Evaluating human-carnivore coexistence using a multi-stakeholder socio-ecological approach

Lucas, C.A.C., 2022. Evaluating human-carnivore coexistence using a multi-stakeholder socio-ecological approach. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Understanding and managing interactions between humans and carnivores is a major conservation challenge. For strategies aimed at facilitating human-carnivore coexistence (HCC) to be evaluated against their desired goals, stakeholders’ perspectives on coexistence and strategy effectiveness must be understood. However, such an approach is rarely conducted, creating missed opportunities for improving promising strategies. This study explored HCC using a multi-stakeholder socio-ecological approach with a particular focus on stakeholder perceptions and measures of success pertaining to interventions designed to increase HCC. Participants in the study included commercial livestock farmers, conservationists and protected area managers involved in HCC scenarios in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. Using a grounded theory approach, perceptions of successful intervention strategies (aimed at increasing HCC) were explored. Factors that contributed to perceptions of strategy effectiveness included livestock type, herd size and source of income. Moreover, coexistence ranged from being a concept considered achievable by the majority of stakeholders, to one which might only be feasible under certain conditions. Evaluating interview and camera trap data concurrently provided novel insights into how information from different sources can be used to justify different perspectives. This was particularly evident in regard to perceived carnivore population size. The use of Q-method identified areas of stakeholder consensus, for example, recognition that complete cessation of depredation is an unrealistic ideal, but also exposed areas of potential inter-stakeholder conflict about priorities and expectations for intervention success. The importance of understanding and exploring the perceptions of all stakeholders when implementing intervention strategies was highlighted in order to properly define and evaluate the achievement of HCC goals. Stakeholder-derived recommendations for future interventions focused on the need for transparency, shared success criteria, and on-going communication. Furthermore, this research revealed the importance of defining context-specific goals and developing trust-based relationships such that success in the context of HCC scenarios can be evaluated according to stakeholder experience and perceptions.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Lucas, C.A.C.
Hirst, A.Thesis supervisorARE3HIRSTAorcid.org/0000-0001-9132-1886
Harrison, S.Thesis supervisorAEQ3HARRISorcid.org/0000-0003-1791-3335
Whitehouse-Tedd, K.Thesis supervisorAEQ3WHITEKorcid.org/0000-0003-0061-489X
Date: September 2022
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed in the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 08 Nov 2023 10:34
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 10:34
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/50319

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