How Climate Change Is Making Human-Wildlife Conflicts Worse
Technical fixes to human-wildlife conflict are only a temporary stopgap.
The polar bear – something of a poster child for climate change – is just one of countless victims in this warming world. It’s thought that if global temperatures continue to which is likely to happen if we do nothing to reduce our carbon emissions, could be lost from Earth’s most biodiverse places.
Unfortunately, climate change is only going to make these negative interactions between humans and wildlife more common.
Most wild animals are naturally averse to being so close to humans, so their incursions into our lives shows how desperate they are getting.
As climate change begins to take its toll on humans, by reducing crop productivity for example, we are likely to become less tolerant of these sorts of human-wildlife conflicts.
Poor African villagers who have had their entire yearly crop destroyed by a herd of hungry elephants can hardly be blamed for wanting to get rid of the problem by killing the animals.
If conflicts within our own species can’t be overcome, there is little hope for mitigating conflicts with other species – especially as resources become scarcer.
These technical fixes can help limit immediate conflict between wildlife and humans in the short term, providing much-needed relief in poor communities from the damaging effects of intruding wildlife.
Realistically however, technical fixes to human-wildlife conflict are only a temporary stopgap.
Without political will and sufficient funding all of this falls short. Global leaders must step up to the task – and it is partly up to ordinary people to pressure them to act.
(This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article here.)
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