradication of damage-causing animals (DCA’s). Finally, the use of animals and animal-derived materials in traditional medicine constitutes an important part of the belief-systems of indigenous African cultures, and is believed to be rapidly expanding. Due to the severity of the consequences reported elsewhere globally, and the general lack of local information with which to quantify the extent and impact of these hunting practices locally, structured interviews were conducted with farmers (n = 103) and labourers (n = 307) on private agricultural properties bordering protected areas (PA’s). In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with traditional healers (n = 36) operating from impoverished, rural communities near PA’s. Our reliance on the knowledge and experiences of local people elucidated several dynamic and interwoven social, economic and ecological factors underlying wildlife off-take, and subsequently allowed for the quantification, documentation and mapping of vertebrate off-take at the human-wildlife interface. Wire-snare poaching incidence and behaviour was strongly influenced by economic factors relating to poverty, a lack of governing regulations and punitive measures, interpersonal development, and abiotic factors such as proximity to major residential areas, roadways and PA’s. Results showed that local, male farmers managing large commercial properties affiliated with regional conservancies were most likely to rely on the lethal control of DCA’s. The highest level of tolerance by farmers was shown for primates and ungulates, while tolerance for carnivores, avifauna and invasive or feral species was comparatively lower. The spatial location of observed and expected zones of species-specific risk on a regional level was also mapped using a maximum entropy algorithm. We recorded 26 broad use-categories for 12 types of animal parts or products from 71 species used in traditional medicine. The most commonly sold items were skin pieces, oil or fat, and bones. To conclude, we conducted a synergistic assessment of species’ vulnerability to the combined impacts of the above-mentioned hunting practices, and subsequently found that leopard, grey duiker, chacma baboon, caracal, Cape porcupine, aardvark, genet spp., and cape clawless otters experience the highest potential endangerment. This study provided the first demonstration of the multifaceted and complex nature of hunting practices in the Boland Region, opening a dialogue between local communities and conservation agencies. The primary goals being to broaden our understanding of the heterogeneity in local-scale socio-ecological dynamics, to apply policies for effective management and eradication, to prioritize areas and species for intervention, to provide for more accurate allocation of conservation resources, and to provide grounds for future research in the area and elsewhere.
... We use gray wolves (Canis lupus) as a model species in this analysis. Gray wolves are an ideal model because they (i) are among the widest-ranging large, terrestrial carnivore (Wolf and Ripple, 2017); (ii) are capable of living near human settlement (Linnell et al., 2001;Mech and Boitani, 2003); and (iii) occasionally attack humans, our pets and our livestock (Linnell et al., 2001(Linnell et al., , 2021. Moreover, wolves have recently expanded into parts of their former ranges in Europe and the United States where they have not been for decades, prompting questions about how to coexist with this species Chapron et al., 2014). ...
... We use gray wolves (Canis lupus) as a model species in this analysis. Gray wolves are an ideal model because they (i) are among the widest-ranging large, terrestrial carnivore (Wolf and Ripple, 2017); (ii) are capable of living near human settlement (Linnell et al., 2001;Mech and Boitani, 2003); and (iii) occasionally attack humans, our pets and our livestock (Linnell et al., 2001(Linnell et al., , 2021. Moreover, wolves have recently expanded into parts of their former ranges in Europe and the United States where they have not been for decades, prompting questions about how to coexist with this species Chapron et al., 2014). ...
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This study applies a psychological hazard-acceptance model to U.S. wolf conservation. Where most prior studies have focused on human populations most likely to interact with wolves (e.g., people who reside in wolves' range), we sought to model tolerance among the general public throughout the United States, with representative samples from two regions with ongoing recovery efforts (i.e., the Northern Rocky Mountains and Western Great Lakes) as well as the rest of the country. As opposed to typical, attitudinal measures of tolerance (e.g., wildlife acceptance capacity) we sought to model supportive and oppositional behavior among the U.S. public as a function of perceptions of risk, benefit, and control, trust in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and affect toward wolves. At the national level, results predict a moderate amount of the variance for tolerant, stewardship behaviors (r 2 = 0.22-0.25) and intolerant, oppositional behaviors to wolf conservation (r 2 = 0.14-0.22). Most respondents (55%) did not intend to engage in either supportive or oppositional actions, and 23% indicated a preference for wolf populations to increase nationally. These preferences varied slightly by sample region when weighted to reflect regional demographics, with about one in three respondents in the Northern Rocky Mountains preferring for wolf populations to increase (32%), and slightly fewer saying the same in the Western Great Lakes region (30%) and rest of the United States (27%). We performed a post hoc logistic regression to identify factors that predisposed U.S. residents nationally to engage in any behavior toward wolves (tolerant or intolerant). This analysis suggested that the perceived importance of the wolf issue was most predictive of intentions to engage in behavior relevant to wolf conservation. Analyses indicate high levels of tolerance for wolves nationally, some support for their restoration, and only small minorities engaging in oppositional behavior. With the recent shift to individual state-level management, a more diverse policy matrix will increase the importance of understanding how human tolerance for wolves varies spatially (at the local level), and what factors drive tolerance at both the individual and group level.
... In the meantime, human activities can affect the carnivore populations also in remote areas with low human densities, so human attitudes and practices can be more important than density per se (by itself) (Cardillo et al. 2004;Woodroffe, 2000). However, in most of today's developing countries where human behaviour and resource use have not been properly controlled or managed, the probability of large carnivore extinction is positively related to human density until favorable wildlife management practices are introduced and enforced (Linnell et al. 2001). Livestock breeding present in the leopard range in Armenia at the temporary shepherd camps located far away from the villages has been tolerable by the leopard, but is a serious threat to its long-term survival if not properly managed (Khorozyan, 2003). ...
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Rare Records of the Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor Pocock, 1927) from Kurdistan, Northern Iraq, and a review of its distribution in Western Asia. By: Sharif Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Mohammad Ahmad Ahmad Mostafa Abdallah Mohammad Khalaf-Prinz Sakerfalke von Jaffa. Abstract: Persian Leopards (Panthera pardus saxicolor Pocock, 1927) were first recorded in recent times with camera traps in the mountainous terrain in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2011. The wildlife conservationist Hana Raza and her team of Nature Iraq Organization rediscovered the once thought extinct Persian Leopard in the mountains of Kurdistan in 2011. The Persian Leopard was recorded with trail cameras in only few occasions since then. It is thought that only 20 – 25 animals are roaming the Iraqi Kurdistan Mountains. Very recently, a male Persian leopard trapped on 30th December 2021 in Zreza Village, Iraqi Kurdistan, had its hind leg amputated following a trap-inflicted wound, and was then transferred to Duhok Zoo for treatment. Another male Persian Leopard was video recorded roaming the Al-Sulaymaniyah Mountains, Kurdistan in Northern Iraq on 24th April 2022. The researcher Soran Ahmed from the University of Sulaymaniyah used a Trail Camera to video record the occurrence of this rare subspecies in Northern Iraq. Reference: Khalaf-Prinz Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Sharif Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Mohammad Ahmad Ahmad Mostafa Abdallah Mohammad (August 2023). Rare Records of the Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor Pocock, 1927) from Kurdistan, Northern Iraq, and a review of its distribution in Western Asia. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin (ISSN 0178-6288). Volume 41, Number 224, August 2023, pp. 1-79. Published by Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Khalaf Department for Environmental Research and Media, Palestine National Research Center, University of Palestine, Gaza, State of Palestine. http://leopard-panthera-pardus-2.webs.com/ & https://issuu.com/dr-norman-ali-khalaf/docs/persian_leopard_in_kurdistan_iraq & https://www.academia.edu/80193307/Rare_Records_of_the_Persian_Leopard_Panthera_pardus_saxicolor_Pocock_1927_from_Kurdistan_Northern_Iraq_and_a_review_of_its_distribution_in_Western_Asia
... Widespread persecution and habitat loss have precipitated the decline of many North American carnivore populations (e.g., Laliberte & Ripple, 2004). However, recovery for some species has been achieved through legal protections, habitat preservation, and increasing tolerance for wild predators (George & Crooks, 2006;Gompper et al., 2015;Linnell et al., 2001). Integral to species demography, mortality plays a substantial role in the growth and persistence of carnivore populations (Krebs et al., 2004;Moss et al., 2016). ...
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Understanding the types and magnitude of human-caused mortality is essential for maintaining viable large carnivore populations. We used a database of cause-specific mortality to examine how hunting regulations and landscape configurations influenced human-caused mortality of North American gray wolves (Canis lupus). Our dataset included 21 studies that monitored the fates of 3564 wolves and reported 1442 mortalities. Human-caused mortality accounted for 61% of mortality overall, with 23% due to illegal harvest, 16% due to legal harvest, and 12% the result of management removal. The overall proportion of anthropogenic wolf mortality was lowest in areas with an open hunting season compared to areas with a closed hunting season or mixed hunting regulations, suggesting that harvest mortality was neither fully additive nor compensatory. Proportion of mortality from management removal was reduced in areas with an open hunting season, suggesting that legal harvest may reduce human-wolf conflicts or alternatively that areas with legal harvest have less potential for management removals (e.g., less livestock depredation). Proportion of natural habitat was negatively correlated with the proportion of anthropogenic and illegal harvest mortality. Additionally, the proportion of mortality due to illegal harvest increased with greater natural habitat fragmentation. The observed association between large patches of natural habitat and reductions in several sources of anthro-pogenic wolf mortality reiterate the importance of habitat preservation to maintain wolf populations. Furthermore, effective management of wolf populations via implementation of harvest may reduce conflict with humans. Effective wolf conservation will depend on holistic strategies that integrate ecological and socioeconomic factors to facilitate their long-term coexistence with humans. K E Y W O R D S Canis lupus, carnivore, cause-specific mortality, meta-analysis, telemetry
... During the last decades there has been a growing focus on potential trophic cascades on plant performance by the process of large carnivores consuming and scaring herbivores (Ford & Goheen, 2015). In most of Europe, however, large carnivores are scarce and in many areas they have just recently returned to their former ranges after decades of absence (Kuijper et al., 2016;Linnell et al., 2001). In contrast, high human activity, including hunting, is an important disturbance factor, and can lead to both numerical and antipredator responses in wild ungulates (Ciuti et al., 2012;Ripple & Beschta, 2004;Spitz et al., 2019). ...
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Like large carnivores, hunters both kill and scare ungulates, and thus might indirectly affect plant performance through trophic cascades. In this study, we hypothesized that intensive hunting and enduring fear of humans have caused moose and other forest ungulates to partly avoid areas near human infrastructure (perceived hunting risk), with positive cascading effects on recruitment of trees. Using data from the Norwegian forest inventory, we found decreasing browsing pressure and increasing tree recruitment in areas close to roads and houses, where ungulates are more likely to encounter humans. However, although browsing and recruitment were negatively related, reduced browsing was only responsible for a small proportion of the higher tree recruitment near human infrastructure. We suggest that the apparently weak cascading effect occurs because the recorded browsing pressure only partly reflects the long-term browsing intensity close to humans. Accordingly, tree recruitment was also related to the density of small trees 5-10 years earlier, which was higher close to human infrastructure. Hence, if small tree density is a product of the browsing pressure in the past, the cascading effect is probably stronger than our estimates suggest. Reduced browsing near roads and houses is most in line with risk avoidance driven by fear of humans (behaviorally mediated), and not because of excessive hunting and local reduction in ungulate density (density mediated).
... Currently, the wolf is the most widespread large carnivore in the world and continues to dynamically expand its range in the cultural landscapes of Europe and North America (Chapron et al., 2014;Cimatti et al., 2021;Hendricks et al., 2019). Along with the species expansion rises the potential for conflict with livestock husbandry in newly recolonized rural areas (Kaartinen et al., 2009;Linnell et al., 2001;Rode et al., 2021). As a result of this conflict, wolves may even fail to recolonize some areas due to their lethal removal, both legal and illegal (Mech et al., 2019). ...
Article
As the wolf Canis lupus populations continue to recover across Europe, livestock depredation becomes increasingly challenging for their effective conservation. We aim to (1) analyze the spatiotemporal variation in wolf attacks on livestock in relation to the landscape structure, livestock species, and the phase of wolf expansion in Poland and (2) discuss the implications for conservation and management in an expanding, protected wolf population. From 2008 to 2018, farmers reported 5499 attacks on livestock with 13,164 killed individuals, and the number of attacks increased 2.7-fold at the country scale. Sheep were among the most frequently killed livestock, and surplus killing (>2 killed individuals) was relatively common in captive deer and sheep depredation. The attacks were patchily distributed; 59% of all kills occurred in municipalities constituting 1% of the country surface. The probability and number of attacks were positively influenced by forest and pasture cover, and by the occurrence of depredation in previous years. Spatial variation and long-term dynamics in livestock depredation by wolves can be attributed to different husbandry practices and phases of wolf recovery in three regions of the country. Our results indicate that accelerating increase in depredation rates during the initial phases of wolf recovery is likely to be followed by stabilization or decrease in attacks. A detailed spatiotemporal analysis of wolf–livestock conflict can help in management decisions in areas with ongoing wolf population recovery.
... The expansion of human-dominated landscapes has led to declines in large carnivores' populations globally, majorly caused by habitat alteration, habitat degradation, and human persecution (Linnell et al., 2001). For example, the grey wolf population has been reduced to one third of its historical distribution and other species as the African lion and the leopard suffered more radical changes, occupying in present respectively 17% and 65% of their historical range (Ripple et al., 2014). ...
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After drastic declines in large carnivores’ populations globally, conservation efforts have been successful, and predators’ populations are in recovery. However, their comeback has led to new interactions with locals, generating different conflicts. Two main approaches have been considered to mitigate these conflicts, those being the land sparing and land sharing models, however, the land sparing model requires great extents of protected areas, areas that in Europe are missing, therefore forcing a call for the land sharing model. In Finland, this approach has generated debates among different stakeholders, the outcomes of this debate shaping the fate for the four species: brown bear (Ursus arctos), grey wolf (Canis lupus), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) and wolverine (Gulo gulo). Attitudes towards those species can be used to explore the drivers of the conflicts, however, only few studies have explored this context, considering the ecological and social dimension separately. In addition, the ecotourism industry has been recently recognized as a new stakeholder in the Finnish large carnivore’s context, but the effects of its activities were assessed only ecologically. Therefore, with this study I aimed to explore the attitudes of locals from a specific region of Finland towards the four large carnivores’ species, and to assess the different drivers of those species, through a combination of field questionnaires, social variables and large carnivores’ population data. I explored potential correlates of the differences in attitudes, adding also the spatial effect of ecotourism over the socio-ecological factors. I predicted attitudes to vary among species, having on one side the brown bear with positive attitudes, in contrast the wolf with negative attitudes, while neutral attitudes towards the lynx and wolverine. I also expected to find more negative attitudes in smaller localities rather than in localities with a greater human population density. Also, I explored whether the ecotourism activities have a positive or negative effect over the locals’ attitude towards carnivores, expecting the ecotourism industry to bring positive attitudes in nearby localities. As result, attitudes towards the four different species varied significantly, the attitudes towards each different species having different drivers, with the human population size being important for wolverines and wolves, while the status for bear and lynx populations. The ecotourism had an effect only on bear attitudes, being positively correlated (closer the ecotourism activities were, more positive the attitudes are). To mitigate the large carnivores-human conflict in Finland, a community approach is not the solution, since the different origins of the attitudes ‘drivers. However, the attitudes among species are positively correlated, consequently, by ameliorate the attitudes towards one species, also the others will benefit. Finally, by inducing a proper management within the ecotourism industry and promoting more the respective activity on a national level, the ecotourism can have a positive impact and get a positive role in the Finnish conflict.
... For some species historically harvested or persecuted by humans, the reasons for recent recovery of populations are clear. Most populations of large carnivores in North America and Europe have increased after the mid-1900s in response to legal protection and favourable management (Linnell et al., 2001). However, recolonization processes are less obvious for species that have suffered as a result of habitat degradation rather than persecution and harvesting. ...
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Der ausgestopfte Arabische Leopard (Panthera pardus nimr Hemprich und Ehrenberg, 1833) im Naturhistorisches Museum in Muscat, Sultanat Oman / The taxidermied Arabian Leopard (Panthera pardus nimr Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 1833) at the Natural History Museum in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Von: Sharif Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Mohammad Ahmad Ahmad Mostafa Abdallah Mohammad Khalaf-Prinz Sakerfalke von Jaffa. Abstract : Am 23. September 2017 besuchte ich das Naturhistorisches Museum in Muscat, Sultanat Oman. Das Museum untersteht dem omanischen Ministerium für Erbe und Kultur. Ich sah einen ausgestopften Arabischen Leoparden (Panthera pardus nimr Hemprich und Ehrenberg, 1833) / On 23rd September 2017, I visited the Natural History Museum in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. The museum falls under the Omani Ministry of Heritage and Culture. I saw a taxidermied Arabian Leopard (Panthera pardus nimr Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 1833). Reference : Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Mohammad Ahmad Mostafa (July 2023). Der ausgestopfte Arabische Leopard (Panthera pardus nimr Hemprich und Ehrenberg, 1833) im Naturhistorisches Museum in Muscat, Sultanat Oman / The taxidermied Arabian Leopard (Panthera pardus nimr Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 1833) at the Natural History Museum in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin (ISSN 0178-6288). Volume 41, Number 223, July 2023, pp. 1-51. Published by Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Khalaf Department for Environmental Research and Media, Palestine National Research Center, University of Palestine, Gaza, State of Palestine. http://leopard-panthera-pardus.webs.com/arabischerleopard.htm & https://www.academia.edu/78236926/Der_ausgestopfte_Arabische_Leopard_Panthera_pardus_nimr_Hemprich_und_Ehrenberg_1833_im_Naturhistorisches_Museum_in_Muscat_Sultanat_Oman
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Records of bountied brown bears Ursus arctos in Norway and Sweden were analysed to estimate population size in the mid-1800's, and changes in population size and distribution in relation to the bear management policies of both countries. In the mid-1800's about 65% of the bears in Scandinavia were in Norway (perhaps 3,100 in Norway and 1,650 in Sweden). Both countries tried to eliminate the bear in the 1800's; Sweden was more effective. By the turn of the century, the numbers of bears were low in both countries. The lowest population level in the population remnants that have subsequently survived occurred around 1930 and was estimated at 130 bears. Sweden's policy was changed at the turn of the century to save the bear from extinction. This policy was successful, and the population is now large and expanding. Norway did not change its policy and bears were virtually eliminated by 1920-30. Since 1975, bear observations increased in Norway. This coincided temporally with an abrupt increase in the Swedish bear population, and bears reappeared sooner in areas closer to the remnant Swedish populations. Both conditions support our conclusion that the bear was virtually exterminated in Norway and suggest that bears observed now are primarily immigrants from Sweden, except for far northern Norway, which was recolonised from Russia and Finland. Today, we estimate that the Scandinavian bear population numbers about 700, with about 2% in Norway (on average about 14 in Norway, 650-700 in Sweden). This is a drastic reduction in the estimate of bears in Norway, compared with earlier studies. The trends in bear numbers responded to the policies in effect. The most effective measures used in Scandinavia to conserve bears were those that reduced or eliminated the economic incentive for people to kill them. Our analysis also suggests that population estimates based on reports from observations made by the general public can be greatly inflated.
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The northeastern United States was previously identified under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) as a potential location for restoration of a population of the endangered eastern timber wolf or gray wolf (Canis lupus). The gray wolf has been protected under the ESA since 1974. We used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and a logistic regression model based on regional road abundance to estimate that the Northeastern states from Upstate New York to Maine contain >77,000 km2 of habitat suitable for wolves. Using current habitat distribution and available ungulate prey (deer and moose), we estimate the area is capable of sustaining a population of approximately 1,312 wolves (90% CI = 816-1,809). This estimate is equivalent to new, much higher potentials estimated for northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, where wolves are rapidly recovering in the U.S. Midwest. Potential wolf densities vary from a low of <12/1,000 km2 in the Adirondack Region of Upstate New York, where prey densities are lowest, to 20-25/1,000 km2 in northern Maine and New Hampshire. A contiguous area of favorable habitat from Maine to northeastern Vermont (>53,500 km2) is capable of supporting approximately 1,070 wolves (90% CI = 702-1,439). Such large areas are increasingly rare and important for wolf recovery if populations large enough to have long-term evolutionary viability are to be maintained within the United States. However, large-scale restoration of a top carnivore like the wolf has other consequences for overall forest biodiversity in eastern forests because wolf recovery is dependent on high levels of ungulate prey, which in turn have other negative effects on the ecosystem. In the United States, planning for wolf restoration in the Northeast should take advantage of experience elsewhere, especially the upper Midwest.