About this Research Topic
However, outcomes of the extensive and intensive influences of urbanization have not been uniformly deleterious for all carnivores. Some species (e.g., pumas, leopards, black bears, spotted hyenas) have established themselves both in urban and suburban landscapes, and are thriving in areas of agricultural production, as well as in densely populated urban centers. Such instances of coexistence are understood as sustainable, mutually adaptive cohabitation by carnivores and humans that is governed by institutions that generate tolerance. Additionally, the psychological impact of the proximity of such species generates cultural and political outcomes that in turn influence policy and governance structures.
Limited research on social-cultural and political aspects of human-carnivore relations has tended to emphasize quantitative approaches while undervaluing the beliefs, values, and knowledge systems associated with localized cultures, and how these interact with modern environmentalism. Additionally, the focus of much of the published literature has been on conflict which is just one component of the multilayered relationship between sympatric human communities and carnivores. Through analyzing relations between humans and potentially dangerous predators as frequently symptomatic of underlying political dynamics, this Research Topic will engage with issues of access to natural resources, economic vulnerability, institutional power, as well as the role of socio-cultural beliefs and values.
Objectives and Research Questions
The overarching goal of this research topic is to evaluate the relationship of carnivores and people in human-dominated landscapes. We encourage papers that model as well as provide evidence-based examples to highlight the socio-cultural, political, economic, and ecological factors that in turn i) structure human-carnivore relations, ii) facilitate human-carnivore coexistence; and iii) are useful in predicting the state of future human-carnivore relations in urban and urbanizing landscapes. Submissions could address the following associated questions pertaining to focal species and landscapes:
•What are the critical ecological, economic, socio-cultural, and political drivers of human-carnivore relations in urban landscapes?
•What are the behaviors of humans and relevant carnivore species that are key to both conflict and co-adaptation, and how do they shape the potential for long-term coexistence?
Image credit: Marcelo Calazans.
Keywords: Political ecology, Carnivore coexistence
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.