Blurred Boundaries in Wildlife Management Practices

S.H. Boonman-Berson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Human-wildlife conflicts have been increasing at alarming rates over the last few decades. Wildlife management practices deal with preventing and disentangling these conflicts. However, which approach should be taken is widely disputed in research, policy, in-the-field-wildlife management and local communities. One key aspect in deciding which approach should be employed concerns the drawing of boundaries, between human and wild animal, between territorial spaces, in the use of certain categorizations and in the implementation of policy regulations. Coexistence between humans and wild animals is propagated worldwide even as human-wildlife conflicts increase. To achieve coexistence, wildlife management practices need to adopt corresponding management strategies. In this chapter it is argued that, in aiming for coexistence, wildlife management practices employ apparently obvious boundaries, which may, however, be adjusted to prevent and disentangle human-wildlife conflicts. Subsequently, it is argued that coexistence between humans and wild animals can only be attained by adopting an integrated approach to human-wildlife-interactions, merging knowledge from the natural and social sciences, and wildlife management practices. This argument is illustrated by exploring the dynamics of boundary drawing in the practice of wild boar management at the Veluwe, the Netherlands and black bear management on the Colorado Front Range, USA. These wildlife management practices display respectively both strategies of confinement and strategies of alignment . In conclusion, wildlife management practices aiming for coexistence require both strategies. Strategies of alignment, however, are prerequisite to opening boundaries between humans and wildlife in order to manage their conflicts as relational endeavours.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnimal Ethics in the Age of Humans
Subtitle of host publicationBlurring boundaries in human-animal relationships
EditorsBernice Bovenkerk, Jozef Keulartz
ISBN (Electronic)9783319442068
ISBN (Print)9783319442051
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameThe International Library of Environmental, Agricultural and Food Ethics
ISSN (Print)1570-3010

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