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Conserving Large Carnivores in a Modern World
February 13, 2019 • 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Presented by Jeremy Bruskotter, Professor, School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University (website)
Abstract: Human beings and our associated activities are arguably the most important factor limiting the success of carnivore conservation. Human populations limit carnivore populations both indirectly, through habitat modification and competition for shared prey, and directly, through regulated and illegal hunting of carnivores. The variability in the types and extent of human impacts suggests conservation successes may be facilitated by a wide variety of human interventions. In addition to active management efforts such as reintroductions, and depredation management, successful conservation might also be indirectly facilitated by social changes, especially those that make human populations more tolerant of carnivores. I discuss two mechanisms (i.e., value shift, population-level risk reduction) that have served to facilitate successful conservation outcomes in the past half-century. Paradoxically, however, these same changes are currently challenging carnivore conservation efforts—i.e., the same mechanisms that ultimately promoted successful conservation in the past are likely to increase social conflicts concerning carnivore management in the near term. These analyses point toward the need to find means of reducing social conflicts surrounding large carnivores without jeopardizing their conservation.
Bio (from his website): Dr. Bruskotter’s research is centered on understanding and explaining how people make conservation-related judgments and decisions, and the intersection of such judgments with conservation policy. He is particularly interested in how people make decisions related to the conservation of wildlife, and the origins of resource-related conflicts, especially those that involve wildlife. Much of his recent work is focused on the understanding judgments and behaviors concerning large carnivores.