Mapping attack hotspots to mitigate human–carnivore conflict: approaches and applications of spatial predation risk modeling
- 1.3k Downloads
A major challenge in carnivore conservation worldwide is identifying priority human–carnivore conflict sites where mitigation efforts would be most effective. Spatial predation risk modeling recently emerged as a tool for predicting and mapping hotspots of livestock depredation using locations where carnivores attacked livestock in the past. This literature review evaluates the approaches and applications of spatial risk modeling for reducing human–carnivore conflict and presents a workflow to help conservation practitioners use this tool. Over the past decade 18 studies were published, most which examined canid and felid (10 and 8 studies on each group, respectively) depredation on cattle (14) and sheep (12). Studies employed correlation modeling, spatial association and/or spatial interpolation to identify high-risk landscape features, and many (but not all) validated models with independent data. The landscape features associated with carnivore attacks related to the species (carnivore and prey), environment, human infrastructure and management interventions. Risk maps from most studies (14) were used to help livestock owners and managers identify top-priority areas for implementing carnivore deterrents, with some efforts achieving >90 % reductions in attacks. Only one study affected policy, highlighting a gap where risk maps could be useful for more clearly communicating information to assist policymakers with large-scale decisions on conflict. Studies were used to develop a six-step workflow on integrating risk modeling into conservation. This review reveals a need for future predation risk modeling to focus more on validating models, accounting for feedbacks and impacting conflict-related policy in order to reliably improve the mitigation of human–carnivore conflict globally.
KeywordsAttack hazard Carnivore conservation Grazing management Livestock depredation Nonlethal carnivore control Predator–prey interactions
Oswald Schmitz, Adrian Treves, Y. V. Jhala, Walter Jetz, David Skelly, J. S. Chauhan, Rakesh Shukla, Mark Hebblewhite, Meghna Agarwala, Anne Trainor, Colin Donihue, Wesley Hochachka and several anonymous reviewers provided input that greatly improved this manuscript. Thank you to the authors of the reviewed studies for sharing their experiences in applying risk models to conservation. Funding was provided by the American Institute for Indian Studies, American Philosophical Society, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, John Ball Zoo Society, Yale Tropical Resources Institute Endowment Fellowship and the United States National Science Foundation.
- Breitenmoser U, Angst C, Landry J-M et al (2005) Non-lethal techniques for reducing depredation. In: Woodroffe R, Thirgood S, Rabinowitz A (eds) People and wildlife: conflict or coexistence? Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 49–71Google Scholar
- Brown JS (1999) Vigilance, patch use and habitat selection: foraging under predation risk. Evol Ecol Res 1:49–71Google Scholar
- Dale MR, Fortin M-J (2014) Spatial analysis: a guide for ecologists, 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Howery LD, Deliberto TJ (2004) Indirect effects of carnivores on livestock foraging behavior and production. Sheep Goat Res J 19:53–57Google Scholar
- Manly BF, McDonald LL, Thomas DL (2002) Resource selection by animals: statistical analysis and design for field studies, 2nd edn. Springer, BostonGoogle Scholar
- McManus JS, Dickman AJ, Gaynor D et al (2014) Dead or alive? Comparing costs and benefits of lethal and non-lethal human–wildlife conflict mitigation on livestock farms. Oryx 1–9. doi: 10.1017/S0030605313001610
- Rambaldi G, Kyem P, Mccall M, Weiner D (2006) Participatory spatial information management and communication in developing countries. Electron J Inf Syst Dev Ctries 25:1–9Google Scholar
- Wilson SM, Madel MJ, Mattson DJ et al (2005) Natural landscape features, human-related attractants, and conflict hotspots: a spatial analysis of human-grizzly bear conflicts. Biol Conserv 16:117–129Google Scholar
- Wilson SM, Neudecker G, Jonkel J (2014) Human-grizzly bear coexistence in the Blackfoot River Watershed, Montana getting ahead of the conflict curve. In: Clark SG, Rutherford MC (eds) Large carnivore conservation: integrating science and policy in the North American West. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 177–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wydeven AP, Treves A, Brost B, Wiedenhoeft JE (2004) Characteristics of wolf packs in Wisconsin: identification of traits influencing depredation. In: Fascione N, Delach A, Smith M (eds) People and predators: from conflict to coexistence. Island Press, Washington, DC, pp 28–50Google Scholar