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Use of Dogs in the Mediation of Conservation Conflicts

  • Author(s): VerCauteren, Kurt
  • Lavelle, Michael
  • Landry, Jean-Marc
  • Marker, Laurie
  • Gehring, Thomas M.
  • et al.
Abstract

Conflicts between wildlife and humans are of global importance and are increasing. These conflicts may negatively impact wildlife, humans, and other resources, primarily livestock. Human safety and economic well-being can be adversely impacted by depredation of livestock and perpetuation of wildlife-borne diseases in agricultural systems. Conversely, management approaches to mitigate these conflicts may employ primarily lethal control methods that can negatively impact wildlife populations of conservation importance. Dogs, principally livestock protection breeds, have been used for centuries in some cultures to protect livestock from predators. Dogs have also been used for a variety of other conservation-specific practices. Here we provide an overview of a chapter we developed on this topic for a book entitled Free-ranging Dogs and Wildlife Conservation, just released by Oxford University Press (2013). We will review past and current use of dogs for mediating wildlife-human conflict and highlight future areas of research that are needed to more effectively use dogs for mediating conservation conflicts.

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