Managing conflict between large carnivores and livestock

TitleManaging conflict between large carnivores and livestock
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
Authorsvan Eeden LM, Crowther M.S., Dickman C.R., Macdonald D.W., Ripple W.J., Ritchie E.G., Newsome T.M.
JournalConservation Biology

Large carnivores are persecuted globally because they threaten human industries and livelihoods.
How this conflict is managed has consequences for the conservation of large carnivores and biodiversity more
broadly. Mitigating human–predator conflict should be evidence-based and accommodate people’s values
while protecting carnivores. Despite much research into human and large-carnivore coexistence strategies,
there have been few attempts to document the success of conflict-mitigation strategies on a global scale.
We conducted a meta-analysis of global research on conflict mitigation related to large carnivores and
humans. We focused on conflicts that arise from the threat large carnivores pose to livestock. We first used
structured and unstructured searching to identify replicated studies that used before–after or control–impact
design to measure change in livestock loss as a result of implementing a management intervention. We then
extracted relevant data from these studies to calculate an overall effect size for each intervention type. Research
effort and focus varied among continents and aligned with the histories and cultures that shaped livestock
production and attitudes toward carnivores. Livestock guardian animals most effectively reduced livestock
losses. Lethal control was the second most effective control, although its success varied the most, and guardian
animals and lethal control did not differ significantly. Financial incentives have promoted tolerance of large
carnivores in some settings and reduced retaliatory killings. We suggest coexistence strategies be locationspecific,
incorporate cultural values and environmental conditions, and be designed such that return on
financial investment can be evaluated. Improved monitoring of mitigation measures is urgently required to
promote effective evidence-based policy.

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