Linking human and ecological components to understand human-wildlife conflicts across landscapes and species

Lucas Teixeira, Karina Campos Tisovec-Dufner, Gabriela de Lima Marin, Silvio Marchini, Ine Dorresteijn, Renate Pardini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Human-wildlife conflicts (HWC) are complex conservation challenges that impair both wildlife populations and human livelihood. Research on HWC, however, has traditionally approached ecological and human components separately, hampering a broader understanding of connections between ecological drivers and human dimensions of conflicts. We developed a model that integrates ecological and human components of HWC to investigate how the amount of remaining native forest (forest cover, a key ecological variable known to influence species occurrence and abundance) affects human experiences with wildlife (contact with species and attacks on livestock) and how such experiences influence tolerance via beliefs, emotions, and attitudes. We tested the model with piecewise structural equation modeling and data on human interactions with 3 mammals with different rarity and body size: opossum (Didelphis aurita), crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous), and puma (Puma concolor). Data were obtained by interviewing 114 landowners across 13 Atlantic Forest landscapes (10-50% forest cover). Forest cover was associated with high chance of attacks on livestock, and thus with low tolerance, only in the case of the puma. Effects of distinct experiences with wildlife on beliefs and emotions varied across species. Beliefs and emotions toward wildlife influenced tolerance toward all species, but negative emotions affected tolerance toward only with the puma. Conflicts with large carnivores, such as pumas, can then be understood as disservices provided by forests, indicating the relevance of framing HWC more broadly to consider trade-offs with ecosystems services. For some species, positive experiences with wildlife may counteract the negative effects of attacks on livestock in shaping tolerance. Models such as ours-that link ecological and human dimensions-can help identify more effective leverage points to improve HWC mitigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-296
JournalConservation Biology
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • xistencia humano-fauna
  • ecosystem disservices
  • estructura de paisaje
  • human-wildlife coexistence
  • human-wildlife interactions
  • interacciones humano-fauna
  • landscape structure
  • leverage points
  • manejo de fauna
  • punto de ventaja
  • servicios ambientales negativos
  • sistemas socioecológicos
  • socioecological systems
  • wildlife management

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