Date of this Version
Atwood T.C. and S.W. Breck. 2012. Carnivores, Conflict, and Conservation: Defining the Landscape of Conflict. In eds Álvares FI, Guilherme EM. Carnivores: Species, Conservation, and Management. Nova Science Publishers. pp. 99-118
Mitigating conflict between humans and large carnivores is one of the most pressing and intractable concerns in conservation. Yet, there has been surprisingly little effort devoted to incorporating risk assessments of conflict in carnivore conservation and land-use planning. Because human-carnivore conflict can have far-reaching societal and environmental impacts, attention to the ‘conflict–conservation nexus’ should become integrated into national and global environmental policy-making. However, how ‘the nexus’ is defined, elucidated, and ultimately utilized to forecast and mitigate conflict remains under-explored. Here, we discuss the limitations of current knowledge and methodologies available to forecast human–carnivore conflict and suggest a novel heuristic framework that integrates ecological and sociological data to better predict and mitigate conflict, and optimize conservation planning. We illustrate the utility of our approach using a case study of carnivore connectivity planning in the southwestern United States. Our approach holds promise as an effective tool for use in carnivore conservation by allowing decision-makers to prioritize planning efforts by integrating biological suitability, threat of conflict, and societal acceptance.