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Aproximació social i caracterització de danys en el conflicte humans-ós bru al Parc Natural de l’Alt Pirineu

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Human-wildlife conflicts are one of the most important challenges in nature conservation. Conflicts get worse when it is public administration itself that wants to reintroduce a large carnivore such as the brown bear, persecuted historically, for conservation purposes. Defenders of reintroduction argue that the recuperation of species including large predators implies very positive effects for the ecosystem because they restore the trophic balance. On the other hand, detractors maintain that coexistence between rural productive activities and such carnivores is not possible, this is the reason why brown bears were persecuted in the past. Studies proved that percentages between defenders and detractors depend on variables such as professional dedication, site of residence and levels of knowledge. Determining these percentages for a territory and its main variables is essential to design a strategy for reintroduction. In Catalonia, very few social perception studies in relation to predator species were done, but this study has noted that 80% of respondents agreed with the reintroduction of a new brown bear, while this percentage for local residents declines to 47%. Also, knowing the predation patterns of the brown bear could help select the most suitable prevention measures. It was demonstrated that there is a significant relationship between an attacked flock and their proximity to fir and oak forests and to the potential ecological corridors of the brown bear.
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Conflicts between humans and large carnivores are one of the most visible examples of the challenges that arise when seeking to achieve coexistence between humans and wildlife. With their large spatial requirements and predatory behavior, large carnivores are among the most difficult species to preserve in our modern day landscapes. Although large carnivores are usually considered as the epitomes of wilderness, because of human population growth and habitat fragmentation they are inexorably and increasingly faced with the need to live in human- modified landscapes. As a direct consequence, conflicts over depredation on livestock, competition for game species and sometimes over human injury or death will only increase if clear management measures are not taken. This is particularly true in Europe, where, after many decades of absence, large carnivores are recolonizing areas where millions of people are present and where landscapes have been drastically modified. Two approaches to integrating wildlife into a human-dominated world have been proposed at an international scale. The first solution is called land sparing, in which wildlife lives exclusively in protected or wilderness areas where contact between animals and humans will be reduced to the minimum. The second solution, called land sharing, proposes to integrate human activities and wildlife in the same landscapes in non-protected interface zones in what is often called a coexistence approach. In a context of scarce true wilderness areas and a continuum of human-modified habitats, land sharing (i.e. the coexistence approach) is seen as the only possible approach valid for Europe. While a coexistence approach can be readily implemented with smaller species, it can represent a major challenge for species with large space requirements and with predatory behavior. To help manage these species in a long-term conservation vision and to predict where potential conflicts could arise between humans and carnivores, information on large carnivores and their habitat use in anthropogenic landscapes is a pre-requisite. With the return of Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx in Western Europe, _the most densely populated areas of the continent_ information on the species tolerance to human land use will help predict where it is likely to occur in anthropogenic landscapes. Data collected in Scandinavia over 15 years were used to assess the use of landscape by lynx. In this study, we explored the effect of anthropogenic and environmental factors on Eurasian lynx habitat use in Scandinavia. The work was developed along two main axes. The first axis aims to explore large scale potential patterns of lynx distribution through transferability of results obtained from habitat modelling to geographically different areas. Transferability of results was tested in two steps. Firstly, transferability success (i.e. predictive ability of the map) was tested at a regional scale using data on roe-deer, the main prey of lynx, to create a map of relative distribution and abundance of prey in southeastern Norway (Chapter 1). Secondly, transferability success was assessed at a larger extent and using data obtained from different sampling method (Chapter 2). A habitat suitability map for Eurasian lynx was produced to be used in management planning in geographically differentiated lynx management zones in Scandinavia. The results indicated that transferability of results from one region to an ecologically different region must be taken with caution. Nevertheless, the habitat suitability maps we constructed on the basis of extrapolation are a valuable asset to help management of the Scandinavian lynx population. The second axis deals with lynx habitat use in relation to anthropogenic and environmental predictors. Lynx tolerance to human presence was first explored by looking at the orientation of home range in the landscape, taking into account proxies of human presence (Chapter 3). Values of these proxies were compared both inside home ranges and within a buffer surrounding the home ranges for several lynx inhabiting an anthropogenic gradient going from near-wilderness to urban periphery. Results showed a high diversity in the extent to which individual lynx are exposed to human influence, indicating that lynx are highly adaptable in terms of living space. Lynx seemed to be able to orientate their home range in order to avoid highest human impacts and select for areas of medium human impacts. Building on these results, finer scale information on lynx habitat use in an anthropogenic landscape were obtained taking into consideration different types of behavior (day-beds, moving and killing) displayed by adult lynx, as well as the effect of cumulative anthropogenic pressures on habitat selection (Chapter 4). Our results showed that lynx select for areas with medium levels of human modification, avoiding both the areas with highest and least modification. Females in general appear to be less tolerant to human modification than males, especially for day-beds. Our study shows that Eurasian lynx can be considered as a species that is adaptable to human- induced changes in landscape even if its motivation to tolerate human presence is clearly linked to the presence and density level of its main prey, the roe deer. Our work shows that, contrary to much of the public and many conservation professionals’ opinions, land sharing with large carnivores in Europe may be possible – even in the immediate proximity to urban centers. However, it is important to bear in mind that these results were obtained from countries with a relatively low human population density; even though some individuals observed lived in the periphery of large cities, the level of habitat fragmentation is less severe than in most of Western Europe. In order to properly assess the capacity of Eurasian lynx to live in highly populated areas, such as the Benelux, more detailed information on lynx distribution from continental European will be needed. However, our results underline the value of combining both correlational and mechanistic studies, and the need for caution in extrapolating data too far from its original context. As large carnivore recovery continues to progress in Europe we may not yet have seen the limits of these species' abilities to adapt.
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Article
En prenant appui sur divers résultats de recherches menées depuis 20 ans dans les Pyrénées centrales, les caractéristiques de l'utilisation de l'espace par les exploitations agricoles sont présentées. Les particularités spatiales des territoires d'exploitation influent sur les pratiques d'utilisation des prairies et sur la dynamique des couverts et des paysages. Un modèle de référence permet de diagnostiquer la maîtrise de l'exploitation de la végétation. L'impact des modes d'usage des prairies sur leur richesse en espèces est présenté sur quelques cas concrets. Une gestion mal maîtrisée conduit à une augmentation de la diversité intraparcellaire et à une diminution de la diversité interparcellaire, puis à une baisse rapide de ces 2 diversités. Raisonner l'organisation de l'usage des prairies à des niveaux d'organisation larges est une nécessité pour préserver la biodiversité en région de montagne
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Thesis
[cat] La construcció de certs imaginaris i representacions socials sobre la ruralitat en el context actual provoca que les àrees rurals apareguin, per determinats sectors de la societat urbana postindustrial, com un lloc atractiu, idíl·lic, on materialitzar certes preferències residencials. La reestructuració econòmica que en les últimes dècades del segle XX han experimentat una bona part de les àrees rurals del món occidental i l'equiparació de les condicions de vida entre la ciutat i el camp, antigament substancialment més desiguals, són algunes de les causes d’aquest “ressorgiment” rural. Aquests canvis han fet capgirar una situació que semblava irreversible per una situació més esperançadora, en la qual s’ha produït una recuperació demogràfica, econòmica i social d’aquests territoris. Aquests canvis han provocat l'arribada de nous residents, principalment procedents de centres urbans i de zones més densament poblades, els quals han ocasionat una important recomposició social, donant lloc a la formació de societats complexes en contextos que fins a fa relativament escassos anys mostraven una escassa diversitat social. La formació de “noves” societats rurals és un procés que no està exempt de conflictivitat social, sobretot a causa del xoc cultural, d'imaginaris sobre la ruralitat i d’estils de vida que es deriven de la convivència de diferents grups socials. L’estudi que es presenta a continuació se centrat a la comarca del Pallars Sobirà (Catalunya). Es tracta d'una zona d'alta muntanya, que ha estat fortament afectada pel procés de despoblació i que va abandonar la seva base econòmica tradicional, basada principalment en la ramaderia. No obstant això, els processos de reestructuració que vénen experimentat els territoris rurals han fet que el Pallars Sobirà, com d'altres àrees rurals catalanes es converteixi en una comarca atractiva para determinats sectors de la població urbana. Per conèixer com es manifesten aquests fluxos migratoris s'ha optat per un enfocament qualitatiu, utilitzant tècniques de narració, com són les entrevistes semiestructurades en profunditat, i d'observació, realitzant un extens treball de camp per a l'obtenció de les dades. A través de les entrevistes realitzades i de les tècniques d'observació s’han pogut abordar diferents temes al voltant de l’arribada de nous habitants a la comarca. En primer lloc, s'ha aprofundit en algunes qüestions relacionades amb el procés migratori experimentat pels nous residents, interessant-nos pels factors i motivacions que intervenen en la decisió de la migració, les raons que actuen en l'elecció de la destinació i la connexió existent entre el cicle de vida, la situació personal i el moment en què es realitza la migració. En segon lloc, s'ha abordat el procés d'assentament, centrant-nos principalment en aquells aspectes que es deriven de la (re)negociació d'una nova quotidianitat, que van des de la cerca d'un habitatge a la creació de noves xarxes socials en el lloc de destinació, passant per la inserció i adequació al mercat laboral i la construcció d'un nou estil de vida que es correspongui amb les aspiracions prèviament creades. La superació o no de les dificultats que s'associen a les primeres etapes d'assentament, i la forma en què es manifesten certs factors com el treball, l'habitatge, la creació de xarxes socials o la formació parella i/o família condicionen les expectatives de permanència. En tercer lloc s'ha parat atenció a les relacions establertes entre població local i nous residents, com a resultat dels fluxos migratoris urbà-rurals i d'incipients processos de gentrificació rural. La convivència de diferents grups socials, d'imaginaris i representacions socials divergents sobre la ruralitat i de valors i codis socioculturals contraposats, provoquen una situació de tensió i fragmentació social, en la qual afloren conflictes i desavinences entre els habitants de la comarca. En aquest context, certs sectors de població local estableixen criteris de distinció entre el nosaltres (“autòctons”) i l'ells (“nouvinguts”), com a estratègia de resistència davant d'una (suposada) invasió forana. La reafirmació de la identitat individual i col·lectiva per part de la població local desencadena, a part d’una distinció social, certes irregularitats en l'accés a drets bàsics pel fet de no pertànyer o de no ser acceptat per la comunitat. A causa d'això, en alguns casos la participació en la vida social i política de la comarca o l'ús de recursos territorials, com els béns comunals, poden veure's restringits únicament a la població local, evidenciant situacions de discriminació i/o exclusió social per la condició de “forà”. En aquest context, qüestions com el sentiment de pertinença al lloc i a la comunitat, la identitat individual i col·lectiva i la condició de classe juguen un paper destacat. No obstant això, i malgrat aquests símptomes de tensió social, l'arribada de nova població es percep per a la majoria de població com un fet positiu pel desenvolupament de la comarca, ja que han possibilitat una veritable revitalització demogràfica, social, econòmica i cultural, en la qual també estan contribuint de manera significativa les noves generacions de població local. --- [en] Nowadays, rural areas have become attractive residential areas for urban population groups in Western countries. Social representations and imaginaries of rurality have made this rural areas become idyllic spaces, where urban middle class population is able to materialize their residential preferences. As a consequence, rural areas have suffered an important restructuration process: economic and social transformations have replaced a depopulation and underdevelopment situation which had been seen as irreversible. Not only improvements in rural living conditions, but also economic and social changes have made these areas more accessible, causing new dwellers arrivals from the city. (Demographic recovery) "Population growth" focused in our study region cannot be compared quantitatively to precedent rural exodus yet new dweller’s arrival is still producing an invaluable qualitative contribution to the future of this area. However, new residents’ arrival, mainly from urban centers and densely populated areas, have caused an important social change. New complex societies have appeared in this rural contexts, increasing its diversity and making new social groups emerge. Social tension and conflict are part of new rural societies formation process caused on one hand, by the cultural shock between locals and newcomers and, from the other hand, the coexistence of different rural imaginaries. Rural-urban migration and its impacts on the receiving areas are important research topics in western countries. Social change processes in rural areas have occupied an important place especially in English and French literature. Nevertheless, this subject does not receive the same magnitude in a Catalan and Spanish context, reason why the main object of this research is to understand rural restructuring processes by studying the diversity of rural areas through a specific case. This study is focused in Pallars Sobirà (Catalonia), a mountain area located in the heart of Pyrenees but a peripheral area, away from the main regional urban centers of the region. Pallars Sobirà has been strongly affected by processes of depopulation and abandonment of its traditional economic activities, based mainly on livestock and subsistence agriculture. However, rural restructuring processes have made these territories become an attractive area for certain sectors of urban population, associating this areas with values of rurality and alternative lifestyle. Qualitative approach has been used as the main methodology to study these migrations flows and their effects in the reception area. An extensive field work and narrative techniques as structured interviews and participant observation have been used in order to obtain the maximum information possible about the topic. As a result, 45 persons of different target groups -local people, new residents and key actors- have been interviewed. All the conversations have been transcribed and coded in order to organize the information given and make some interpretations. Moreover, also quantitative methods have been used to analyze demographic evolution and to support interview results. As a result, information brought up after the analysis, made us consider different topics related with newcomers arrival in the study region. First of all, we have looked attentively at new residents migration process, focusing on the factors and motivations involved in the decision-making processes, the reasons why choosing this specific destination and the connection between migration and life cycle. To continue, we have gone into the settlement process, mainly on those aspects related with new lifestyle (re)negotiation: looking for accommodation, making social networks or finding a new job. Thirdly, we have paid attention to relationships between locals and newcomers, as a result of rural-urban migration and emerging rural gentrification. Social tension and conflicts between neighbors are caused by the coexistence of groups with different social imaginaries about rurality and distinct social and cultural values. In this context, resistance strategies to “a foreigner invasion" have been detected in local people, who establish distinctions between us ("locals") and them (newcomers), as an affirmation of individual and collective identity. Moreover, the local-newcomers distinction may entail some irregularities in basic rights access of newcomers, in its acceptation as community members, in social and political participation, or in its access to community resources, producing social discrimination by the “foreign” condition. Despite these signs of social tension, interviewers (especially new residents, but also an important part of the young local population) have agreed that the new population arrival produce benefits and a real demographic, social, economic and cultural revitalization for the region.
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Chapter
En este capítulo queremos presentar las características generales del paisaje del Pallars Sobirà y reflexionar acerca de la interacción dinámica que muestra entre naturaleza, política y sociedad. El análisis del paisaje, entendido como "la manifestación material de la relación entre los humanos y el medio ambiente" (Crumley, 1994), no puede limitarse a tomar en consideración sus rasgos físicos y naturales sino que debe centrarse en la comprensión de diversas variables sociales así como de las relaciones existentes entre ellas. Estas variables incluyen elementos aparentemente tan dispares como la evolución demográfica, las formas de acceso a los recursos, las instituciones responsables de su gestión o las actividades económicas presentes en cada lugar y en cada momento. Cada una de ellas sólo adquiere su pleno sentido como parte de los complejos procesos históricos que las atañen en su conjunto. El paisaje de la comarca se erige, en definitiva, en un escenario privilegiado en el que pueden contemplarse los cambios sufridos por los Pirineos en las últimas décadas.
Article
Gray wolf (Canis lupus) populations were eliminated from Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, as well as adjacent southwestern Canada by the 1930s. After human-caused mortality of wolves in southwestern Canada began to be regulated in the 1960s, populations began expanding southward. Dispersing individuals occasionally reached the northern Rocky Mountains of the United States, but lacked legal protection there until 1974, after passage of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. In 1986, wolves from Canada successfully raised a litter of pups in Glacier National Park, Montana, and a small population was soon established. In 1995 and 1996, wolves from western Canada were reintroduced to remote public lands in central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park. These wolves were designated as nonessential experimental populations to increase management flexibility and address local and state concerns. Wolf restoration is rapidly occurring in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, and there were at least 28 breeding pairs in December 2000. There are now about 63 adult wolves in northwestern Montana, 192 in central Idaho, and 177 in the Greater Yellowstone area. Dispersal of wolves between Canada, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming has been documented. Occasional lone wolves may disperse into adjacent states, but population establishment outside of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming is probably not imminent. The gray wolf population in the northwestern U.S. should be recovered and, depending on the completion of state and tribal wolf conservation plans, could be proposed to be removed from Act protection within three years. Wolf restoration has proceeded more quickly and with more benefits, such as public viewing than predicted. Problems, including confirmed livestock depredations, have been lower than estimated. The Service led interagency recovery program focuses its efforts on achieving wolf recovery while addressing the concerns of people who live near wolves. Wolves have restored an important ecological process to several large wild areas in the northern Rocky Mountains of the U.S. The program has been widely publicized and is generally viewed as highly successful.
Book
"Michael Woods has taken on the formidable task of giving an overview of rural places and society in advanced economies as a single author and has presented a book that rightly deserves to be called state-of-the-art."- Geographische Rundschau "For those students with an interest in rural change, this 'state of the art' book is essential reading." - Brian Ilbery, University of Coventry"With Rural Geography Michael Woods remedies the often underestimated dynamism of rural places and rural society by providing the much-needed synthesis of the European and North American literature on rural restructuring and globalization processes." - Patrick H. Mooney, University of KentuckyRural Geography is an introduction to contemporary rural societies and economies in the developed world. It examines the social and economic processes at work in the contemporary countryside - including the more traditional: like agriculture; land use; and population; as well as wider themes like: rural health, crime, exclusion, commodification, and alternative lifestyles. With a contextualising section defining the rural, the text is organized systematically in three principal sections: Processes of Rural Restructuring, Responses to Rural Restructuring, and Experiences of Rural Restructuring.Using the most recent empirical material, statistical data, and research, the text is global in perspective using comparative examples throughout. Rural Geography is a systematic introduction to the processes, responses, and experiences of rural restructuring.