Centre for Environmental Research and Impact Studies @ University of Bucharest

URBANWILD

A systematic analysis of the social and landscape drivers of human-wildlife coexistence (URBANWILD)

Project number: PN-III-P1-1.1-PD-2019

Contract no.: PD43/2020

Funding body: Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI)

Budget: 246.950 RON

Period: 2020-2022

Research team:

Principal investigator: Mihai I Pop

Mentor: Cristian I Ioja

Context

Human-wildlife conflicts have huge socio-economic implications. Often conflict resolutions are based on the removal of species individuals, leading to conflicts between social groups. Other alternatives (i.e. changes in land use, implementation of preventive measures etc.) are considered inefficient or too expensive. Therefore there are few evidences in Romania of urban space development strategies considering also the presence of wildlife. Most documents are dealing just with the impact of infrastructure development on wildlife. It is unclear if and how the presence of wildlife in the proximity of settlements influences the wellbeing of humans or, how the people’s perception towards wildlife changes due to the increased number of human-wildlife contacts outside wild habitats. In the context of the increasing degradation of habitats, integrating species ecology and the human dimension that favour coexistence is a step towards a preventive approach to potential conflicts. A suitable level of coexistence between humans and wildlife cannot be reached in the absence of solid arguments accessible to decision-makers and the public.

Goal

The goal of the project is to propose a feasible scenario to facilitate the self-organisation of different stakeholders to mitigate human-wildlife conflict in urban areas, incorporating information on spatial relation between wildlife habitats and human settlements, society expectations, and potential networking models.

Objectives:

  1. Understanding the social-environmental drivers of human-wildlife conflicts within urban areas by mapping the spatial relation between human activity and wildlife occurrence
  2. Defining the socio-ecological characteristics and typologies of human-wildlife conflicts, and the present collaboration network between social groups
  3. Defining the potential input and collaboration network of different stakeholders, into the mitigation of human-wildlife conflicts by considering the social-ecological drivers.