In a world where habitats are constantly changing and the impact of anthropization on the environment is increasingly intense, interactions between human and wildlife are becoming more and more complex. Some species pose problems for human activities while many others need to be helped in order to continue to exist.
This book follows the first volume called 'Problematic Wildlife', edited by F.M. Angelici and published by Springer in 2016, which has had considerable success with readers and critics.
The volume includes 21 chapters divided into 7 parts devoted specific topics which are approached in a multidisciplinary way. There are both review chapters and specific cases, always bearing in mind the interest for an international audience.
Its ultimate goal is to offer scientific and pragmatic approaches to manage each categories of problematic species.
The reasons behind and significance of the book. Problematic Wildlife and modern world.(F.M. Angelici, L. Rossi, Italian Foundation for Vertebrate Zoology, Italy)
This starting chapter, fully introduces the topic of the book. The reasons for publishing this second volume on 'Problematic Wildlife' are explained. The fundamental reason is that although it will be difficult to deal with all the existing themes that can be part of the topic of problematic wildlife, we will try to analyze cases not previously covered in the first book. Some specific topics, for ex. the big cats man-eaters, have only been treated in great synthesis in the first volume, where, on the contrary, the theme of the attacks of wolves to humans has been deepened. Then, another example, the one related to the urban fauna, positive and compatible situations with human activities, or, on the contrary, very problematic cases, which need solutions. Or the big problem of wildlife and problems related to road traffic. And so on, some chapters deal with snakes, always causing problems to be addressed, or the problem of coexistence between hunting and nature conservation.
Section 1: Large carnivores, humans and environment.
Man eaters: for a human-wildlife coexistence. A review.
(S.M. Shepherd; University of Pennsylvania Healthcare System, USA)
A large carnivore among people and livestock: the common leopard.(U. Khan, F. Ferretti, S. Ali Shah, S. Lovari; University of Siena, Italy)
Mitigation of conflicts between humans and large carnivores is a major challenge in wildlife conservation. Habitat loss and depletion of wild prey, as well as easy availability of livestock, are expected to increase livestock depredation and, in turn, emphasise conflicts.
We assessed the interactions between leopards Panthera pardus and humans, in three study areas lying on a densely inhabited Himalayan part of Pakistan (c. 328 km2): a protected, largely forested area (Ayubia National Park and its surroundings, ANP) and two areas with a greater level of anthropogenic activities and lower extent of forest cover (Murree, MF; Transitional Area, TA).
We suggest that only the implementation of synergistic actions, i.e. habitat protection, prey restoration and better practices of livestock management, would lead to mitigate human-leopard conflict and to increase the long-term survival of this large predator.
Evolution of wolf habitat occupancy and feeding habits in Italy: implications for species conservation and conflict resolution with humans.(A. Meriggi, E. Torretta, O. Dondina; University of Pavia, Italy)
Despite the generally positive trend of European populations, the wolf is still today a challenging species to conserve, particularly in the most anthropogenic southern European countries, because of its conflict with humans. In this chapter we summarize the dynamics of wolf distribution in Italy, one of the most densely populated European countries, over the last 50 years. Finally, we consider how to mitigate the wolf-human conflict and suggest effective management of wolf populations.
Section 2: Urban environment and wildlife.
“Good” and “bad” urban wildlife.
(G. Perry, C. Boal, R. Verble, M. Wallace; Texas Tech, USA)
Urban environments offer habitat for many species of animals. Although some of those are ubiquitous and/or undesirable, others are native and in some cases, of conservation value. In many cases, urban wildlife populations are a source of enjoyment for human residents, who sometimes invest considerable amounts in attracting them to yards and public spaces. Their presence there can serve an important educational role that helps protect non-urban habitats and species. Nonetheless, urban wildlife must survive what has been termed a “landscape of fear.” Although some of the urban wildlife that do well in this environment are benign, other populations – sometimes of a species that, in other locations, is iconic and desirable – can become problematic. We trying to predict how global patterns such as increased urbanization and population growth may affect urban wildlife and its value for conservation.
Wildlife and traffic – an inevitable but not unsolvable problem?
(A. Seiler, M. Bardwaj; Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)
The conflict between wildlife and traffic is not a new phenomenon. Where the movement paths of humans and wildlife intersect, the consequences are often detrimental for both. Collisions between traffic and wildlife results in loss of life, injury and vehicle damage. Roads and railways not only inflict death on wildlife, but also impose barriers to movements, fragment habitats and permit additional impacts due to secondary development. As a prominent global issue, it is essential that we mitigate the impacts of roads and railways on wildlife, and the impacts of wildlife on traffic, in order to ensure successful cohabitation of people and wildlife. In this chapter, we discuss the most prominent and critical problems with traffic and wildlife and explain how effective mitigation strategies can be developed. We argue that the mitigation approach must become an integral part in the design and planning of transport infrastructure. The conflict between wildlife and humans along transportation corridors may be inevitable, but it is possible to find a solution.
Section 3: Can the regulated hunting coexist with conservation of endangered species?
How hunting and wildlife conservation can coexist. Review and cases study.(F. Perco; ex Director Monti Sibillini National Park, Visso, Italy)
Four forms of coexistence between hunting and WLC are examined: Non-Impactful, Impactful and Eliminatory, Impactful but Resilient and Impactful but Contributory Hunting (ICH). Typical hunter figures are described: venator dominus (owners etc.), v. socius (associated to a specific district) and v. emptor (who buys rights from time to time). The most significant with regard to its effects wildlife, on the environment and on local communities is ICH. This includes activation of anti-poaching surveillance, performing monitoring, local community projects that seek improvement in residents' social conditions (economic and cultural) and coexistence with of ecotourism.
What do we know about wild boar in Iberia?
(A. Giménez-Anaya, C. Guillermo Bueno, P. Fernández-Llario, C. Fonseca, R. García González, J. Herrero, C. Nores, C. Rosell; University of Zaragoza, Spain)
Wild boar is an important species throughout the Iberian Peninsula, and populations exist from sea level to elevations > 2,000 m in high mountain environments, which reflects its incredible ability to adapt to a wide range of natural and cultural environments. To summarize the scientific and management knowledge on the species in Portugal and Spain, we reviewed 174 published and unpublished texts written since 1914. We identified six main fields of study interest and potential wild boar conflict: (i) the role of the species in natural and semi-natural ecosystems, (ii) agricultural damages, (iii) car accidents, (iv) disease transmission and reservoir, (v) hunt and control, and (vi) urban wild boars. The increase in the frequency of interactions between humans and wild boar underscores the importance of management actions that address not only the wild boar populations, but also human behaviour and the avoidance of risk situations; e.g., urban wild
Francesco Maria Angelici, PhD, currently works in the areas of biology, behavioral ecology, fauna, zoogeography, and mammal systematic and conservation studies, particularly concerning carnivores, lagomorphs and ungulates. His other fields of research are: ornithology (the biology and ecology of Falconiformes, Passeriformes and Strigiformes) and herpetology (the ecology of snakes and their trophic relationship with mammals). He studies Italian and tropical fauna, with particular reference to the conservation of vertebrates. He also works in the areas of planning and environmental conservation. In particular, he has worked in the area of wildlife management at national parks, reserves and other protected areas in Italy and abroad. He currently works as a zoologist conservationist, with hunting management agencies. He is also a specialist in African savannah environments as well as desert and tropical rain forests. He is currently the scientific head of an international project dedicated to the conservation of the lion (Panthera leo) in Ghana. He has published about 220 scientific papers in journals with international committees of reference, in addition to some scientific and popular articles. He has also written several chapters in monographs and books in Italy and abroad, in addition to being the editor of various Italian books. He co-authored the “Checklist of fauna species in Italy, Vertebrates" in the Mammals section, and authored several species sections in the new edition of Fauna d’Italia (Texbook of Italian Mammals), some species sections in Handbuch der Säugetiere Europas (Monograph on the Mammals of Europe), and some species sections in Mammals of Africa (Bloomsbury Publishing). He contributes as a referent to 23 international journals, and he is associate editor of two international journals. He was a lecturer in courses in zoology (Vertebrate Zoology, Wildlife Management, Animal Ecology, and Zoogeography) at Sapienza University of Rome from 1990 to 1996, and at the University of Tuscia, Viterbo from 2007 to 2009. He is a member of seventeen scientific and/or conservation societies in both Italy and abroad, including the IUCN.
Lorenzo Rossi is a science communicator who deals with the history of zoology, ethnozoology and the relationship between science and pseudoscience. For this topics he is the author of exhibits, conferences, books and scientific publications. His most recent works concern the relationship between folklore and the discovery of new species of primates and the morphometric and genetic study of the island population of wolves that became extinct in Sicily (Italy) at the beginning of 1900. He currently deals with public relations for the Museo dell'Ecologia di Cesena (Italy) and the organisation of events related to citizen science projects.
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