Skip to main content Accesibility Help

Tilting at wildlife: reconsidering human–wildlife conflict

  • Stephen Mark Redpath (a1), Saloni Bhatia (a2) and Juliette Young (a3)

Conflicts between people over wildlife are widespread and damaging to both the wildlife and people involved. Such issues are often termed human–wildlife conflicts. We argue that this term is misleading and may exacerbate the problems and hinder resolution. A review of 100 recent articles on human–wildlife conflicts reveals that 97 were between conservation and other human activities, particularly those associated with livelihoods. We suggest that we should distinguish between human–wildlife impacts and human–human conflicts and be explicit about the different interests involved in conflict. Those representing conservation interests should not only seek technical solutions to deal with the impacts but also consider their role and objectives, and focus on strategies likely to deliver long-term solutions for the benefit of biodiversity and the people involved.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Tilting at wildlife: reconsidering human–wildlife conflict
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Tilting at wildlife: reconsidering human–wildlife conflict
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Tilting at wildlife: reconsidering human–wildlife conflict
      Available formats
Corresponding author
(Corresponding author) E-mail
Hide All
Bennett, E., Neiland, A., Anang, E., Bannerman, P., Rahman, A.A., Huq, S. et al. (2001) Towards a better understanding of conflict management in tropical fisheries: evidence from Ghana, Bangladesh and the Caribbean. Marine Policy, 25, 365376.
Biggs, D., Abel, N., Knight, A.T., Leitch, A., Langston, A. & Ban, N.C. (2011) The implementation crisis in conservation planning: could “mental models” help? Conservation Letters, 4, 169183.
Cervantes, Miguel de (1605) Don Quixote. Translated by Grossman, Edith Harper Collins, New York, USA (2003).
Conover, M.R. (2002) Resolving Human–Wildlife Conflicts: The Science of Wildlife Damage Management. CRC Press, Boca Raton, USA.
Gregory, R. (2000) Using stakeholder values to make smarter environmental decisions. Environment, 42, 3444.
Hedges, S. & Gunaryadi, D. (2010) Reducing human–elephant conflict: do chillies help deter elephants from entering crop fields? Oryx, 44, 139146.
IUCN (2014) IUCN Red List of Threatened Species v. 2014.2. Http:// [accessed July 2014].
Knight, A.T., Cowling, R.M. & Campbell, B.M. (2006) An operational model for implementing conservation action. Conservation Biology, 20, 408419.
Larson, B.M.H. (2005) The war of the roses: demilitarizing invasion biology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 3, 495500.
Linnell, J.D.C., Rondeau, D., Reed, D.H., Williams, R., Altwegg, R., Raxworthy, C.J. et al. (2010) Confronting the costs and conflicts associated with biodiversity. Animal Conservation, 13, 429431.
Liu, J., Ouyang, Z. & Miao, H. (2010) Environmental attitudes of stakeholders and their perceptions regarding protected area–community conflicts: a case study in China. Journal of Environmental Management, 91, 22542262.
Madden, F. (2004) Creating coexistence between humans and wildlife: global perspectives on local efforts to address human–wildlife conflict. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 9, 247257.
Marshall, K., White, R. & Fischer, A. (2007) Conflicts between humans over wildlife management: on the diversity of stakeholder attitudes and implications for conflict management. Biodiversity Conservation, 16, 31293146.
McComas, K.A. (2006) Defining moments in risk communication research: 1996–2005. Journal of Health Communication, 11, 7591.
McCombs, M.E. & Shaw, D.L. (1972) The agenda-setting function of mass media. Public Opinion Quarterly, 36, 176187.
Nantha, H.S. & Tisdell, C. (2009) The orangutan–oil palm conflict: economic constraints and opportunities for conservation. Biodiversity and Conservation, 18, 487502.
Peterson, M.N., Birckhead, J.L., Leong, K., Peterson, M.J. & Peterson, T.R. (2010) Rearticulating the myth of human–wildlife conflict. Conservation Letters, 3, 7482.
Raik, D.B., Wilson, A.L. & Decker, D.J. (2008) Power in natural resources management: an application of theory. Society & Natural Resources, 21, 729739.
Redpath, S.M., Thirgood, S.J. & Leckie, F.M. (2001) Does supplementary feeding reduce predation of red grouse by hen harriers? Journal of Applied Ecology, 38, 11571168.
Redpath, S.M., Young, J., Evely, A., Adams, W.M., Sutherland, W.J., Whitehouse, A. et al. (2013) Understanding and managing conservation conflicts. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 28, 100109.
Scheufele, D.A. (1999) Framing as a theory of media effects. Journal of Communication, 49, 103122.
Thirgood, S. & Redpath, S. (2008) Hen harriers and red grouse: science, politics and human–wildlife conflict. Journal of Applied Ecology, 45, 15501554.
Thirgood, S., Redpath, S., Newton, I. & Hudson, P. (2000) Raptors and red grouse: conservation conflicts and management solutions. Conservation Biology, 14, 95104.
White, R.M., Fischer, A., Marshall, K., Travis, J.M., Webb, T.J., di Falco, S. et al. (2009) Developing an integrated conceptual framework to understand biodiversity conflicts. Land Use Policy, 26, 242253.
Wilson, S., Davies, T.E., Hazarika, N. & Zimmermann, A. (2013) Understanding spatial and temporal patterns of human–elephant conflict in Assam, India. Oryx,
Woodroffe, R., Thirgood, S. & Rabinowitz, A. (eds) (2005) People and Wildlife: Conflict or Co-Existence? Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK
Young, J.C., Jordan, A., Searle, K.R., Butler, A., Chapman, D.S., Simmons, P. & Watt, A.D. (2013) Does stakeholder involvement really benefit biodiversity conservation? Biological Conservation, 158, 359370.
Young, J.C., Marzano, M., White, R.M., McCracken, D.I., Redpath, S.M., Carss, D.N. et al. (2010) The emergence of biodiversity conflicts from biodiversity impacts: characteristics and management strategies. Biodiversity and Conservation, 19, 39733990.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed