Predicting intervention priorities for wildlife conflicts


Baynham-Herd Z, Redpath S, Bunnefeld N & Keane A (2020) Predicting intervention priorities for wildlife conflicts. Conservation Biology, 34 (1), pp. 232-243.

There is growing interest in developing effective interventions to manage socially‐ and environmentally‐damaging conservation conflicts. Recent studies have identified a wide variety of different intervention strategies in various contexts but the reasons why one type of intervention is chosen over another remain underexplored. In this international study we surveyed conservation researchers and practitioners (N = 427) to explore how the characteristics of conflicts and characteristics of decision‐makers influence conflict recommendations. Using a fully‐factorial design, we experimentally manipulated three aspects of eight different conflict scenarios – the development status of the country, the conflict framing, and whether wildlife killing was illegal – and recorded whether respondents prioritised one of five intervention types: wildlife impact reduction, awareness, enforcement, economic incentives or stakeholder engagement. We also recorded information on respondents’ demographic and disciplinary backgrounds. Stakeholder‐based interventions were recommended most often in the survey and in written feedback. However, fitting multinomial mixed logit models with no missing scenarios (N = 411), we find that recommendations are influenced by small changes in the details of conflict, and differ according to respondent characteristics. Enforcement and awareness interventions are prioritised more in conflicts in more highly developed nations and by respondents with more natural‐science backgrounds and less experience of conflicts. Contrastingly, economic interventions are prioritised more when wildlife killing is described as illegal. Respondent age, gender and the development status of their home country also predicted some intervention decisions. Further interrogating the influences shaping conservation decision‐making will help towards developing evidence‐informed interventions.

conservation; human‐wildlife; behaviour; psychology; decision‐making; management; coexistence

Conservation Biology: Volume 34, Issue 1

FundersNatural Environment Research Council
Publication date29/02/2020
Publication date online24/06/2019
Date accepted by journal14/06/2019