Predicting intervention priorities for wildlife conflicts

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Abstract

There is growing interest in developing effective interventions to manage socially and environmentally damaging conservation conflicts. There are a variety of intervention strategies that can be applied in various contexts, but the reasons one type of intervention is chosen over another remain underexplored. We surveyed conservation researchers and practitioners (n = 427) to explore how characteristics of conflicts and characteristics of decision makers influence recommendations to alleviate conservation conflict. Using a full-factorial design, we experimentally manipulated 3 aspects of the descriptions of 8 different wildlife-conflict scenarios (development status of the conflict country, conflict framing, and legality of killing wild animals) and recorded which of 5 intervention types (wildlife impact reduction, awareness, enforcement, economic incentives, or stakeholder engagement) respondents prioritized. We also recorded information on respondents’ demographic and disciplinary backgrounds. Stakeholder-based interventions were recommended most often in the survey and in written feedback. However, when we fitted multinomial mixed logit models with fully completed scenario responses (n = 411), recommendations were influenced by small changes in the details of conflict and differed according to respondent characteristics. Enforcement and awareness interventions were prioritized relatively more for conflicts in more highly developed nations and by respondents with more natural science backgrounds and relatively less experience with conflict. Contrastingly, economic interventions were prioritized more when wildlife killing was described as illegal. Age, gender, and development status of the respondent's home country also predicted some intervention decisions. Further, interrogating the influences shaping conservation decision making will further helps in the development of evidence-informed interventions.

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Baynham-Herd, Z., Redpath, S., Bunnefeld, N., & Keane, A. (2020). Predicting intervention priorities for wildlife conflicts. Conservation Biology, 34(1), 232–243. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13372

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