Populations of large carnivores in Europe are not only steady for the first time in a century – but may be rising.
In coverage from The Guardian, study lead author Guilluame Chapron pointed to a model of conservation they call ‘land-sharing’ as a large part of the successful recovery.
“I’m not saying it’s a peace and love story – coexistence often means conflict – but it’s important to manage that conflict, keep it at a low level and resolve the problems it causes. Wolves can be difficult neighbours,” Chapron told The Guardian. “We shouldn’t be talking about people-predator conflict; we have conflict between people about predators. These animals are symbolic of difficult questions about how we should use the land.”
Allowing growth of prey species such as deer and providing financial support for non-lethal livestock protection “such as electric fences, which mean that farmers do not resort to shooting wild predators” have played a significant role.
The need for large carnivores really doesn’t need to be explained today – ample evidence of their vital role in bio-diversity stands on its own. But it does show the need for a united voice – from individual voters to national animal advocacy organizations like The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals.
We can peacefully live with wildlife. We can have a beautiful ecology and a healthy economy. We can protect fur-bearing animals and the lands on which they live – if we stand together.