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New paper addresses human/wildlife conflict through use of social and ecological theory

Researchers apply social and ecological theory to understand human/black bear conflicts in Colorado

Wildlife Conservation Society

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IMAGE: This is a black bear raiding a dumpster in Colorado. view more 

Credit: S. Lischka

FORT COLLINS, Colorado (August 22, 2018) -- Successfully limiting human-wildlife conflicts requires an understanding of the roles of both animal and human behavior. However, it is difficult to understand both of these things, because researchers struggle to collect data that is similar, communicate with other specialties, and apply information about human behavior to conservation actions.

To address these challenges, researchers from WCS and other groups suggest a set of concepts that come from social and ecological theory which will help researchers understand the relationship between human and animal behavior and how they cause conflicts.

In a new paper in the journal Biological Conservation, the researchers apply their approach to understand human-black bear conflicts in Durango, Colorado. They suggest that incorporating efforts to understand humans throughout the research process, collecting information about people and animals in the same place and time, and exploring what drives people and animals to act, will help conservation researchers and practitioners better understand how to address human-wildlife conflicts.

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