Human–wildlife conflict refers to the interaction between wild animals and people and the resultant negative impact on people or their resources, or wild animals or their habitat. It occurs when growing human populations overlap with established wildlife territory, creating reduction of resources or life to some people and/or wild animals.
As human population extends to wild animal habitats, natural wildlife territory is displaced. The population density of wildlife and humans overlaps increasing their interaction thus resulting in increased physical conflict. Byproducts of human existence offer un-natural opportunity for wildlife in the form of food and shelter, resulting in increased interference and potentially destructive threat for both man and animals.
Various forms of human–wildlife conflict occur with various negative results. Some of these are:
- Animal deaths
- Crop damage
- Damage to property
- Destruction of habitat
- Injuries to people
- Injuries to wildlife
- Livestock depredation
- Loss of human life, such as by Tiger attack
Potential solutions to these conflicts include electric fencing, land use planning, community-based natural resourcemanagement (CBNRM), compensation, payment for environmental services, ecotourism, wildlife friendly products, or other field solutions.
In efforts to reduce human-wildlife conflict, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has partnered with a number of organizations to provide solutions around the globe. Their solutions are tailored to the community and species involved. For example, in Mozambique, communities started to grow more chili pepper plants after making the discovery that elephants dislike and avoid plants containing capsaicin. This creative and effective method prevents elephants from trampling community farmers' fields as well as protects the species.
- Rosie Woodroffe, Simon Thirgood and Alan Rabinowitz, ed. (2005). People and wildlife: Conflict or Co-existence?. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- World Conservation Union on Human-wildlife conflict In: Elisa Distefano, Human-Wildlife Conflict worldwide:collection of case studies, analysis of management strategies and good practices, FAO
- World Wide Fund for Nature