December 4, 2020

Humans Screwing Up Carnivore Conservation. Solution: Get Rid of Humans?

Abstract

Human–carnivore conflict is hampering carnivore conservation worldwide. Conflicts between humans and wolves (Canis lupus) in western Iran, especially Hamedan province (HP), occur in the form of livestock depredation and predatory attacks on people. These conflicts have become a major concern for the lives and livelihoods of the local people as well as an obstacle for conservation of the wolf. To determine the most important predictors of such conflicts and to identify the distribution of areas with potential risk of wolf attack on humans and livestock in HP, we employed Maximum Entropy (Maxent) algorithm to build predictive models with reported conflict data from 2001 to 2010. The resulting models correctly assigned subsequent attack sites from 2011 and 2012 to high-risk areas. We found that variables related to land use/cover types affected by anthropogenic influences on the landscape, such as irrigated farms and human settlements, were the most important in predicting wolf attack risk levels. The risk maps developed in this study are useful tools for identifying conflict hotspots and facilitate policymaking and action planning for conflict mitigation in western Iran.<<<Link to Study>>>

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