Conflict between Humans and Wildlife
This unit examines the conflict that can occur between humans and wildlife, looking particularly at examples from Elephants, Wolves, Primates and Big Cats. The unit also explores how conflict can be managed including examples of ecotourism.
Communities and Wildlife
This unit focuses on the how the communities engage with wildlife to manage conservation.
The conservation of species such as African Predators, Wolves, Elephants and Primates are examined.
Human-wildlife and other conservation-related conflicts are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide.
Such conflicts are becoming more prevalent as human populations increase and diversify, development expands, resources shrink, the global climate crisis, and other human, societal and environmental factors increase the potential for conflict with wildlife.
By-products of human existence offer unnatural opportunities for wildlife in the following forms:
c) Movement paths
This results in increased interference and potentially destructive threat for both humans and animals.
The causes of human wildlife conflicts worldwide can be culminated into three principal dependent causes:
1. Human population growth: more people and expanded human conglomerations increase the chance that humans negatively interact with wildlife. People have encroached in areas previously occupied by wildlife.
2. The demand for natural resources: humans have transformed forests, savannah and other ecosystems into agricultural land and cities, leaving fewer resources for wildlife.
3. Due to other human activities, habitats for wildlife have disappeared or have been severely degraded, leading animals to wander into human settlements in search of resources.
Various forms of human–wildlife conflict occur including many with the following results:
- Death of wildlife
- Death of humans
- Crop damage
- Damage to property
- Destruction of habitat
- Injuries to people
- Injuries to wildlife
- Livestock depredation
The Center for Conservation Peacebuilding
The Center for Conservation Peacebuilding (CPeace), transforms intractable social conflict in wildlife conservation and management efforts to create sustainable solutions for people and wildlife. CPeace’s efforts result in a reconciliation of the human conflicts undermining successful conservation and management of wildlife.
CPeace ensure that conservation solutions are socially, ecologically, economically and politically robust and sustainable.
The collaboration integrates conservation conflict transformation (CCT) best practices through facilitated interventions, capacity building efforts and strategic guidance.
By addressing the more elusive and deep-rooted social side of conflict through conservation conflict transformation, communities are more receptive to the following:
a) Conservation goals
b) Polarisation of conflict decreases
c) Shared common ground is identified and built upon
d) Hostile relationships are transformed
e) Commitments to positive change, which are genuine and ongoing.
By creating more desirable social conditions, efforts to address the more tangible evidence of the conflict are more successful and sustainable.
In Africa and Asia, elephant habitat is being replaced by agriculture.
This is both by small-scale farmers and international agribusinesses such as palm oil. Worldwide production of palm oil has been climbing steadily for five decades. Between 1995 and 2015, annual production quadrupled, from 15.2m tonnes to 62.6m tonnes. By 2050, it is expected to quadruple again, reaching 240m tonnes.
Communities surrounding forest reserves and conservation areas engage in small-scale subsistence and cash-crop farming.Those farms close to the boundary are vulnerable to elephant crop damage. Damage is most severe during the food crop-harvesting season, but also occurs to a lesser extent throughout the year. Elephants jeopardise communities’ food security and livelihoods and communities’ attitudes towards elephants are consequently negative. Resolving the conflict has become critical to the improvement of the livelihood of rural communities co-existing with elephants and the conservation of the elephant population.