Co-Managing Human–Wildlife Conflicts: A Review

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  • This article was downloaded by: [Universite Laval]On: 03 July 2014, At: 23:43Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

    Human Dimensions of Wildlife: AnInternational JournalPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/uhdw20

    Co-Managing HumanWildlife Conflicts: AReviewAdrian Treves a , Robert B. Wallace b , Lisa Naughton-Treves c &Andrea Morales ba COEX: Sharing the Land With Wildlife, Inc. , Madison, Wisconsin,USAb Greater Madidi Landscape Conservation Program, WildlifeConservation Society , San Miguel, La Paz, Boliviac Department of Geography , University of WisconsinMadison ,Madison, Wisconsin, USAPublished online: 23 Feb 2007.

    To cite this article: Adrian Treves , Robert B. Wallace , Lisa Naughton-Treves & Andrea Morales (2006)Co-Managing HumanWildlife Conflicts: A Review, Human Dimensions of Wildlife: An InternationalJournal, 11:6, 383-396, DOI: 10.1080/10871200600984265

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    Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 11:383396, 2006Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLCISSN: 1087-1209 print / 1533-158X onlineDOI: 10.1080/10871200600984265

    UHDW1087-12091533-158XHuman Dimensions of Wildlife, Vol. 11, No. 6, November 2006: pp. 128Human Dimensions of Wildlife

    Peer-Reviewed Articles

    Co-Managing HumanWildlife Conflicts: A Review

    Co-Managing HumanWildlife ConflictsA. Treves et al. ADRIAN TREVES,1 ROBERT B. WALLACE,2 LISA NAUGHTON-TREVES,3 AND ANDREA MORALES2

    1COEX: Sharing the Land With Wildlife, Inc., Madison, Wisconsin, USA2Greater Madidi Landscape Conservation Program, Wildlife ConservationSociety, San Miguel, La Paz, Bolivia3Department of Geography, University of WisconsinMadison, Madison,Wisconsin, USA

    Conservationists recognize the need to work beyond protected areas if they are to sus-tain viable populations of wildlife. But ambitious plans to extend wildlife corridorsbeyond protected areas must consider the economic and political implications whenwildlife forage on crops, attack livestock, or otherwise threaten human security. Tradi-tionally, humans respond by killing problem wildlife and transforming wild habitatsto prevent further losses. This traditional response, however, is now illegal or sociallyunacceptable in many areas, changing a simple competitive relationship between peo-ple and wildlife into a political conflict. Here we draw from experience in Bolivia,Uganda, and Wisconsin to outline a strategy for mitigating humanwildlife conflictbased on participatory methods and co-management with twin objectives of wildlifeconservation and safeguarding human security. Incorporating local stakeholders aspartners in planning and implementation can help to win space for wildlife beyondprotected area boundaries. We also show why systematic study of local peoples per-ceptions of risk and participant planning of interventions are irreplaceable compo-nents of such projects.

    Keywords stakeholder participation, community-based conservation, interventions,monitoring, planning, crop damage, livestock loss

    Introduction

    Around the world and for millennia, humans have defended themselves and their propertyfrom wild animals. Wildlife can pose serious problems when their activities intersect withthose of humans. For example, the U.S. federal agency charged with controlling agricul-tural damages caused by wildlife spent over $60 million in control operations during 2001and estimated losses at nearly one billion dollars (National Agriculture Statistics Service,

    The authors thank David Wilkie, Humberto Gomez and two anonymous reviewers for usefulcomments on the text. Support during manuscript preparation was provided by the Wildlife Conser-vation Society and USAID GCP.

    Address correspondence to Adrian Treves, COEX: Sharing the Land with Wildlife, Inc., 6010South Hill Drive, Madison, WI 53705-4450, USA. E-mail: adriantreves@coex-wildlife.org

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  • 384 A. Treves et al.

    2002). In addition to property losses, the occasional threats to human safety compound thevulnerability of rural communities. For example, between 1980 and 2003, more than1,150 humans and 370 elephants died as a result of conflicts in NE India (Choudhury,2004). Traditionally, the human response has been to kill the suspected wildlife and trans-form wild habitats to prevent further losses (Jorgensen, Conley, Hamilton, & Sanders,1978; Karanth & Madhusudan, 2002; Koch, 1968). With rising concern for wild animalsand their conservation status, however, traditional lethal retaliation against wildlife is nowillegal in some areas or socially unacceptable in others (Breitenmoser, 1998; Knight,2003; Treves & Naughton-Treves, 2005). Enforcement of environmental protections andnon-utilitarian views of wildlife have changed what was once a simple competitive rela-tionship between people and wildlife into a political conflict between people and betweeninstitutions (Hill, 2004; Knight, 2000).

    At several sites, local resentment over property losses to wildlife precludes discussionof other environmental issues. For example, in Apolobamba, Bolivia, crop and livestocklosses to wildlife draw more public debate in scheduled meetings than soil erosion, pollu-tion, and watershed management. Research from both developing and industrial countriesreveals humanwildlife conflicts (HWC) can make affected communities hostile to wild-life conservation initiatives and aggressive toward staff of protected areas (Bangs et al.,1998; Kangwana, 1995; Western, 1997). HWC derives yet greater importance because thefate of many wildlife populations depends on their capacity to coexist with humans. ThusHWC is now seen as a major challenge for conservation, as reflected in the burgeoningliterature and meetings on the topic (Fascione, Delach, & Smith, 2004; Manfredo &Dayer, 2004; Woodroffe, Thirgood, & Rabinowitz, 2005).

    Because the sociopolitical setting is as influential as the biophysical one for the effec-tive management of humanwildlife interactions (Heberlein, 2004; Hill, 2004; Knight,2003; Mascia et al., 2003; Treves & Karanth, 2003), one theme of this article is that HWCmanagement teams must build their capacity for transparent, democratic, and participatorymethods of planning and implementing projects. In addition, HWC exemplifies a funda-mental challenge for biodiversity conservation: reconciling local concerns for security andeconomic growth with international concerns for saving threatened species. We empha-size how most sustainable solutions to HWC must protect or improve the welfare of ruralcommunities, as well as the status of conservation targets. HWC management calls forinterdisciplinary collaborations. Yet currently, most managers of HWC are trained in eco-logical sciences. To adapt social science methods effectively, these managers learn on thejob in a trial-and-error process. We anticipate greater efficiency if lessons from around theworld are analyzed in a structured manner and applied strategically. We present a step-by-step procedure for navigating the political, social, and strategic aspects of HWC manage-ment. Table 1 summarizes the steps, objectives of each and the critical componentsneeded to attain the objectives.

    Definitions

    We define several elements and restrict our scope, both steps taken to permit a deeperanalysis of HWC co-management. We refer to local stakeholders onlyaffected commu-nities and the nationally appointed, local authorities charged with wildlife management(together local stakeholders hereafter). We acknowledge the challenges of identifying theappropriate unit of social organization to manage collectively (reviewed in Gillingham,2001), but also note the natural and obvious unit composed of the set of individuals/house-holds affected by HWC in a given locality. We define management of HWC as planning,

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  • Co-Managing HumanWildlife Conflicts 385

    intervention, and monitoring, including baseline applied research. Co-managementrefers to management shared between affected communities and governmental agencies ornongovernmental organizations. We draw lessons from both developed and developingcountries and discuss the commonalities and discrepancies in experiences from the sites atwhich we have worked: Kibale National Park, Uganda (Kibale hereafter), Apolobambamultiple-use protected area, Bolivia (Apolobamba hereafter) and gray wolf (Canis lupus)range in the state of Wisconsin, USA (Wisconsin hereafter). Throughout, we focus mainlyon large (i.e., >1 kg) terrestrial vertebrates, not damage by smaller organisms that typicallyproduce greater economic losses (Naughton-Treves, Rose, & Treves, 2000; Naughton-Treves & Treves, 2005), because smaller organisms rarely carry highly charged symbol-ism or immediate physical threat. Although we acknowledge habitat loss and speciesdepletion are ultimately greater threats to biodiversity conservation (Treves et al., 2006),we restrict our scope to threats posed by wildlife to human safety and property because ofthe human retaliation that often follows.

    Co-Managing HumanWildlife Conflicts (HWC)

    Ideally, an affected community would manage HWC itself without permanently damagingbiodiversity. In reality, many conflicts occur at the borders of protected areas or involveendangered species, which may fall under the jurisdiction of wildlife managers (Bangset al., 1998; Knight & Judd, 1979; KWS, 2000). Managing HWC may then require collab-oration. Indeed, effective management without destruction of biodiversity depends ontechnical, material, and financial inputs that may exceed the training and capacity of ruralwildlife managers (Curtin, 2002; Osborn & Parker, 2003; Raik, Lauber, Decker, &Brown, 2005). A third party may be needed to supplement the skills and resources

    Table 1Steps, objectives, and critical components of co-managing humanwildlife conflicts

    Step Primary objective Critical components

    1. Baseline research

    Study the timing and locations of conflicts, as well as the behaviors of the involved individuals (wildlife and human).

    Measure perceptions of conflict and its management; perceptions are complementary and as important as systematic measures of conflict.

    2. Participatory planning

    Define joint objectives, build consensus on which inter-ventions to implement and recruit participants.

    Identify shared objectives between wildlife conservation and human welfare; analyze interventions by their likely effectiveness, sociopolitical acceptability, and sustainability.

    3. Monitoring Measure the success of the co-management project at three levels: (a) implementation, (b) threat-reduction, and (c) outcomes for targets.

    Prepare two monitoring plans for approval by affected stakeholders; consider monitoring team compo-sition carefully; and take maxi-mum advantage of fortuitous controls or randomized control-treatment opportunities.

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    available to local stakeholders. A third party (e.g., NGO or outside researcher) can alsopotentially play an important role if there is a history of mistrust between affected commu-nities and wildlife managers. However, outsiders bear a special burden to avoid being seenas allies of central authorities rather than local communities.

    Step 1. Baseline Applied Research on HumanWildlife Conflicts

    Collecting baseline information is a vital first step in managing HWC because understand-ing the timing and locations of conflicts, as well as the behaviors of the involved individu-als (wildlife and human) is essential to planning. Much HWC research falls into threebroad categories: (a) identifying the involved parties, timing, and distribution of wildlifedamage; (b) experimental or quasi-experimental studies of techniques to mitigate con-flicts; and (c) surveys of peoples attitudes, perceptions, and response to wildlife and can-didate interventions. We address the latter in greatest detail because surveys of affectedstakeholders have the greatest relevance to engaging local stakeholders in co-managementand the former two categories of baseline research have been addressed elsewhere at somelength (Hoare, 2001; Naughton-Treves et al., 2000; Smith, Linnell, Odden, & Swenson,2000a; Smith, Linnell, Odden, & Swenson, 2000b; Treves & Naughton-Treves, 2005).Attitudinal surveys should be conducted again after interventions have been applied, sothat factors contributing most to stakeholder satisfaction can be isolated.

    Research often enjoys a measure of tolerance because it is generally minimally intru-sive on peoples lives and its product (knowledge) is often clear. Research findings mayalso be useful to catalyze dialogue about interventions, especially when the research hasbeen invited and co-designed by local stakeholders (Curtin, 2002; Noss & Cullar, 2001;Wydeven, Treves, Brost, & Wiedenhoeft, 2004). However, this rosy scenario is not guar-anteed. Rural people often want reimbursement or interventions against HWC, notresearch; one Kibale farmer facing elephant crop damage wanted food, not numbers.Often conflicts, complaints, and resentment have built up over years, so a call to startresearch can fall...

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