Research Topic

Conservation and Management of Large Carnivores - Local Insights for Global Challenges

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About this Research Topic

Large carnivores present multiple challenges for wildlife conservation, stakeholders, managers and policy makers across geographical scales and socio-cultural contexts. There have been many different manifestations of human-carnivore conflict worldwide but also positive examples of human-carnivore ...

Large carnivores present multiple challenges for wildlife conservation, stakeholders, managers and policy makers across geographical scales and socio-cultural contexts. There have been many different manifestations of human-carnivore conflict worldwide but also positive examples of human-carnivore coexistence, which have various implications for stakeholder interaction and policy at regional, national, and international scales.

This Research Topic will address five different subjects with innovative contributions on: (1) Novel approaches in terms of natural and social data in large carnivore conservation and management (e.g., integrating natural and social data in modelling source-sink dynamics, density-dependent trends, habitat suitability and site selection by large carnivores; good practice in large carnivore conservation and management; climate change and increasing human-large carnivore conflicts); (2) strengths and weaknesses of instruments and tools implemented (e.g., lethal vs. non-lethal interventions; damage prevention methods; ex ante and ex post compensation systems); (3) human dimensions (knowledge construction and use; psycho-social responses of local residents; socio-cultural drivers of illegal killing and use of poisoned baits; value-based conflicts); (4) stakeholder engagement (e.g., top-down vs. bottom-up approaches, including regional platforms and other schemes established for stakeholder collaboration; human-carnivore coexistence in human-modified landscapes; integrating the broad public interest in decision-making). Across these four first topics, the Research Topic will include contributions targeting emergent challenges for science and policy (e.g., transboundary conservation and management of large carnivores; “political” populations, i.e., populations with ecological attributes constructed to serve political interests; interpretations and implementations of criteria for achieving “favorable conservation status” among EU Member States). The last topic of the Research Topic (5) will concentrate on legal frameworks. The conservation and management of large carnivores is increasingly influenced by international law and policy in addition to national and local regimes. Examples are the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the EU Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC). Emerging questions concern the most effective ways for such instruments to add value, and the need to avoid unintentional consequences of their application.

Our overall objective is to provide a set of impartial and science-focused approaches to explore tensions, contested areas and disagreements, provide fresh insight, and inform policy and stakeholder collaboration. Since there are many different models of engagement and dispute as to their outcomes, this Research Topic will explore different schemes and examine successes and failures to help develop generalizations about the effectiveness of alternative strategies at delivering solutions.


Keywords: Large carnivores, Conservation, Human dimensions, Stakeholder engagement, Wildlife conservation law


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.

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