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Abstract

Carnivore predation on livestock is a complex management and policy challenge, yet is also intrinsically an ecological interaction between predators and prey. Human-wildlife interactions occur in socio-ecological systems, in which human and environmental processes are closely linked. However, underlying human-wildlife conflict and key to unpacking its complexity are concrete and identifiable ecological mechanisms that lead to predation events. To better understand how known ecological theories map onto the interactions between wild predators and domestic prey, we developed a framework describing ecological drivers of predation on livestock. We used this framework to examine ecological mechanisms through which specific management interventions operate, and we analyzed the ecological determinants of failure and success of management interventions in three case studies on snow leopards (Panthera uncia), wolves (Canis lupus), and cougars (Puma concolor). Our analysis demonstrates that mitigation of human-wildlife conflict ultimately requires an understanding of how fundamental ecological theories work within domestic predator-prey systems.

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... thus define coexistence as a state in which humans and carnivores co-adapt in shared landscapes, emphasizing learning and shifting behaviors of humans and predators through mutual adaptation. From this perspective, nonlethal deterrents aim to cause changes in predator behavior, as through the production of a "landscape of fear" in which predators learn to avoid humans and/or livestock (Miller and Schmitz, 2019;Wilkinson et al., 2020;Gaynor et al., 2021;Anderson et al., in review). Other approaches stress adaptation on the human side, such as monitoring of predator populations to reduce predator-livestock overlap, and adoption of livestock husbandry techniques to reduce attractants to and interactions with predators (Stone et al., 2017;Martin, 2021b). ...
... Non-lethal hazing and distancing technologies, developed to deter wolves from attacking livestock. Mechanisms include direct disruption of attacks, aversive conditioning, and spatial interventions to physically enclose livestock areas (see Wilkinson et al., 2020). Aerial shooting (from helicopter), trapping (generally by USDA APHIS Wildlife Services agents), or issuing kill permits to affected livestock producers. ...
... Interventions promoted around the region ( Table 2) generally aim to reduce conflict through various tools and techniques, focusing on ecological and behavioral mechanisms of wolves and/or livestock (Wilkinson et al., 2020;Martin, 2021b;Anderson et al., in review). These technical interventions can certainly impact depredation rates (Stone et al., 2017;Moreira-Arce et al., 2018;Kinka and Young, 2019), but it may be their potential for giving stakeholders a feeling of control that helps alleviate the psychological dimensions of conflict, affecting human "hearts and minds." ...
Chapter
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) Understanding Human–Canid Conflict and Coexistence: Socioeconomic Correlates Underlying Local Attitude and Support Toward the Endangered Dhole (Cuon alpinus) in Bhutan.
... Since then, out of its offices in Hailey and over more than a thousand square miles of western range, the WRWP has demonstrated the effectiveness and feasibility of nonlethal management tools and techniques for preventing depredation of wolves on sheep and reducing the need for lethal control (see Wilkinson et al 2020). Many of the strategies developed by the WRWP have emerged as best practices, increasingly adopted across the region, while the Project's "test case" boasts the lowest loss rates in the state, garnering it international attention as a model of human-wildlife conflict minimization (Stone, et al. 2017; see chapter 3 for further detail). ...
... And although there is much written on wolves (indeed, wolf issues are often referenced as an emblematic instance of HWC), there remains a dearth of research on Idaho specifically (despite it being one of the two reintroduction sites in the region, and with working landscape questions much more relevant to the coexistence challenges than the park landscape of Yellowstone), as well as a need for a critical unpacking of which "human dimensions" are most relevant to the challenges at hand. In contrast with colleagues with whom I have written (Wilkinson, et al. 2020; see also Kobilinsky 2020), I would argue the wolf question highlights the need to consider far more than ecology, including the co-production and complex interplay of social, political, economic along with ecological processes -an interdisciplinary engagement ripe for further geographical and political ecological engagement (Neumann 1998;Adams & Hutton 2007;Margulies & Karanth 2018). ...
... Including this piece thus serves as a stand-in for the many, many instances throughout the PhD -of thinking, organizing, and writing together (e.g. Wesner, et al. (2019); Wilkinson, et al. (2020); Martin & Sneegas (2020)), and of material and emotional support, crucial though much more difficult to cite -that made the journey possible. ...
Thesis
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Federal reintroduction of gray wolves (Canis lupus) to Yellowstone National Park and Central Idaho in the mid-1990s was widely hailed as one of the great conservation successes of the 20th century, and has become an emblematic touchstone for rewilding – an emerging discourse and set of practices for conservation in the Anthropocene. As wolves have grown in number and range, however, so too has socio-political conflict, particularly around predation as threat to livestock production. Reaction appears to far exceed wolves’ material impacts, however, and persists 25 years after reintroduction despite development and deployment of compensation measures and coexistence strategies. The wolf is thus also an exemplary instance of human-wildlife conflict, an increasingly prominent and intractable concern for megafauna conservation around the world. And while volumes have been written on wolves in Yellowstone, there has been relatively little scholarly attention to Idaho even as it highlights the challenges of shared space across the working landscapes of the American West. Between 2015 and 2018, I conducted a case study of the Wood River Wolf Project (WRWP), a collaboration between sheep ranchers, environmental organizations, and governmental agencies in Blaine County, Idaho that has pursued wolf-livestock coexistence for over a decade. Grazing thousands of sheep on its project area in the Sawtooth Mountains while boasting the lowest depredation loss rates in the state, the WRWP has garnered international attention as a model of nonlethal management, holding out the possibility of a peaceful end to the wolf wars. Based in ethnographic and archival research and drawing insights from political ecology and critical “more-than-human” geography, I ask what we might learn from this critical case, guided by two overarching questions: First, how can we account for the persistence and seemingly disproportionate intensity of conflict surrounding wolves in the American West? And second, what are the necessary preconditions for and obstacles to scaling up and sustaining collaborative coexistence? In the included articles, I explore the Project’s emergence and practices and how these have evolved over time, as partners have contended with political economic pressures and the delisting of wolves from federal protection and transition to Idaho state management. I highlight the value of qualitative research methods for questions of human-wildlife conflict, and the fundamentally situated and relational quality of risk perception and decision-making. I argue that anti-wolf hostility cannot be read simply as cultural-historical animosity, nor as mere biopolitical concern over an agricultural pest, but rather must be understood amid so-called “New West” transitions and ongoing legal-political tensions over the governance and use of public lands. This story stresses the inseparability of political economic, cultural-symbolic, and environmental concerns, connecting the wolf question to regional transformations, divergent land use priorities, and contemporary right-wing populism. I show how the political-symbolic enrollment of wolves by different social actors through a cultural politics of wilderness in fact perpetuates polarization and undermines on-the-ground efforts at coexistence between conservation and rural livelihoods – even as I highlight alternative political possibilities around themes of commoning and convivial conservation.
... Carter and Linnell (2016) thus define coexistence as a state in which humans and carnivores co-adapt in shared landscapes, emphasizing learning and shifting behaviors of humans and predators through mutual adaptation. From this perspective, nonlethal deterrents aim to cause changes in predator behavior, as through the production of a "landscape of fear" in which predators learn to avoid humans and/or livestock (Miller and Schmitz, 2019;Wilkinson et al., 2020;Gaynor et al., 2021;Anderson et al., in review). Other approaches stress adaptation on the human side, such as monitoring of predator populations to reduce predator-livestock overlap, and adoption of livestock husbandry techniques to reduce attractants to and interactions with predators (Stone et al., 2017;Martin, 2021b). ...
... Non-lethal hazing and distancing technologies, developed to deter wolves from attacking livestock. Mechanisms include direct disruption of attacks, aversive conditioning, and spatial interventions to physically enclose livestock areas (see Wilkinson et al., 2020). Aerial shooting (from helicopter), trapping (generally by USDA APHIS Wildlife Services agents), or issuing kill permits to affected livestock producers. ...
... Interventions promoted around the region ( Table 2) generally aim to reduce conflict through various tools and techniques, focusing on ecological and behavioral mechanisms of wolves and/or livestock (Wilkinson et al., 2020;Martin, 2021b;Anderson et al., in review). These technical interventions can certainly impact depredation rates (Stone et al., 2017;Moreira-Arce et al., 2018;Kinka and Young, 2019), but it may be their potential for giving stakeholders a feeling of control that helps alleviate the psychological dimensions of conflict, affecting human "hearts and minds." ...
Article
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In resource management, new terms are frequently introduced, reflecting ongoing evolution in the theory and practice of ecology and governance. Yet understandings of what new concepts mean, for whom, and what they imply for management on the ground can vary widely. Coexistence – a prominent concept within the literature and on-the-ground practices around human-wildlife conflict and predator management – is one such term, widely invoked and yet poorly defined. While for some coexistence is the latest paradigm in improving human-wildlife relations, the concept remains debated and indeed even hotly contested by others – particularly on the multiple-use public lands of the American West, where gray wolf conservation, livestock production, and the claims of diverse stakeholders share space. The multiple meanings of coexistence present serious challenges for conservation practice, as what the concept implies or requires can be contested by those most central to its implementation. In this study we examine wolf-livestock management – a classic case of human-wildlife conflict – by focusing on the experiences and perspectives of U.S. Forest Service (USFS) managers. We reviewed coexistence’s multivalence in the literature on human-wildlife conflict, complementing semi-structured interviews conducted with USFS employees on case study forests from across the western states. Through this, we highlight the complexity and multi-dimensionality of the concept and the unique yet under-explored perspective that resource managers bring to these debates. This work draws on insights from political ecology to emphasize the situatedness of manager practice – taking place within a broader set of relations and contextual pressures – while extending political ecologists’ traditional focus on the resource user to a concern with the resource manager as key actor in environmental conflicts. Through our engagement with the experiences and perceptions of USFS managers, who must balance conservation aims with long-established land uses like livestock grazing, we hope to clarify the various dimensions of coexistence. Our hope is that this work increases the possibility for empathy and collaboration among managers and stakeholders engaged in this complex socio-ecological challenge.
... To make progress toward human-wildlife coexistence, a better understanding and objective testing of assumptions about the causes of wildlife-induced damages from various perspectives, including wildlife ecology, human perceptions and behavior, and legal frameworks (Chapron & López-Bao 2020; Treves & Santiago-Ávila 2020 [this issue]; Wilkinson et al. 2020 [this issue]) is essential. This is particularly important in landscapes where people have modified nature in such a way that agriculture provides habitat to some (protected) species and where novel governance models are needed to balance shared land use between people and wildlife. ...
... They conclude that quantifying costs and benefits and prioritizing them can be a straightforward process to increase support for a conservation strategy and to identify potential investment partnerships. Wilkinson et al. (2020) developed an ecological framework to contextualize carnivore-livestock conflicts. They took an ecological perspective of the relationship between predators and domestic prey in a case study of snow leopards (Asia) and wolves and cougars (Puma concolor) (North America), arguing that the mitigation of HWC requires understanding of ecological mechanisms. ...
Article
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Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is a key topic in conservation and agricultural research. Decision makers need evidence-based information to design sustainable management plans and policy instruments. However, providing objective decision support can be challenging because realities and perceptions of human-wildlife interactions vary widely between and within rural, urban, and peri-urban areas. Land users who incur costs through wildlife argue that wildlife-related losses should be compensated and that prevention should be subsidized. Supporters of human-wildlife coexistence policies, such as urban-dwelling people, may not face threats to their livelihoods from wildlife. Such spatial heterogeneity in the cost and benefits of living with wildlife is germane in most contemporary societies. This Special Section features contributions on wildlife-induced damages that range from human perspectives (land use, psychology, governance, local attitudes and perceptions, costs and benefits, and HWC and coexistence theory) to ecological perspectives (animal behavior). Building on current literature and articles in this section, we developed a conceptual model to help frame HWC and coexistence dimensions. The framework can be used to determine damage prevention implementation levels and approaches to HWC resolution. Our synthesis revealed that inter- and transdisciplinary approaches and multilevel governance approaches can help stakeholders and institutions implement sustainable management strategies that promote human-wildlife coexistence. © 2020 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.
... HWC and the coupled human-natural systems in which conflicts occur are driven by a dynamic array of interconnected social and ecological elements, in what is referred to as socio-ecological systems or SES (Berkes and Folke, 2003;Ostrom, 2009;Lischka et al., 2018). For example, while the behavioral and spatial dynamics of carnivores and their livestock prey may be understood through an ecological lens (Wilkinson et al., 2020), the arena in which these species encounter one another is shaped by past and current land and livestock management practices that are selected through separate and complex social, political and economic processes. Conflict poses considerable challenges for those who bear the costs associated with carnivore conservation (Muhly and Musiani, 2009) and is deeply embedded within the value systems and identities of people who have personal and family histories in agricultural production (Widman and Elofsson, 2018). ...
... In another study of Foxlight effectiveness, Naha et al. (2020) found that Foxlights led to a significant decline in livestock predation but no difference in leopard visitation between experimental and control sites. Thus, deterrents may diminish a carnivore's willingness to expend the energy and assume the risk associated with predation without altering visitation rates (Wilkinson et al., 2020). Nevertheless, it is important to look at detections in addition to predation events because the harassment and stress associated with mere carnivore presence can affect the health of livestock herds (Ramler et al., 2014). ...
Article
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Human-wildlife interactions are embedded within socio-ecological systems (SES), in which animal behavior and human decision-making reciprocally interact. While a growing body of research addresses specific social and ecological elements of human-wildlife interactions, including conflicts, integrating these approaches is essential for identifying practical and effective solutions. Carnivore predation on livestock can threaten human livelihoods, weaken relationships among stakeholders, and precipitate carnivore declines. As carnivores have received greater protection in recent decades, researchers and managers have sought non-lethal tools to reduce predation and promote coexistence between livestock producers and carnivores. For these tools to be successful, they must effectively deter carnivores, and they must also be adopted by producers. Relatively few studies examine the practical and context-specific effectiveness of non-lethal tools, and even fewer simultaneously consider their social acceptability among producers. To address this gap, we suggest that a tool's ecological effectiveness and social acceptability be analyzed concurrently to determine its social effectiveness . We thus paired an experimental study of a carnivore predation deterrent called Foxlights® with qualitative interviews of livestock producers in Northern California. We placed camera traps in sheep pastures to measure the response of coyotes ( Canis latrans ) to experimentally deployed Foxlights and interviewed livestock producers before and after the experiment. Our experiment revealed weak evidence for reducing coyote activity with Foxlights, but interviews revealed that the potential adoption of tools had as much to do with their social acceptability and implementation feasibility as with evidence-based measurements of tool effectiveness. Interviewees viewed Foxlights as potentially effective components of husbandry systems, despite the data suggesting otherwise, demonstrating that scientific reductionism may lag behind producer practices of systems-thinking and that isolated demonstrations of a tool's ecological effectiveness do not drive tool adoption. Future empirical tests of non-lethal tools should better consider producers' perspectives and acknowledge that data-based tests of ecological effectiveness alone have a limited place in producer decision-making. Iteratively working with producers can build trust in scientific outputs through the research process itself.
... El control letal del puma en algunas zonas está amparado por la administración. En casos de predación de ganado, el propietario de estos animales como respuesta al ataque puede eliminar al puma (Wilkinson et al., 2020). ...
... En Asia el leopardo de las nieves es el otro gran protagonista es esta clase de conflictos, razón por la que ha sido muy perseguido y se encuentra amenazado. La baja densidad de presas salvajes fomenta la aparición de estos ataques, creando en los leopardos una dependencia en los animales domésticos para alimentarse (Ramesh et al., 2020;Wilkinson et al., 2020). Como en el resto de las especies anteriormente mencionadas, la domesticación de las especies ganaderas las hace más susceptibles a estos ataques, ya que apenas conservan la morfología e instintos defensivos, lo que las hace más fáciles de cazar que a las presas salvajes (S. ...
Article
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Conflicts between humans and wildlife occur in all ecosystems causing socioeconomic impacts and damage to the environment. These conflicts have been going on for thousands of years. Interactions between wildlife and humans have both positive and negative consequences. In geographic regions with fewer resources, the economic and/or social impact will be greater. Historically, wildlife had a higher pressure due to hunting. Given the decline in this activity, wildlife has been able to grow and expand without restrictions. This has resulted in increased interactions between people and wildlife. As interactions have grown, so have the resulting damages and problems. Depending on the nature of the conflicts, it can be classified into damage to agriculture, livestock predation, urban conflicts, reemerging zoonoses and invasive species. In order to manage the growing problem, different measures have been developed and implemented, such as lethal control or dissuasive methods. At present, with the growing citizen concern for animal welfare and environmental awareness, it is necessary to address conflicts from the sociological aspect. Tools such as education or citizen participation can be key to mitigating conflicts. It’s important to understand that the management of these conflicts has a great social, economic, health relevance and in the conservation of nature and biodiversity. Finding a way in which humans and wildlife can coexist is critical to the survival of many species.
... In the Anthropocene, burgeoning human population has given rise to increasing demand for space and resources, thus leading to shrinking habitats for carnivores worldwide (Graham et al., 2005;Karanth et al., 2013). Overlapping human and carnivore requirements may lead to carnivore presence in human-dominated landscapes causing intermittent competition leading to negative human-carnivore interactions (Pooley et al., 2017;Seoraj-Pillai and Pillay, 2017;Wilkinson et al., 2020). These negative interactions were commonly stated as human-carnivore conflict, though this phrasing states that the carnivore intentionally aggravates people, it is not factual considering co-occurrence of human and carnivore in same environmental condition (Mishra et al., 2016;Talbert et al., 2020). ...
... The negative human-carnivore interaction includes carnivore attacks and its related threat to human life and economic security, as well as the retaliatory killing of carnivore by humans (McManus et al., 2015;Sidhu et al., 2015;Naha et al., 2018;Morehouse et al., 2020). It can be broadly attributed to several factors like environment, large home range of carnivores, their dietary requirement, human infrastructure, and management interventions (Broekhuis et al., 2017;Wilkinson et al., 2020). There are several carnivores known to persist in human-dominated landscapes, due to the availability of food resources such as livestock, domestic dogs, and garbage (Valeix et al., 2012;Athreya et al., 2016;Kshettry et al., 2017;Lamichhane et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Globally, the increasing human population has resulted in land use conversions and caused habitat loss to large carnivores leading to their presence in human-dominated landscapes. Because of the shared resources in human-dominated landscape, the interactions between the human and carnivore often becomes negative which becomes a challenging aspect to conservation practitioners. Mitigating these negative interactions has become a priority for wildlife managers to conserve large carnivores, human lives, and livelihoods. Moreover, it poses a challenge to execute effective mitigation measures, especially in areas where these interactions are persistent. Junnar Forest Division in western Maharashtra has a history of livestock damages and attacks on humans by leopard, which may be attributed to change in land use patterns in the past couple of decades assisted by the development of linear infrastructure. In this study we used machine learning to understand the spatio-temporal dynamics of the negative interactions of two decades (1999-2018) using compensation records. We found a significant increase in reporting of cases, especially livestock depredation after the year 2014, with annual depredation cases rising from 66/year to 599/year. A total of 34 human deaths (~1.79/year) and 99 human injuries (~5.21/year) due to leopard attacks were also recorded. Our analysis revealed different categories and clusters of negative human-leopard interactions hot spots in the landscape across the decades. The different categories of hot spots will be crucial for helping in the management interventions and site-specific approaches in the targeted areas for implementing effective mitigation strategies to minimize the chances of negative human leopard interactions in the landscape.
... Large carnivores are often killed in prevention or retaliation for livestock depredation (Treves and Karanth, 2003;Ripple et al., 2014), and this particularly applies to the world's wild felids, of which more than 75% have been found to be in conflict with human interests (Inskip and Zimmermann, 2009). Livestock depredation by large felids and other carnivores appears to be complex and influenced by a variety of human and ecological aspects, including predator-prey interactions (Wilkinson et al., 2020). While large carnivores exert direct predation effects and indirect behavior-mediated effects on their wild prey (Winnie Jr. and Creel, 2017), livestock may additionally affect wild prey positively (e.g., by enhancing wildlife habitats) and negatively (e.g., by displacement, competition, disease transmission; Schieltz and Rubenstein, 2016). ...
Article
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Large carnivores play key roles in their ecosystems, but their protection is a major challenge in biodiversity conservation due to conflicts with human interests. The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is the top predator of Asian high-altitude landscapes and faces various threats including wild prey depletion and illegal killings as a consequence of livestock depredation. As the interactions between snow leopards, wild prey, and livestock are still insufficiently understood, we studied the effects of 1) wild prey (blue sheep Pseudois nayaur and Himalayan marmots Marmota himalayana) and domestic prey on snow leopard relative abundance, and of 2) these ecological parameters and intervention applications on livestock depredation by snow leopards. In the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal, we monitored wildlife populations and livestock along transects (490.8 km) in 82 grid cells (4 ×4 km) in 2019 and 2021 and conducted questionnaire surveys to determine livestock depredation between 2018 and 2021 (n = 479 households). We applied generalized linear models (GLMs) and sample comparison testing to examine the effects of prey densities and other environmental and anthropogenic predictors on snow leopard relative abundance and livestock depredation. Blue sheep density strongly positively affected snow leopard relative abundance, which also increased with terrain ruggedness and decreased with increasing densities of livestock and the human population. The size of livestock holdings shaped depredation events of large livestock (yak, cattle and horse), whereas depredation events of sheep and goats, which accounted for most (68.6%) depredated animals, decreased with increasing human population density and marmot presence. The strong impact of blue sheep on snow leopard relative abundance supports demands for integrating this ungulate into conservation and management plans, including wild prey recovery and translocation. The rather weak evidence for effects of blue sheep on depredation events suggests that conflicts over livestock depredation by snow leopards would neither be inflicted nor solved by increasing wild prey abundance. This demonstrates the need to improve intervention strategies in the Annapurna region, such as predator-proofing corrals and optimizing daytime herding practices. We suggest further exploring the effects of marmots and other secondary prey on livestock depredation rates, and testing the suitability of additional interventions, e.g., dogs and deterrents, as conflict mitigation tools. Our results will support wildlife managers in setting conservation priorities to promote the long-term co-existence of local people and snow leopards.
... Barring a few, most published studies in the Himalayan landscape have explored the social aspect and the ecological aspect of HWC in isolation of each other. Use of conceptual ideas from multiple disciplines directs one towards a more comprehensive picture of an issue as intricate as HWC (Steve M. Redpath et al., 2013;Wilkinson et al., 2020). It is therefore, that our study design entailed using an integrative approach to understand the social as well as ecological dimensions of HWC. ...
... In the particular case of carnivore predation on livestock, the ecology of fear can come strongly into play (Miller & Schmitz, 2019;Wilkinson et al., 2020). Domesticated animals often lack fear instincts and appropriate anti-predator responses, or are constrained in their ability to respond given containment in pens or lack of protective habitat. ...
Article
Research on the ecology of fear has highlighted the importance of perceived risk from predators and humans in shaping animal behavior and physiology, with potential demographic and ecosystem-wide consequences. Despite recent conceptual advances and potential management implications of the ecology of fear, theory and conservation practices have rarely been linked. Many challenges in animal conservation may be alleviated by actively harnessing or compensating for risk perception and risk avoidance behavior in wild animal populations. Integration of the ecology of fear into conservation and management practice can contribute to the recovery of threatened populations, human–wildlife conflict mitigation, invasive species management, maintenance of sustainable harvest and species reintroduction plans. Here, we present an applied framework that links conservation interventions to desired outcomes by manipulating ecology of fear dynamics. We discuss how to reduce or amplify fear in wild animals by manipulating habitat structure, sensory stimuli, animal experience (previous exposure to risk) and food safety trade-offs to achieve management objectives. Changing the optimal decision-making of individuals in managed populations can then further conservation goals by shaping the spatiotemporal distribution of animals, changing predation rates and altering risk effects that scale up to demographic consequences. We also outline future directions for applied research on fear ecology that will better inform conservation practices. Our framework can help scientists and practitioners anticipate and mitigate unintended consequences of management decisions, and highlight new levers for multi-species conservation strategies that promote human–wildlife coexistence.
... Biocultural disciplines might emerge as necessary. Source adapted from Madden and McQuinn (2014) and the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution (2000) employed specifically in carnivore-livestock conflicts have resulted in varied context-dependent successes and failures (Wilkinson et al., 2020). One-size-fits-all approaches have not been found suitable due to widely varying realities between landscapes (König et al., 2020) and even communities (Perry, Moorhouse, Loveridge, & Macdonald, 2020), supporting the need for integrated and participatory research when resolving human-nature conflicts and achieving coexistence. ...
Article
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Agroecological landscapes have the potential to simultaneously meet food security and biodiversity conservation goals but are hindered by emerging biodiversity conflicts. Here, we opt to view the social-ecological factors that decrease biodiversity impacts or increase tolerance of biodiversity in agroecological landscapes as system parameters for their potential capacity to move a social-ecological system from states of conflict to alternative desired system states devoid of major losses for both food security and biodiversity, that is landscapes of coexistence. We discuss how reframing landscapes as social-ecological systems allows focusing on manageable components, or coexistence parameters, that explain biodiversity impacts and are hence capable of dampening conflicts. Approaches from the social, economic, or ecological sciences allow for the formulation of management strategies tailor-made for each system, with a higher chance of success than one-size-fits-all strategies. Conceptually recognizing coexistence parameters may enable easier assessment of a landscape's current state and identification of the required actions needed to transition towards a state of coexistence. K E Y W O R D S conflict reconciliation, conflict resolution, human dominated landscapes, human-nature coexistence , human-wildlife conflict, land-sharing
... For example, some frameworks address procedural aspects (Henle et al., 2013) or information gathering (Treves, Wallace, & White, 2009), while others focus on organizing and interpreting existing information (Lischka et al., 2018). Some frameworks aim at understanding the psychology and attitudes of stakeholders (Carter, Riley, & Liu, 2012;McCleery, 2009;Snyder & Rentsch, 2020), determining the required level of damage prevention and approaches to its implementation in resolving HWCs , quantifying and prioritizing co-benefits (Rees, Carwardine, Reeson, & Firn, 2020), analyzing interactions between people and wildlife (Morzillo, de Beurs, & Martin-Mikle, 2014), using ecological theory to assess predator-prey (i.e., carnivore-livestock) interactions (Lamb et al., 2020;Wilkinson et al., 2020), or integrating HWC with other ecological frameworks (Crespin & Simonetti, 2019). However, there may be an emergent value of bringing together the strengths and foci of these different frameworks to find new solutions to the complexity of HWC in agricultural areas. ...
Article
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As wild areas disappear and agricultural lands expand, understanding how people and wildlife can coexist becomes increasingly important. Human–wildlife conflicts (HWCs) are obstacles to coexistence and negatively affect both wildlife populations and the livelihood of people. To facilitate coexistence, a number of frameworks have been developed to both understand the drivers of conflict and then to find solutions that mitigate conflict. However, each framework has different foci and strengths in particular stages of analysis. Here, we propose an integrated framework that leverages the individual strengths of previously fairly isolated methodologies, allowing for holistic HWC analysis. The framework for participatory impact assessment (FoPIA) provides a toolset for developing wildlife scenarios, selecting assessment indicators and assessing the impact of different scenarios. The social‐ecological framework of ecosystem services and disservices (SEEDS) analyzes the ecosystem services trade‐offs related to scenarios, and the 3i stakeholder analysis approach, supports the identification of stakeholders and provides a mechanism to explore, in detail stakeholders' interests, relative influence, and how outcomes of research are likely to impact different stakeholders. We apply these approaches to eastern Germany, where the increase in several wildlife populations (i.e., wild boar, common crane, gray wolf, and European bison) has contributed to conflict with people. We demonstrate the complementarity of FoPIA, SEEDS, and 3i in identifying stakeholder needs and showing how wildlife dynamics may affect coexistence and create imbalanced ecosystem service and disservice distributions. The integrated framework introduced here provides guidelines for analyzing the multistage process of stakeholder participation and enables a comprehensive approach to the complex challenge of HWCs.
... However, Gongga Mountain adult yaks are free ranging throughout the year, suggesting that they can occupy wider and further pastures (as far as 10 km away from villages according to our field survey) and may reinforce competition with wild ungulates such as blue sheep. Yaks younger than 1-2 years old are usually penned by fences around the village at night, which reduces the risk of young yaks being ambushed by snow leopards (Fig. S4b) (Wilkinson et al., 2020). Thus, the free-ranging mode at Gongga Mountain may intensify the competitive pressure between livestock and wild ungulates, subsequently limiting the space use of snow leopards. ...
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The habitats of snow leopards (Panthera uncia) are heavily utilized as pasturelands on the Tibetan Plateau. Livestock can benefit the snow leopard populations via providing extra prey resources. However, livestock can negatively impact upon the distribution of snow leopards by competing with their wild prey. Therefore, how grazing affects snow leopard space use is variable and its underlying mechanisms are unclear. We used 188 camera traps to systematically investigate the activities of snow leopards, their main wild prey, i.e., blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), and livestock (i.e. yaks) across 650 km² of Gongga Mountain. We found that: (1) snow leopards were detected only in areas with higher occurrences of blue sheep, and the presence of blue sheep was crucial in driving snow leopard space use. (2) The detection frequencies of snow leopards and blue sheep were lower at sites with yaks than without yaks. (3) Yaks limited snow leopard space use mainly by competing with its main prey, blue sheep. Our results highlight that the competition pressure of livestock on wild ungulates can limit the activities of snow leopards. Grazing management should be improved for conservation of snow leopards at Gongga Mountain.
... A multidisciplinary approach. Mitigation of negative human-wildlife interaction requires an understanding of how ecological theories work within domestic predator-prey systems (Wilkinson et al. 2020). In addition, given the diversity of intangible factors that can affect the dynamics of human-wildlife interactions, the incorporation of social and communication scientists is essential in order to reduce the effect of these negative interactions (Marchini 2014;Kansky et al. 2016). ...
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Human-wildlife interactions can be negative when the needs and behavior of wildlife negatively influence human goals, or vice-versa, and management of these interactions may lead to conflict. Here, we review information on negative interactions between humans and wildlife in South America contained in 136 scientific publications, focusing on terrestrial mammalian predators and raptors. We found that most studies were conducted in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia. The methodology most commonly used to investigate negative interactions was interviews with rural inhabitants. Studies were performed mainly on interactions involving large felids such as Panthera onca and Puma concolor, and-to a lesser extent-on other mammalian predators and raptors such as eagles or scavenger birds. The main drivers of negative interactions involved perceived or actual impacts on human economy (material) (e.g., livestock or crop losses) or were based on non-material (intangible) aspects (e.g., fear, myths, and religious beliefs). The studies showed that negative attitudes and perceptions toward terrestrial mammalian predators and raptors are widespread in South America. Although non-lethal strategies for mitigation of negative interactions have been proposed, most are not widely used and lethal controls are still very common. A multidisciplinary approach is required, based on multiple actions (e.g., improving livestock practices, running educational programs, increasing stakeholder involvement, providing farmers with solutions), which would minimize negative interactions and promote coexistence between humans and wildlife. This is key to maintaining threatened species, ecological interactions and healthy environments in the anthropized landscapes of biodiverse South America. Desentrañando las interacciones negativas entre humanos, mamíferos carnívoros y rapaces en América del Sur. Las interacciones entre el ser humano y la fauna silvestre pueden ser negativas cuando las necesidades y el comportamiento de la fauna silvestre influyen negativamente en las metas de las personas, o viceversa, y manejar estas interacciones puede generar conflictos. En este artículo revisamos la información científica sobre este tipo de interacciones en 136 publicaciones realizadas en Sudamérica. Nos centramos en los mamíferos depredadores terrestres y en las aves rapaces. Encontramos que la mayoría de los estudios se realizaron en Brasil, Argentina, Chile y Colombia. La metodología más utilizada fueron las entrevistas a habitantes de zonas rurales. Los estudios se realizaron principalmente sobre interacciones con grandes félidos como Panthera onca y Puma concolor, yen menor medida-sobre otros mamíferos depredadores y aves rapaces como las águilas o las aves carroñeras. Los impulsores principales de estas interacciones fueron los impactos-percibidos o reales-sobre la economía (materiales) (e.g., pérdidas de ganado o cultivos) o aspectos no materiales (intangibles) (e.g., miedo, mitos y creencias religiosas). Los estudios mostraron que las actitudes y percepciones negativas hacia los mamíferos depredadores y las aves rapaces están muy extendidas en Sudamérica. Aunque se propusieron estrategias no letales para mitigar las interacciones negativas, la mayoría no se utiliza ampliamente y los controles letales siguen siendo muy comunes. Se requiere un enfoque multidisciplinario, basado en diversas acciones (e.g., mejorar las prácticas ganaderas, realizar programas educativos, aumentar la participación de las partes interesadas, proporcionar soluciones a los agricultores) que minimicen las interacciones negativas y promuevan la coexistencia entre los seres humanos y la fauna silvestre. Esto es clave para conservar las especies amenazadas, fomentar las interacciones ecológicas y mantener entornos saludables en los paisajes antropizados de la biodiversa Sudamérica.
... These conflicts are one of the main threats to the survival of carnivores, along with habitat loss and fragmentation, decreasing prey populations, hunting, and trade (Ripple et al., 2014; The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 2021; Woodroffe et al., 2005b). Conflicts often involve predation on livestock (Wilkinson et al., 2020), followed by the killing of carnivores in retaliation or to prevent further predation (Dickman, 2010;Frank & Glikman, 2019;Loveridge et al., 2010;Woodroffe et al., 2005b). The latter impacts carnivore populations at different levels (e.g., population decreases, changes in distribution), frequently leading to local and global extinctions (Ripple et al., 2014). ...
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Human-carnivore conflicts threaten the survival of large carnivore populations and impose high costs for humans. Knowledge co-building approaches can be successful in tackling these problems. We examined conflicts between the puma (Puma concolor) and pastoralists from an Argentine Puna village through semi-structured interviews and a focus group discussion. According to data from the community, 6% of livestock were killed by pumas in 2017, causing an estimated US $14,340 loss. Interviewees perceived pumas as dangerous and hunted them to protect livestock. Predation and diseases were identified as major causes of livestock losses, and infrequent checks on livestock, livestock being free-ranging, and an increase in the puma population were underlying causes of predation. Interviewees mentioned direct economic costs and indirect and hidden costs as consequences of livestock loss. Given that social factors are important drivers in human-wildlife conflicts, we highlight the importance of engaging the community during conflict research and management.
... Such conflicts often lead to negative attitudes toward carnivores and even retaliatory killings that threaten carnivore species survival (Kissui, 2008). Effective mitigation of these conflicts relies on accurate identification of predation patterns and their underlying ecological mechanisms, which can then be used to devise informed management strategies that both resolve conflicts and promote sustainable coexistence between human and carnivores (van Eeden et al., 2018;Wilkinson et al., 2020). ...
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Accurate assessments of the patterns and drivers of livestock depredation by wild carnivores are vital for designing effective mitigation strategies to reduce human-wildlife conflict. Snow leopard’s (Panthera uncia) range extensively overlaps pastoralist land-use and livestock predation there is widely reported, but the ecological determinants of livestock consumption by snow leopards remain obscure. We investigated snow leopard dietary habits at seven sites across the Sanjiangyuan region of the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (QTP), an area central to the species’ global range. Snow leopard abundance, wild prey composition, and livestock density varied among those sites, thus allowing us to test the effects of various factors on snow leopard diet and livestock predation. Using DNA metabarcoding, we obtained highly resolved dietary data from 351 genetically verified snow leopard fecal samples. We then analyzed the prey preferences of snow leopards and examined ecological factors related to their livestock consumption. Across the sites, snow leopard prey was composed mainly of wild ungulates (mean = 81.5% of dietary sequences), particularly bharal (Pseudois nayaur), and supplemented with livestock (7.62%) and smaller mammals (marmots, pikas, mice; 10.7%). Snow leopards showed a strong preference for bharal, relative to livestock, based on their densities. Interestingly, both proportional and total livestock consumption by snow leopards increased linearly with local livestock biomass, but not with livestock density. That, together with a slight negative relationship with bharal density, supports apparent facilitation between wild and domestic prey. We also found a significant positive correlation between population densities of snow leopard and bharal, yet those densities showed slight negative relationships with livestock density. Our results highlight the importance of sufficient wild ungulate abundance to the conservation of viable snow leopard populations. Additionally, livestock protection is critically needed to reduce losses to snow leopard depredation, especially where local livestock abundances are high.
... ivates the willingness to seek compensation in the MNP. It appears as if farmers in the area are generally interested in seeking compensation regardless of whether their livestock have been depredated or not. This raises the issue of ethical conundrums when administering compensation schemes . Finally, I developed a mechanistic framework following Wilkinson et. al. 2020, that will be handy for exploring a summary of the drivers of lion-livestock interaction dynamics in the area by integrating both biological and socio-economic mechanisms that fundamentally underlie human-lion conflict in a holistic perspective (Fig. 18). This framework also helps to determine how current conflict-intervention tools act ...
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My research project covered a study on lion population size, pride structure, reproductive success, foraging success, distribution and factors influencing human-lion interactions in the MNP. Data on lion presence were collected during transect counts and through direct opportunistic searches and observations, while data on human-lion interactions were collected through a questionnaire survey that was administered in nine villages (sub-locations) around the park. Results show a lion density of 6.8 lions/km2 and an estimated lion population size of 31 individuals. I identified four lion prides in the park. The pride structure seems to be influenced by prey availability and seasonal fluctuations of water and prey in and around the MNP. Attitudes towards carnivores are predominantly influenced by livestock ownership and level of education. Livestock husbandry practices, particularly the height of the boma fence and the type of livestock enclosure (boma) also influence livestock loss and mortality. The questionnaire survey showed that human-lion conflicts mainly occur near the north-eastern boundary of the MCA, which is unfenced. The frequency of reported lion conflict incidences in the area peaks around August which is also the driest month of the year in the MCA and the month with the least number of lion observation sightings inside the park. Livestock raiding behaviour therefore seems to be mainly influenced by lion distribution in and around the park, the presence of livestock and livestock husbandry practices such as the type and height of the boma fence as well as the influence of seasonality. Other livestock husbandry practices (such as the use of flashlights, adult herders/guards and guard dogs) also reduce livestock depredation, although habituation to flashlights reduces the effectiveness of the flashlights and the Muslim pastoralists in the area (who also own the majority of livestock lost to carnivores) do not use guard dogs due to religious beliefs.
... Direct costs result from the depredation of biological resources, including game, fish, livestock and domestic animals both injured and killed (Gese, Hart and Terletzy, 2021;Widman, Steen and Elofsson, 2019), and from the economic losses caused by destroyed equipment such as fences, beehives, infrastracture, water systems etc. (Naves et al., 2018;Hariohay, Munuo The costs of indirect damages are much more difficult to assess. They cover a wide range of problems, such as the consequences of fear and stress due to predation (Fardell, Pavey and Dickman, 2020), the loss of careful breeding work and effort (Wilkinson et al., 2020), or the loss of well-trained dogs where money cannot replace a lost emotional bond (Tikkunen and Kojola, 2020). The determination of total damage costs is always subject to a certain degree of uncertainty. ...
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The landscape is used by many entities at the same time, leading to problems with property rights, environmental protection, biodiversity conservation and other interests. Both property rights and environmental protection are guaranteed by the state and regulated by law. It is completely undeniable and natural that there are conflicts between these interests. In recent decades, efforts to conserve the biodiversity have been characterized by increasing use of economic instruments, new sources of funding to support activities including monitoring, research, training, but also public events and promotion. Conflicts are relatively common when a property overlaps with the territory and home range of a predator. As users usually bear the costs, this leads to negative attitudes towards these species, even though some of them are protected by law. These conflicts can also lead to negative attitude towards conservation itself and its financial and political support. This paper quantifies the relationship between compensation for damage caused by selected protected animals and their abundance in the Czech Republic. A high statistical dependence between population development and compensation payments is found for wolves (r = 0.999) and otters (r = 0.921).
... In nearby agricultural landscapes, condors are susceptible to intentional and unintentional poisoning of carrion (Pauli et al., 2018;Plaza et al., 2019); condors have also increasingly been observed feeding at landfills in the region (Duclos et al., 2020). Pumas could also be at greater risk of conflict with humans and livestock if they, too, move outside the park in response to the reduction of their prey base (Cocimano et al., 2021;Wilkinson et al., 2020); conversely, pumas may instead remain and shift to consuming smaller rodent or lagomorph prey (Osorio et al., 2020). If the latter, apparent competition with nonnative hares could limit the ability of the vicuña population to recover (Barbar & Lambertucci, 2019). ...
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Disease outbreaks induced by humans increasingly threaten wildlife communities worldwide. Like predators, pathogens can be key top‐down forces in ecosystems, initiating trophic cascades that may alter food webs. An outbreak of mange in a remote Andean protected area caused a dramatic population decline in a mammalian herbivore (the vicuña), creating conditions to test the cascading effects of disease on the ecological community. By comparing a suite of ecological measurements to pre‐disease baseline records, we demonstrate that mange restructured tightly linked trophic interactions previously driven by a mammalian predator (the puma). Following the mange outbreak, scavenger (Andean condor) occurrence in the ecosystem declined sharply and plant biomass and cover increased dramatically in predation refuges where herbivory was historically concentrated. The evidence shows that a disease‐induced trophic cascade, mediated by vicuña density, could supplant the predator‐induced trophic cascade, mediated by vicuña behaviour, thereby transforming the Andean ecosystem. An outbreak of Sarcoptic mange in a vicuña population in a remote protected area in the Argentine Andes reconfigured the tightly‐linked vertebrate food web, transforming a trophic cascade. Mange triggered a population crash in the large mammalian herbivore that released vegetation in predation refuge habitats, but not in habitats with high predation risk, where a behaviourally mediated trophic cascade driven by puma predation shielded vegetation from the effects of herbivory. This disease‐mediated shift also led to the near‐abandonment of the protected area by the dominant scavenger, the Andean condor, which was previously tethered to the region by a steady provisioning of vicuña carcasses from puma predation.
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Human-carnivore conflict is a global challenge with complex and context-specific causes and consequences. While spatial analyses can use ecological principles to predict patterns of conflict, solutions to mitigate conflict must also be locally adaptable, sustainable, and culturally-sensitive. In Nakuru County, Kenya, rapid development and land subdivision have exacerbated conflict by isolating wildlife in protected areas that are increasingly adjacent to human settlements. In an effort to understand local perspectives on carnivore conflict, and to apply this information toward locally-based conservations actions, we conducted gender-stratified interviews and participatory mapping sessions with 378 people in 16 villages near two ecologically isolated protected areas in Kenya: Lake Nakuru National Park and Soysambu Conservancy. Specifically, we developed a method for associating interview responses and demographic information with spatial participatory data to examine how local perceptions of conflict compared to spatially-explicit records of livestock depredation in the region from 2010 to 2018. We mapped kernel densities of recorded and perceived risk of human-carnivore conflict and then tested for potential social and ecological predictors of divergences found between the two datasets. Mismatched hotspots of observed and perceived risk of conflict were correlated with several ecological and socioeconomic factors. Regions with higher NDVI exhibited more perceived conflict, while the opposite held true for verified conflict. Road density was positively correlated with both types of conflict, and both types of conflict increased closer to protected areas. Livestock ownership, visitation to Lake Nakuru National Park, if the participant's child walked to school, and male gender identity were associated with more perceived conflict reports. Education level and national park visitation were associated with more positive attitudes toward carnivores. Our results show that while observed and perceived conflict may ultimately be equally important for understanding and managing human-carnivore conflict, they may be driven by markedly different social and ecological processes. We suggest that integrating the spatially explicit experiences and perspectives of local communities with more traditional ecological methods is critical to identifying lasting and socially just forms of conflict mitigation.
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Livestock guarding dogs (LGDs) are used across the world to reduce livestock depredation by free-ranging predatory wildlife. In doing so, they reduce the need for lethal predator control and are considered beneficial for conservation. However, LGDs might be perceived as predators by wildlife and induce a multitude of both positive and negative ecological effects. We conducted a literature review to evaluate the ecological effects of LGDs and found 56 publications reporting LGDs interacting with or affecting wildlife. Featuring in 77% of the publications, LGDs were widely reported to chase and kill wildlife, leading to species-specific behavioural responses. A total of 80 species were affected by LGDs, 11 of which are listed as Near Threatened or higher on the IUCN Red List. Of the affected species, 78% were non-target species, suggesting that any benefits arising from the use of LGDs likely occur simultaneously with unintended ecological effects. However, the frequency of LGD-wildlife interactions and the magnitude of any resulting ecological effects have rarely been quantified. Therefore, more empirical studies are needed to determine the net ecological outcome of LGD use, thereby ensuring that negative outcomes are minimised, while benefiting both farmers and wildlife.
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Conflict between livestock producers and wild predators is a central driver of large predator declines and simultaneously may imperil the lives and livelihoods of livestock producers. There is a growing recognition that livestock–predator conflict is a socio‐ecological problem, but few case studies exist to guide conflict research and management from this point of view. Here we present a case study of coyote‐sheep predation on a California ranch in which we combine methods from the rapidly growing field of predation risk modeling with participatory mapping of perceptions of predation risk. Our findings reveal an important selection bias that may occur when producer perceptions and decisions are excluded from ecological methods of studying conflict. We further demonstrate how producer inputs, participatory mapping, and ecological modeling of conflict can inform one another in understanding patterns, drivers, and management opportunities for livestock–predator conflict. Finally, we make recommendations for improving the interoperability of ecological and social data about predation risk. Collectively our methods offer a socio‐ecological approach that fills important research gaps and offers guidance to future research.
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Threats posed by wild predators to livestock production have too often resulted in human-wildlife conflict, to the detriment of these keystone species and broader biodiversity conservation. Long-standard practices of lethal control are increasingly seen as costly, controversial, and ineffective, however, with nonlethal alternatives ever more prominent. In addition to assessing these tools’ ecological effectiveness, there remains a key role for the social sciences, particularly qualitative research, in identifying obstacles to and opportunities for the long-term sustainability and scaling up of these coexistence interventions. The Wood River Wolf Project (WRWP), a collaboration among ranchers, environmental organizations, and government agencies in Blaine County, Idaho, has pursued coexistence between gray wolves and domestic sheep since 2008, demonstrating and developing nonlethal techniques and garnering regional and international attention as a model for collaborative coexistence. Yet the Project has also struggled with changing conditions and internal challenges. Investigation of this prominent effort – its history and practices as well as the broader socio-political and economic context – highlights the challenges of adaptive governance in the face of reduced capacity and hostile legal-political contexts, while providing important insights for practitioners and policymakers promoting wildlife coexistence in shared landscapes.
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Carnivore predation on livestock often leads people to retaliate. Persecution by humans has contributed strongly to global endangerment of carnivores. Preventing livestock losses would help to achieve three goals common to many human societies: preserve nature, protect animal welfare, and safeguard human livelihoods. Between 2016 and 2018, four independent reviews evaluated >40 years of research on lethal and nonlethal interventions for reducing predation on livestock. From 114 studies, we find a striking conclusion: scarce quantitative comparisons of interventions and scarce comparisons against experimental controls preclude strong inference about the effectiveness of methods. For wise investment of public resources in protecting livestock and carnivores, evidence of effectiveness should be a prerequisite to policy making or large-scale funding of any method or, at a minimum, should be measured during implementation. An appropriate evidence base is needed, and we recommend a coalition of scientists and managers be formed to establish and encourage use of consistent standards in future experimental evaluations.
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Predation on domestic animals by carnivores is a persistent problem wherever carnivores and livestock co-occur. A wide range of management tools to reduce predation has been invoked. However, the evidence of their effectiveness is still limited for a broader range of species and conditions. Using a global analysis of domestic animal predation by native carnivores under a “before-after/control-impact” framework, we assessed the effectiveness of management techniques used to reduce domestic animal predation identifying knowledge gaps and research needs. We reviewed 291 predation cases in 149 studies published between 1990 and 2017 involving 47 carnivores. Lethal control is the most common method to reduce predation in comparison with nonlethal techniques. Yet the effectiveness of both approaches remains poorly evaluated (30.1% of study cases) and largely based on producers’ perceptions (70% of cases where effectiveness was evaluated). Lethal control and night confinement of domestic animals would have no effect on reducing predation, whereas the use of livestock-guarding dogs, fencing, or herdsmen may significantly reduce domestic animal losses. When the effectiveness of each technique to reduce predation was assessed by large and mesocarnivores, fencing significantly reduced predation of domestic animals by the former. Despite little scientifically published material, our findings indicate lethal control would have no effect in reducing animal predation by native carnivores when compared with nonlethal techniques. Our study also indicates the effectiveness may vary depending on the type of carnivore involved in the conflict with livestock activity. The use of an evidence-based framework to measure and assess the differential effectiveness of nonlethal techniques and the use of complementary tools at different spatial and temporal scales must be research priorities to prevent livestock predation while promoting the conservation of carnivores in production-oriented lands as encouraged by the Convention of Biological Diversity.
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The global lion (Panthera leo) population decline is partly a result of retaliatory killing in response to livestock depredation. Nairobi National Park (NNP) is a small protected area in Kenya surrounded by a human-dominated landscape. Communities around the park use flashlights to deter lions from their livestock bomas. We investigated the response by lions to the installation of a LED flashlight technique during 2007–2016.We interviewed 80 owners of livestock bomas with flashlights (n = 43) and without (n = 37) flashlights in the surroundings of NNP and verified reported attacks on bomas against predation data over10 years. The frequency of attacks on bomas equipped with flashlights was significantly lower compared to bomas without flashlights. We also found that after flashlight installation at livestock bomas, lion attacks took place further away from the park edge, towards areas where bomas without flashlights were still present. With increased numbers of flashlight installations at bomas in recent years, we further noticed a shift from nocturnal to more diurnal predation incidences. Our study shows that the LED flashlight technique is effective in reducing nocturnal livestock predation at bomas by lions. Long term studies on the effects as well as expansion of this technique into other communities around NNP are recommended.
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An increasing proportion of the world’s poor is rearing livestock today, and the global livestock population is growing. Livestock predation by large carnivores and their retaliatory killing is becoming an economic and conservation concern. A common recommendation for carnivore conservation and for reducing predation on livestock is to increase wild prey populations based on the assumption that the carnivores will consume this alternative food. Livestock predation, however, could either reduce or intensify with increases in wild prey depending on prey choice and trends in carnivore abundance. We show that the extent of livestock predation by the endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia intensifies with increases in the density of wild ungulate prey, and subsequently stabilizes. We found that snow leopard density, estimated at seven sites, was a positive linear function of the density of wild ungulates—the preferred prey—and showed no discernible relationship with livestock density. We also found that modelled livestock predation increased with livestock density. Our results suggest that snow leopard conservation would benefit from an increase in wild ungulates, but that would intensify the problem of livestock predation for pastoralists. The potential benefits of increased wild prey abundance in reducing livestock predation can be overwhelmed by a resultant increase in snow leopard populations. Snow leopard conservation efforts aimed at facilitating increases in wild prey must be accompanied by greater assistance for better livestock protection and offsetting the economic damage caused by carnivores.
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Top predators can suppress mesopredators by killing them, competing for resources and instilling fear, but it is unclear how suppression of mesopredators varies with the distribution and abundance of top predators at large spatial scales and among different ecological contexts. We suggest that suppression of mesopredators will be strongest where top predators occur at high densities over large areas. These conditions are more likely to occur in the core than on the margins of top predator ranges. We propose the Enemy Constraint Hypothesis, which predicts weakened top-down effects on mesopredators towards the edge of top predators’ ranges. Using bounty data from North America, Europe and Australia we show that the effects of top predators on mesopredators increase from the margin towards the core of their ranges, as predicted. Continuing global contraction of top predator ranges could promote further release of mesopredator populations, altering ecosystem structure and contributing to biodiversity loss.
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Large carnivores are persecuted globally because they threaten human industries and livelihoods. How this conflict is managed has consequences for the conservation of large carnivores and biodiversity more broadly. Mitigating human-predator conflict should be evidence-based and accommodate people’s values while also protecting carnivores. Despite much research into human-large carnivore coexistence strategies, there have been limited attempts to document the success of conflict mitigation strategies on a global scale. We present a meta-analysis of global research on conflict mitigation between large carnivores and humans, focusing on conflicts that arise from the threat that large carnivores pose to livestock industries. Overall, research effort and focus varied between continents, aligning with the different histories and cultures that shaped livestock production and attitudes towards carnivores. Of the studies that met our criteria, livestock guardian animals were most effective at reducing livestock losses, followed by lethal control, although the latter exhibited the widest variation in success and the two were not significantly different. Financial incentives have promoted tolerance in some settings, reducing retaliatory killings. In future, coexistence strategies should be location-specific, incorporating cultural values and environmental conditions, and designed such that return on financial investment can be evaluated. Improved monitoring of mitigation measures is urgently required to promote effective evidence-based policy.
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Successful coexistence between large carnivores and humans is conditional upon effective mitigation of the impact of these species on humans, such as through livestock depredation. It is therefore essential for conservation practitioners, carnivore managing authorities, or livestock owners to know the effectiveness of interventions intended to reduce livestock predation by large carnivores. We reviewed the scientific literature (1990–2016), searching for evidence of the effectiveness of interventions. We found experimental and quasi-experimental studies were rare within the field, and only 21 studies applied a case-control study design (3.7% of reviewed publications). We used a relative risk ratio to evaluate the studied interventions: changing livestock type, keeping livestock in enclosures, guarding or livestock guarding dogs, predator removal, using shock collars on carnivores, sterilizing carnivores, and using visual or auditory deterrents to frighten carnivores. Although there was a general lack of scientific evidence of the effectiveness of any of these interventions, some interventions reduced the risk of depredation whereas other interventions did not result in reduced depredation. We urge managers and stakeholders to move towards an evidence-based large carnivore management practice and researchers to conduct studies of intervention effectiveness with a randomized case-control design combined with systematic reviewing to evaluate the evidence.
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Worldwide, native predators are killed to protect livestock, an action that can undermine wildlife conservation efforts and create conflicts among stakeholders. An ongoing example is occurring in the western United States, where wolves (Canis lupus) were eradicated by the 1930s but are again present in parts of their historic range. While livestock losses to wolves represent a small fraction of overall livestock mortality, the response to these depredations has resulted in widespread conflicts including significant efforts at lethal wolf control to reduce impacts on livestock producers, especially those with large-scale grazing operations on public lands. A variety of nonlethal methods have proven effective in reducing livestock losses to wolves in small-scale operations but in large-scale, open-range grazing operations, nonlethal management strategies are often presumed ineffective or infeasible. To demonstrate that nonlethal techniques can be effective at large scales, we report a 7-year case study where we strategically applied nonlethal predator deterrents and animal husbandry techniques on an adaptive basis (i.e., based on terrain, proximity to den or rendezvous sites, avoiding overexposure to techniques such as certain lights or sound devices that could result in wolves losing their fear of that device, etc.) to protect sheep (Ovis aries) and wolves on public grazing lands in Idaho. We collected data on sheep depredation mortalities in the protected demonstration study area and compared these data to an adjacent wolf-occupied area where sheep were grazed without the added nonlethal protection measures. Over the 7-year period, sheep depredation losses to wolves were 3.5 times higher in the Nonprotected Area (NPA) than in the Protected Area (PA). Furthermore, no wolves were lethally controlled within the PA and sheep depredation losses to wolves were just 0.02% of the total number of sheep present, the lowest loss rate among sheep-grazing areas in wolf range statewide, whereas wolves were lethally controlled in the NPA. Our demonstration project provides evidence that proactive use of a variety of nonlethal techniques applied conditionally can help reduce depredation on large open-range operations.
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Mitigating conflicts associated with predation on livestock is essential for conserving large carnivores in human dominated landscapes. This is generally addressed by targeting at individual management practices affecting predation risk, often disregarding that different livestock husbandry systems (i.e., groups of farms sharing similar resource bases, production patterns and management practices) with different vulnerabilities to predation may coexist within predator ranges, each of which requiring tailored prescriptions to reduce predation. Here we evaluated the importance of considering both husbandry systems and individual management practices to mitigate conflicts due to cattle predation by wolves in Portugal, where attacks on cattle increased >3 times in 1999-2013. Government records from 2012-2013 indicated that only <2% of cattle farms suffered wolf attacks, of which <4% had >10 attacks.year-1. We found that attacks were concentrated in the free-ranging husbandry system, which was characterised by multi-owner herds, largely grazing communal land far from shelter, and seldom confined. Protecting these herds at night in winter was the most important factor reducing wolf attacks, which could be achieved by changing practices of about 25% of farmers in this system. Attacks were much lower in the semi-confined system, probably because herds grazed pastures closer to shelter, and they were often confined with fences or in barns. Farms bringing calves <3 months old to pastures were associated with about 90% of attacks, but changing this practice would involve about 50% of farmers in this system. Our results underline the importance of identifying livestock husbandry systems, and to adjust mitigation strategies to each system.
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Mitigation of large carnivore depredation is essential to increasing stakeholder support for human–carnivore coexistence. Lethal and nonlethal techniques are implemented by managers, livestock producers, and other stakeholders to reduce livestock depredations by large carnivores. However, information regarding the relative effectiveness of techniques commonly used to reduce livestock depredations is currently lacking. We evaluated 66 published, peer-reviewed research papers that quantitatively measured livestock depredation before and after employing 4 categories of lethal and nonlethal mitigation techniques (livestock husbandry, predator deterrents and removal, and indirect management of land or wild prey) to assess their relative effectiveness as livestock protection strategies. Effectiveness of each technique was measured as the reported percent change in livestock losses. Husbandry (42–100% effective) and deterrents (0–100% effective) demonstrated the greatest potential but also the widest variability in effectiveness in reducing livestock losses. Removal of large carnivores never achieved 100% effectiveness but exhibited the lowest variation (67–83%). Although explicit measures of effectiveness were not reported for indirect management, livestock depredations commonly decreased with sparser and greater distances from distant vegetation cover, at greater distances from protected areas, and in areas with greater wild prey abundance. Information on time duration of effects was available only for deterrents; a tradeoff existed between the effectiveness of tools and the length of time a tool remained effective. Our assessment revealed numerous sources of bias regarding the effectiveness of techniques as reported in the peer-reviewed literature, including a lack of replication across species and geographic regions, a focus on Canid carnivores in the United States, Europe, and Africa, and a publication bias toward studies reporting positive effects. Given these limitations, we encourage managers and conservationists to work with livestock producers to more consistently and quantitatively measure and report the impacts of mitigation techniques under a wider range of environmental, economic, and sociological conditions.
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Predation by coyotes (Canis latrans) on livestock continues to plague producers in the United States. Agricultural interests are concerned about coyote predation because sheep inventories in the U.S. have declined >85% in the past 60 years, with a 25% decline between 1991 and 1996, This decline in sheep numbers has been attributed to low economic returns among producers, with coyote predation cited as a major causative factor. Generalizations about the magnitude and nature of depredations can be misleading because of the varied nature of sheep operations, including size of operations, differences in management, and environmental circumstances surrounding individual operations. Coyote depredation rates appear to be influenced by sheep management practices, coyote biology and behavior, environmental factors, and depredation management programs, Most nonlethal depredation control techniques fall within the operational purview of the producers. The major controversy regarding depredation management focuses on programs that remove coyotes to prevent or curtail predation on domestic stock, especially on public lands. Differences in the magnitude, nature, and history of problems caused by coyotes, as well as the circumstances in which they occur, dictates a need for a variety of techniques and programs to resolve problems. The resolution of coyote depredation upon livestock remains controversial for producers, resource managers, and the general public. Because various segments of society attach different values to coyotes, resolution of depredations should use management programs that integrate the social, legal, economic, and biological aspects of the animals and the problem. Preferred solutions should involve procedures that solve problems as effectively, efficiently, and economically as possible in the least intrusive and most benign ways. Predation management requires a partnership among producers and wildlife managers to tailor programs to specific damage situations so the most appropriate techniques can be selected. This paper attempts to clarify the issues surrounding depredation management, synthesize past and current research, and provide information to resource managers associated with coyote depredation management. This synthesis integrates current understandings of coyote biology and behavior, the nature of depredations upon sheep producing enterprises, and the merits of various depredation control strategies and techniques.
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Gray wolves (Canis lupus) are a top predator in northern Asian ecosystems and often perceived as a threat to livestock. As a result, wolves are heavily persecuted and populations have declined throughout much of the region. Understanding the dynamics of wolf-livestock conflict is important for developing conservation actions that benefit wolves and human livelihoods. We measured the influence of landscape factors on patterns of wolf-livestock conflict in Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, Mongolia by modeling livestock predation risk using a partitioned Mahalanobis D2 (k) analysis. We based the model on 44 known predation sites obtained through 102 interviews with rural pastoralists and mapped risk at a 500 m spatial scale. Four factors strongly influenced predation risk at a given site in the landscape including distance to nearest ger camp, and the percent of surrounding tall vegetation, shrubland, and forbland habitat. Our results indicate that wolves tend to kill livestock in areas where their detection by humans and livestock is low. Managing wolves in Mongolia will require reducing livestock predation and subsequent retribution killing. This may be achieved by focusing conservation in areas where predation risk is highest, such as habitats with greater vegetation cover and areas near particular ger sites.
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Large carnivores face serious threats and are experiencing massive declines in their populations and geographic ranges around the world. We highlight how these threats have affected the conservation status and ecological functioning of the 31 largest mammalian carnivores on Earth. Consistent with theory, empirical studies increasingly show that large carnivores have substantial effects on the structure and function of diverse ecosystems. Significant cascading trophic interactions, mediated by their prey or sympatric mesopredators, arise when some of these carnivores are extirpated from or repatriated to ecosystems. Unexpected effects of trophic cascades on various taxa and processes include changes to bird, mammal, invertebrate, and herpetofauna abundance or richness; subsidies to scavengers; altered disease dynamics; carbon sequestration; modified stream morphology; and crop damage. Promoting tolerance and coexistence with large carnivores is a crucial societal challenge that will ultimately determine the fate of Earth’s largest carnivores and all that depends upon them, including humans.
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Supplemental feeding is often believed to be a successful tool for reducing human–bear (Ursus arctos) conflicts, especially in Europe. However, effectiveness of this measure is poorly understood and there is growing concern for potential negative side-effects. This is particularly true for supplemental feeding using livestock carrion. Carrion feeding is considered especially effective in reducing livestock depredations by diverting bears from pastures and meeting their protein needs. In Slovenia, year-round supplementary feeding of bears with livestock carrion and corn was intensive and in some areas practiced for over 100 years. However, in 2004 the use of livestock carrion was banned in accordance with European Union regulations. This provided an opportunity to study the effects of carrion feeding on livestock depredations by bears. We used sheep as they represented 97% of all depredation events by brown bears in Slovenia. We analyzed whether bears selectively used carrion feeding stations over corn feeding stations (i.e., indicating that carrion might be more effective in diverting bears from sheep pastures) during 1994–2011, and compared the annual frequency and seasonal distribution of sheep depredations 5 years before and after the ban on livestock carrion feeding during 1999–2009. We found no support that bears selected carrion feeding sites over feeding sites with corn. When controlled for changes in bear and sheep numbers, there was no indication that the ban on carrion feeding increased sheep depredations. Moreover, complementary data indicated that natural protein sources were considerably more important than livestock carrion and that use of carrion peaked in spring, when sheep are rarely outdoors and thus unavailable for depredation. Because of the observed lack of effectiveness, high costs, and potential negative side-effects, we discourage supplemental feeding with livestock carrion to reduce livestock depredations.
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Remedial sport hunting of predators is often used to reduce predator populations and associated complaints and livestock depredations. We assessed the effects of remedial sport hunting on reducing cougar complaints and livestock depredations in Washington from 2005 to 2010 (6 years). The number of complaints, livestock depredations, cougars harvested, estimated cougar populations, human population and livestock populations were calculated for all 39 counties and 136 GMUs (game management units) in Washington. The data was then analyzed using a negative binomial generalized linear model to test for the expected negative relationship between the number of complaints and depredations in the current year with the number of cougars harvested the previous year. As expected, we found that complaints and depredations were positively associated with human population, livestock population, and cougar population. However, contrary to expectations we found that complaints and depredations were most strongly associated with cougars harvested the previous year. The odds of increased complaints and livestock depredations increased dramatically (36 to 240%) with increased cougar harvest. We suggest that increased young male immigration, social disruption of cougar populations, and associated changes in space use by cougars - caused by increased hunting resulted in the increased complaints and livestock depredations. Widespread indiscriminate hunting does not appear to be an effective preventative and remedial method for reducing predator complaints and livestock depredations.
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Aerial hunting is commonly used by agriculture agencies in the Intermountain West to reduce coyote (Canis latrans) predation on domestic sheep. We assessed the effect of aerial hunting of coyotes on sheep losses to coyotes, and the need for corrective predation management (hours of work, device nights) on the same pastures when sheep arrived for the subsequent summer grazing season (3-6 months after aerial hunting). Comparisons were made between paired pastures with (treated) and without (untreated) winter aerial hunting from helicopters. Average (x ± SE) pasture size was 45.2 ± 14.1 km2 (n = 21) for treated pastures and 30.9 ± 4.6 km2 (n = 21) for untreated pastures. There was an average of 1,098 ± 88 ewes and 1,226 ± 149 lambs in treated pastures, and 1,002 ± 149 ewes and 1,236 ± 79 lambs in untreated pastures. The number of dead lambs located and confirmed killed by coyotes (confirmed kills) was less in treated pastures (2.7 ± 0.6) than in untreated pastures (7.3 ± 1.6; P = 0.01). To estimate total lamb losses to coyotes, we multiplied the proportion of known lamb deaths that were confirmed coyote kills by the number of missing lambs and added the resulting figure to the number of confirmed kills. These estimates of lamb loss to coyotes were also lower in treated (11.8 ± 6.2) than untreated pastures (35.2 ± 8.1; P = 0.02). Hours required for summer coyote control also were less (P = 0.01) in treated pastures (37.3 ± 8.5) than in untreated pastures (57.2 ± 11.3). Winter aerial hunting increased the mean number of coyotes killed annually per pasture from 2.0 ± 1.0 to 5.7 ± 1.1 (P = 0.04), but it did not affect the number of coyotes removed during summer coyote control (P = 0.52). Based on 1995 values for Utah lambs and labor, winter aerial hunting of coyotes had a benefit:cost ratio of 2:1:l.
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Depredation of livestock by large carnivores is an important but poorly understood source of human-carnivore conflict. We examined patterns of livestock depredation by jaguars (Panthera onca) and pumas (Puma concolor) on a ranch-wildlife reserve in western Brazil to assess factors contributing to prey mortality. We predicted jaguars would kill a greater proportion of calves than yearling and adult cattle and that proximity to suitable habitat would increase mortality risk. We further speculated that exposure to predation risk would promote livestock grouping and increased movement distance. We recorded 169 cattle mortality incidents during 2003-2004, of which 19% were due to predation by jaguars and pumas. This level of mortality represented 0.2-0.3% of the total livestock holdings on the ranch. Jaguars caused most (69%) cattle predation events, and survival in allotments was lower for calves than for other age classes. Forest proximity was the only variable we found to explain patterns of livestock mortality, with predation risk increasing as distance to forest cover declined. Due to low predation risk, cattle movement patterns and grouping behavior did not vary relative to level of spatial overlap with radiocollared jaguars. The overall effect of predation on cattle was low and livestock likely constituted an alternative prey for large cats in our study area. However, selection of calves over other age cohorts and higher predation risk among cattle in proximity to forest cover is suggestive of selection of substandard individuals. Cattle ranchers in the Pantanal region may reduce cattle mortality rates by concentrating on losses due to nonpredation causes that could be more easily controlled. (JOURNAL OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT 71(7):2379-2386; 2007) DOI: 10.2193/2006-520
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On tente de preciser par la methode de regression lineaire ce qui determine les rapports de force relatifs en ce qui concerne les relations predateur-proie (on donne comme exemple Notonectidae-Culicidae)
Thesis
Due to the various limitations of core-protected areas, interest in semi-protected landscapes and the human-wildlife interactions that occur within them is rapidly gaining credence. Some of the most important issues within this field are human-carnivore relationships, with many large carnivores globally threatened on one hand but with the capability of potentially devastating impacts on humans on the other. In this thesis, the success of cheetahs, their competitors and their predators in two buffer zones (Loliondo and Ngorongoro) of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania was examined in comparison with populations living inside the park. The potential role played in carnivore ecology by the Maasai pastoralists inhabiting the buffer zones was then examined to assess the extent to which their presence determines any of the differences. The results show that large carnivores and their prey are surviving successfully outside the core-protected area, coexisting with the pastoralist Maasai. Herbivores were shown to exist at equivalent diversity and density outside the park, with the two- year average prey biomass significantly higher in Loliondo than inside the park (Χ^2_2= 49, p<0.001). The only species consistently more abundant inside the park were kongoni, topi and warthog. However, temporal variation was large and the system was better described as a single, dynamic entity rather than three distinct and comparable sites. Study sites outside the park also held substantial populations of all large carnivore species. Densities of both common jackal species were higher outside the park, hyaena estimates were higher inside the park and there was no significant difference between lion estimates (Χ^2_2=0.4, NS). Lion density in Loliondo was estimated at 0.37 lions / km2, a density comparable with most protected areas. Cheetah data were limited but showed a substantial population outside the park. Several carnivore estimation methods were used in the study, and comparison of the results showed that the visual-based surveys commonly used elsewhere (line transects or driven indices) were highly limited outside protected areas. Little behavioural variation was shown in cheetahs between individuals inside and outside the park (effect of region on time spent relaxed: F5,65=0.09, NS). Both cheetahs and lions showed strong reactions to playbacks of Maasai cattle, however responses were mixed with only lions outside the park showing a consistent increase in vigilance (T9 = -2.72, p<0.05). The role of Maasai was investigated through questionnaires. Their answers showed large carnivores to be a major part of their environmental perceptions, with lions, hyaenas and leopards receiving the top salience scores, although cheetahs were not due to a lack of differentiation between the spotted cats. General attitudes were positive, particularly in Ngorongoro, but attitudes towards large carnivores were mostly negative. Costs of coexistence were significant for both sides; livestock predation was experienced by 89% of Loliondo respondents and 63% of Ngorongoro respondents, with predators accounting for 1% of cattle herds and 3% of sheep and goats, although disease accounted for far higher. Human injuries were also reported, although most (70% in Loliondo and 50% in Ngorongoro) occurred through lion hunts. The lion hunt is still an important part of Maasai culture, with over 75% of respondents reporting having attended at least one. Based on average estimates from respondents and age group leaders, 30-40 lions are thought to be ritually killed in the entire Maasai area (including Kenya) each year. However, although the relationship between the Maasai and carnivores is far from harmonious, coexistence is continuing thanks to semi-tolerant attitudes, restrictions on hunting impacts and preventative livestock management systems.
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Managing wolf (Canis lupus) depredation on livestock is expensive and controversial; therefore, managers seek to improve and develop new methods to mitigate conflicts. Determining which factors put ranches at higher risk to wolf depredation may provide ideas for ways to reduce livestock and wolf losses. We sampled cattle pastures in Montana and Idaho that experienced confirmed wolf depredations (n = 34) from 1994–2002 and compared landscape and selected animal husbandry factors with cattle pastures on nearby ranches where depredations did not occur (n = 62). Pastures where depredations occurred were more likely to have elk (Cervus elaphus) present, were larger in size, had more cattle, and grazed cattle farther from residences than pastures without depredations. Using classification tree analysis, we found that a higher percentage of vegetation cover also was associated with depredated pastures in combination with the variables above. We found no relationship between depredations and carcass disposal methods, calving locations, calving times, breed of cattle, or the distance cattle were grazed from the forest edge. Most pastures where depredations occurred during the wolf denning season (April 15-June 15) were located closer to wolf dens than nearby cattle pastures without depredations. Physical vulnerability, especially of calves, also may increase risk of depredation.
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Livestock owners traditionally use various non-lethal and lethal methods to protect their domestic animals from wild predators. However, many of these methods are implemented without first considering experimental evidence of their effectiveness in mitigating predation-related threats or avoiding ecological degradation. To inform future policy and research on predators, we systematically evaluated evidence for interventions against carnivore (canid, felid, and ursid) predation on livestock in North American and European farms. We also reviewed a selection of tests from other continents to help assess the global generality of our findings. Twelve published tests – representing five non-lethal methods and 7 lethal methods – met the accepted standard of scientific inference (random assignment or quasi-experimental case-control) without bias in sampling, treatment, measurement, or reporting. Of those twelve, prevention of livestock predation was demonstrated in six tests (four non-lethal and two lethal), whereas counterintuitive increases in predation were shown in two tests (zero non-lethal and two lethal); the remaining four (one non-lethal and three lethal) showed no effect on predation. Only two non-lethal methods (one associated with livestock-guarding dogs and the other with a visual deterrent termed “fladry”) assigned treatments randomly, provided reliable inference, and demonstrated preventive effects. We recommend that policy makers suspend predator control efforts that lack evidence for functional effectiveness and that scientists focus on stringent standards of evidence in tests of predator control.
Article
Livestock depredation by large carnivores is frequently reported in Qomolangma (Mt. Everest) National Nature Reserve, Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Seeking to minimize conflicts, we assessed depredation patterns and ways to upgrade the compensation program. We gathered 9193 conflict records over 2011–2013 to determine the extent and tempo-spatial patterns of the depredation. We interviewed 22 local officials and 94 residents to learn their views on depredations and to assess the adequacy of compensation. Data showed that wolves (Canis lupus), lynx (Lynx lynx), and snow leopards (Panthera uncia) were the major livestock predators. Total livestock loss accounted for 1.2% of the entire stockholding (n = 846,707) in the region. Wolves and lynx tended to take sheep and goats, whereas snow leopards favored yaks and cattle in relation to their proportional abundance. Predation mostly occurred in March through July. Livestock depredation by all predators when combined was best explained by terrain ruggedness and density of small- and large-bodied livestock. Temporal and spatial predation patterns varied among carnivores. Most respondents (74%) attributed depredation causes to an increase in carnivore abundance. Only 7% blamed lax livestock herding practice for predation losses. Five percent said that predation was the result of livestock population increases, while 11% had no idea. The compensation scheme was found to be flawed in all aspects—predation verification, application procedure, compensation standard, operational resource allocation, making payment, and other problems. To enhance management for human–carnivore coexistence, we recommend a problem-oriented, integrated, adaptive approach that targets the complex social context of the conflict and addresses the interconnected functions of decision-making process.
Article
Wolf (Canis lupus) predation on livestock and management methods used to mitigate conflicts are highly controversial and scrutinized especially where wolf populations are recovering. Wolves are commonly removed from a local area in attempts to reduce further depredations, but the effectiveness of such management actions is poorly understood. We compared the effects of 3 management responses to livestock depredation by wolf packs in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming: no removal, partial pack removal, and full pack removal. We examined the effectiveness of each management response in reducing further depredations using a conditional recurrent event model. From 1989 to 2008, we documented 967 depredations by 156 packs: 228 on sheep and 739 on cattle and other stock. Median time between recurrent depredations was 19 days following no removal (n = 593), 64 days following partial pack removal (n = 326), and 730 days following full pack removal (n = 48; recurring depredations were made by the next pack to occupy the territory). Compared to no removal, full pack removal reduced the occurrence of subsequent depredations by 79% (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.21, P < 0.001) over a span of 1,850 days (5 years), whereas partial pack removal reduced the occurrence of subsequent depredations by 29% (HR = 0.71, P < 0.001) over the same period. Partial pack removal was most effective if conducted within the first 7 days following depredation, after which there was only a marginally significant difference between partial pack removal and no action (HR = 0.86, P = 0.07), and no difference after 14 days (HR = 0.99, P = 0.93). Within partial pack removal, we found no difference in depredation recurrence when a breeding female (HR = 0.64, P = 0.2) or ≥1-year-old male was removed (HR = 1.0, P = 0.99). The relative effect of all treatments was generally consistent across seasons (spring, summer grazing, and winter) and type of livestock. Ultimately, pack size was the best predictor of a recurrent depredation event; the probability of a depredation event recurring within 5 years increased by 7% for each animal left in the pack after the management response. However, the greater the number of wolves left in a pack, the higher the likelihood the pack met federal criteria to count as a breeding pair the following year toward population recovery goals. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Article
Carnivore–livestock conflict has been a driver of human–carnivore conflict since the domestication of ungulates and needs to be addressed to secure the conservation of carnivores. Leopard–livestock conflict is a contentious issue in the Baviaanskloof Mega Reserve (BMR),South Africa. Little is known about the spatial distribution of livestock losses and the associated management responses by farmers. We investigated the vegetation-specific livestock predation by leopards in the BMR, as well as the consequences for livestock management and biodiversity preservation. Leopard killed livestock in 14 of the 22 vegetation types, of which Groot Valley Thicket, Cockscomb Mountain Fynbos and Baviaanskloof Mountain Fynbos were ‘used’ more than expected. Leopard predation was focused on the properties that bordered the reserve, but constituted a relatively small proportion of livestock losses on these properties. Farmers respond to this actual predation and perceived predation by removing livestock from areas bordering the reserve. Given the high levels of herbivory exerted on the vegetation by livestock, the removal of livestock may create plant refugia from herbivory. Thus, we propose that leopard predation may induce human-mediated behavioural effects on livestock which resembles the behavioural responses of herbivores to ‘landscapes of fear’. Therefore, retaining top predators may assist in the conservation of biodiversity within multi-use landscapes by maintaining predator–prey dynamics and associated top-down processes.
Article
Predation by coyotes (Canis latrans) on domestic sheep is a problem for many livestock producers throughout the United States Intermountain West. We examined whether surgical sterilization of coyote packs would modify their predatory behavior and reduce predation rates on domestic sheep as compared to coyote packs with pups. From June 1997 to December 1997, we gathered baseline information on coyote pack size and movements. In winter 1998, we surgically sterilized and radiocollared members of 5 coyote packs. We also captured and radiocollared members of 6 packs that remained intact (i.e., reproductive). During summer 1998, only 1 sterile pack killed a lamb, while 3 intact packs killed 11 lambs. When only sheep-killing packs were included, sterile packs killed an average of 0.35 lambs/week, while intact packs killed 1.53 lambs/week in 1998. During winter 1999, we monitored 4 sterile and 8 intact packs. In summer 1999, 3 sterile packs killed 3 lambs, while 4 intact packs killed 22 lambs. Considering only sheep-killing packs, sterile packs killed on average 0.38 lambs/week, while intact packs killed an average of 2.95 lambs/week in 1999. Coyotes were more likely to kill lambs that were on the edges of coyote territories as compared to core areas. Lambs of less than average weight were also more likely to be killed by coyotes. The available rodent biomass in each territory was not an influence on the differential kill rates exhibited between sterile and intact packs, nor did the amount of available alternate prey influence annual coyote predation rates on sheep. We conclude that we could use surgical sterilization to modify the predatory behavior of coyotes associated with pup production and provisioning of pups. Sterilization successfully reduced, but did not eliminate, coyote predation on domestic sheep. The amount of losses averted in the first year exceeded the costs associated with surgically sterilizing a coyote pack, which indicates that surgical sterilization could prove beneficial on small-scale livestock operations.
Article
Community ecology involves studying the interdependence of species with each other and their environment to predict their geographical distribution and abundance. Modern species distribution analyses characterise species-environment dependency well, but offer only crude approximations of species interdependency. Typically, the dependency between focal species and other species is characterised using other species’ point occurrences as spatial covariates to constrain the focal species’ predicted range. This implicitly assumes that the strength of interdependency is homogeneous across space, which is not generally supported by analyses of species interactions. This discrepancy has an important bearing on the accuracy of inferences about habitat suitability for species. We introduce a framework that integrates principles from consumer–resource analyses, resource selection theory and species distribution modelling to enhance quantitative prediction of species geographical distributions. We show how to apply the framework using a case study of lynx and snowshoe hare interactions with each other and their environment. The analysis shows how the framework offers a spatially refined understanding of species distribution that is sensitive to nuances in biophysical attributes of the environment that determine the location and strength of species interactions.
Article
Managing wolf (Canis lupus) depredation on livestock is expensive and controversial; therefore, managers seek to improve and develop new methods to mitigate conflicts. Determining which factors put ranches at higher risk to wolf depredation may provide ideas for ways to reduce livestock and wolf losses. We sampled cattle pastures in Montana and Idaho that experienced confirmed wolf depredations (n = 34) from 1994-2002 and compared landscape and selected animal husbandry factors with cattle pastures on nearby ranches where depredations did not occur (n = 62). Pastures where depredations occurred were more likely to have elk (Cervus elaphus) present, were larger in size, had more cattle, and grazed cattle farther from residences than pastures without depredations. Using classification tree analysis, we found that a higher percentage of vegetation cover also was associated with depredated pastures in combination with the variables above. We found no relationship between depredations and carcass disposal methods, calving locations, calving times, breed of cattle, or the distance cattle were grazed from the forest edge. Most pastures where depredations occurred during the wolf denning season (April 15-June 15) were located closer to wolf dens than nearby cattle pastures without depredations. Physical vulnerability, especially of calves, also may increase risk of depredation.
Article
We evaluated the effect on sheep losses of selectively rentocing breeding coyotes (Canis htrans) frorrl trrri- tories experiencing depreclations. Breeding pairs of coyotes were the primarv predators of sheep, and they killed sheep only within or on the periphery of their territories. Removal of either or both members of a breeding pair reduced or eliminated predation in that territory during the subsequent 3-month period. Killing of sheep by coyotes resumed sooner in territories that overlapped lambing pastures than in those that did not. For territories with access to lambs, the average time intenal until killing of lambs resumed (43 days) approximated the time for a replacentent pair of coyotes to become established. Removals of breeding coyotes during the nonlambing season did not reduce losses during the following lambing season. Although