Vultures vs livestock: conservation relationships in an emerging conflict between humans and wildlife

Margalida, Antoni; Campión, David; Donázar, José A. (2014). Vultures vs livestock: conservation relationships in an emerging conflict between humans and wildlife. Oryx, 48(2), pp. 172-176. Cambridge University Press 10.1017/S0030605312000889

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Human–wildlife conflict is emerging as an important topic in conservation. Carnivores and birds of prey are responsible for most conflicts with livestock and game but since the mid 1990s a new conflict is emerging in south-west Europe: the presumed killing of livestock by griffon vultures Gyps fulvus. Lack of scientific data and magnification of the problem by the media are increasing alarm amongst the public, and political pressures to implement management decisions have not been based on scientific evidence. We compiled information on 1,793 complaints about attacks by griffon vultures on livestock, lodged with Spanish authorities from 1996 to 2010. Spain is home to the majority (95%) of griffon vultures and other scavengers in the European Union. Most of the cases occurred in areas of high livestock density, affected principally sheep (49%) and cows (31%), and were associated with spring birthing times (April–June). On average 69% of the complaints made annually were rejected because of a lack of evidence about whether the animal was alive before being eaten. The total economic cost of compensation was EUR 278,590 from 2004 to 2010. We discuss possible ways to mitigate this emerging human–wildlife conflict. These need to include the participation of livestock farmers, authorities, scientists and conservation groups.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Conservation Biology

UniBE Contributor:

Margalida, Antoni

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)

ISSN:

0030-6053

Publisher:

Cambridge University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Olivier Roth

Date Deposited:

26 Mar 2015 09:44

Last Modified:

27 Oct 2019 16:02

Publisher DOI:

10.1017/S0030605312000889

Web of Science ID:

000337969700006

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.65919

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/65919

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