Coexistence of large mammals and humans is possible in Europe’s anthropogenic landscapes

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: This is version 1 of this Preprint.

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Benjamin Cretois, John D C Linnell, Bram Van Moorter, Petra Kaczensky, Erlend Birkeland Nilsen , Jorge Sicacha Parada, Jan Ketil Rød


A critical question in the conservation of both large carnivores and wild ungulates is where they are able to live. In Europe, large mammals have persisted, and recently expanded, alongside humans for millennia, but surprisingly little quantitative data is available about large scale effects of human disturbance on their broad scale distribution. In this study, we quantify the relative importance of human land use and protected areas as opposed to biophysical constraints on large mammal distribution. We demonstrate that the broad scale distribution of most large mammals in Europe includes areas of high to very high human disturbance and is primarily driven by environmental variables rather than the human footprint or the presence of protected areas. We argue that coexistence between large mammals and humans is primarily determined by the willingness of humans to share multi-use landscapes with wildlife rather than the ability of wildlife to tolerate humans.



Biodiversity, Life Sciences


adaptation, carnivores, Europe, Human-Wildlife coexistence, human-wildlife conflicts, ungulates


Published: 2020-08-11 15:10


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