Human Wildlife Conflict

What is Human Wildlife Conflict?

Human Wildlife Conflict is

an interaction between humans and wildlife with negative consequences for one or both parties. This occurs when humans and wildlife compete for resources, meaning food sources or habitat (living/nesting space). Common conflict species are wildcats, crocodiles, owls, raccoons, coatis, raptors, parrots, snakes, opossums and bats. This conflict can be a problem for humans or livelihoods and often ends with the animal(s) being killed.


Common Causes of Human Wildlife Conflict

Habitat Loss

Habitat loss leads to less space for wildlife. As humans expand their presence, wildlife habitats decrease, causing increased Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC). In fact, human activities ultimately cause most HWC. Fortunately, there are some causes for conflict listed below that can be prevented or mitigated with very simple means and education (since most times humans are not aware that they are causing the conflict by creating an attraction for wildlife).

Accidental Feeding

A very common cause of HWC is “accidental/indirect feeding” because of improper garbage management. Garbage, dog food or debris provides a food source which attracts wildlife.

Purposeful/Direct Feeding

Another common cause for HWC is “purposeful/direct feeding” of wildlife. Feeding is often used to create a tourist attraction. Some people feed wildlife and may be unaware of dangers this presents to their safety, health and property. Regular wildlife feeding leads to habituation, or animals losing their fear of humans, and receiving food from humans. A habituated predator can be dangerous, sometimes even deadly. Wildlife feeding is illegal and education is key to changing this behavior in tour guides and the general public.

Available Access

Another common cause for HWC is “available access” to nesting spaces in homes and other structures. For example: Holes in walls, broken/missing attic ventilation screens, and other construction gaps give easy access to birds, bats, rats and other mammals.

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