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Human-Wildlife Conflict and Coexistence

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Human interactions with wildlife are a defining experience of human existence. These interactions can be positive or negative. People compete with wildlife for food and resources, and have eradicated dangerous species; co-opted and domesticated valuable species; and applied a wide range of social, behavioral, and technical approaches to reduce negative interactions with wildlife. This conflict has led to the extinction and reduction of numerous species and uncountable human deaths and economic losses. Recent advances in our understanding of conflict have led to a growing number of positive conservation and coexistence outcomes. I summarize and synthesize factors that contribute to conflict, approaches that mitigate conflict and encourage coexistence, and emerging trends and debates. Fertile areas for scholarship include scale and complexity, models and scenarios, understanding generalizable patterns, expanding boundaries of what is considered conflict, using new tools and technologies, information sharing and collaboration, and the implications of global change. The time may be ripe to identify a new field, anthrotherology, that brings together scholars and practitioners from different disciplinary perspectives to address human-wildlife conflict and coexistence.




Nyhus, P. J. (2016). Human-Wildlife Conflict and Coexistence. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 41, 143–171.

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