Understanding human-carnivore relationships: from social conflicts to ecosystem services

Project: Research

Project participants


The continued loss of biodiversity has led to the adoption of multiple international agreements that aim to counteract the decline of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Among the diversity of species, terrestrial mammalian carnivores is one of the most controversial and challenging group to conserve because their massive area requirements, predatory behaviour on wild prey and livestock, and the social perception of these animals as harmful and dangerous. As a consequence, they are facing multiple threats besides habitat loss, such as persecution, hunting and over-utilization, which all together are promoting massive declines in their populations and geographic range. Paradoxically, these carnivores are also some of the world’s most valued species for conservation. In fact, because their iconic and charismatic nature, terrestrial carnivores can contribute to the development of nature-based tourism. Carnivores play an essential role in providing ecosystem services, including provisioning services, such as food provision, regulating services, and cultural ecosystem services.

Despite the increasing attention to ecosystem services in scientific and science-policy interface forums, there has been little attempt to integrate this knowledge into the field of human-carnivore relationships, which has been mostly focused on conflicts. Consequently, a better understanding of the ecosystem services provided by terrestrial carnivores can highly support their conservation by uncovering the benefits they provide to society.


Research outputs