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.

Main results:

Articles

Mihai I. Pop, Marissa A. Dyck, Silviu Chiriac, Berde Lajos, Szabó Szilárd, Cristian I. Iojă, Viorel D. Popescu (2021) Predictors of brown bear predation events on livestock in the Romanian Carpathians. Submitted to Conservation Science and Practice

Mihai I. Pop, Simona Grădinaru, Viorel D. Popescu, Cristian I. Iojă, (2022) Social and landscape factors shaping human-wildlife interaction in urban areas inferred from emergency-line calls, under preparation.

Conferences

Mihai I. Pop, Viorel D. Popescu, Cristian I. Iojă. 112, what is your emergency? I called about an animal! GeoEarth 2021. Conferința Facultății de Geografie, Univesitatea București. 12 Noiembrie 2021.

Mihai I. Pop, Marissa A. Dyck, Silviu Chiriac, Berde Lajos, Szabó Szilárd, Cristian I. Iojă, Viorel D. Popescu. Prevalence and predictors of brown bear livestock damages in the Eastern Romanian Carpathians. 27th International Conference on Bear Research and Management, Montana, USA, 14-23 Septembrie 2021.

Mihai I. Pop, Viorel D. Popescu. Are brown bear conservation projects and national wildlife policy in Romania at odds? 27th International Conference on Bear Research and Management, Montana, USA, 14-23 Septembrie 2021.

Mihai I. Pop, Marissa A. Dyck, Cristian I. Iojă, Viorel D. Popescu.Brown bear predation on sheep and cows in the Carpathian landscapes. Forum Carpaticum, Brno, Czech Republic, 22-25 Iunie 2021.

Mihai I. Pop, Marissa Dyck, Cristian I. Iojă, Laurențiu Rozylowicz, Viorel D. Popescu Spatial patterns of livestock bear predation in the Carpathian landscapes. Conference Re-shaping Territories, Environment and Societies: New Challenges for Geography, University of Bucharest Faculty of Geography, 20-21 November 2020

Reports

Scientific Report 2021 Română

Scientific Report 2020 Română