Wildlife and humans coexist in an intricate relationship. People value wildlife as a source of income, food and medicine, as a cultural symbol or a charm. At the same time, communities living in close proximity to wildlife may consider it a nuisance, competition or threat. With human population growing at an unprecedented rate, there is a greater scope for tension with wildlife. Managing the interactions between people and wild animals is therefore becoming an increasingly pressing issue from the perspective of wildlife conservation, animal welfare and people’s livelihood.
Conservation biology is a topic requiring a multidisciplinary approach – on one hand, a sound scientific understanding of biological principles and processes, on the other – a consideration of the “human factor”, i.e. socioeconomics, politics or philosophy.
We will explore two principal subject areas: human-wildlife conflict, and overexploitation.
Human-wildlife conflict, its mechanisms, mitigation methods and challenges:
- Livestock depredation.
- Crop raiding.
- Wildlife attacks.
- Can trophy hunting be used for the benefit of conservation?
Overexploitation: using wildlife as a resource, and its consequences on a global scale:
- Use of animals for food, e.g. bushmeat hunting.
- Wildlife used for medicinal purposes.
- Exotic pet trade and wildlife tourist attractions.
This one-day course is based on both recent and historical case studies from around the world, aims to be highly interactive, and will suit anyone with a passion for wildlife and a will to engage in challenging and insightful discussions.