Human-wildlife coexistence in a changing world
Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is a key topic in conservation and agricultural research. Decision makers need evidence-based information to design sustainable management plans and policy instruments. However, providing objective decision support can be challenging because realities and perceptions of human-wildlife interactions vary widely between and within rural, urban, and peri-urban areas. Land users who incur costs through wildlife argue that wildlife-related losses should be compensated and that prevention should be subsidized. Supporters of human-wildlife coexistence policies, such as urban-dwelling people, may not face threats to their livelihoods from wildlife. Such spatial heterogeneity in the cost and benefits of living with wildlife is germane in most contemporary societies. This Special Section features contributions on wildlife-induced damages that range from human perspectives (land use, psychology, governance, local attitudes and perceptions, costs and benefits, and HWC and coexistence theory) to ecological perspectives (animal behavior). Building on current literature and articles in this section, we developed a conceptual model to help frame HWC and coexistence dimensions. The framework can be used to determine damage prevention implementation levels and approaches to HWC resolution. Our synthesis revealed that inter- and transdisciplinary approaches and multilevel governance approaches can help stakeholders and institutions implement sustainable management strategies that promote human-wildlife coexistence.