Understanding the Consequences of Changing Socio-Ecological Systems for Human-Wildlife Coexistence in the Americas

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Award Year: 
Principal Investigator: 
A. Sofía Nanni, CONICET, National University of Tucuman
Tara Teel, Colorado State University
Associated Program: 


Around the world, changes in social-ecological conditions pose significant challenges for environmental conservation. In particular, these changes are affecting the nature of human-wildlife relationships and interactions, contributing in many cases to accelerated conflicts between people and wildlife. While prior site-specific research shows that social and ecological factors can lead to a myriad of both positive and negative human-wildlife interactions, it remains unclear how shifts in such factors over time at broad geographic scales can result in certain types of interactions, and what the implications are for human-wildlife coexistence in these changing environments. The proposed workshop will form a cross-disciplinary network of scientists and practitioners to pursue a holistic assessment of these connections across a gradient of social-ecological systems in different stages of transition across the Americas (Canada, U.S., Latin America). Outcomes of this assessment include development of likely future scenarios for human-wildlife interactions across the varied systems and recommendations for future conservation research and practice that can account for a more diverse array of social-ecological influences. Our overall intent is to help facilitate a deeper, systems-level understanding of the dynamics of human-wildlife relationships. This understanding would guide the development of more proactive policies and strategies to address emergent human-wildlife issues and challenges, such as human-wildlife conflict. It would also generate a broader vision of human-wildlife interactions, which could ultimately be used to foster improved human-wildlife coexistence throughout the Americas region and beyond.

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