To develop and advance initiatives and management policies that promote carnivore conservation and carnivore-human conflict mitigation and coexistence;
To provide a forum that can stimulate carnivore research and discussion; and
To promote carnivore research by students and faculty.
The YALE LARGE CARNIVORE GROUP is a diverse group of Yale University affiliates and cooperators whose goal is to facilitate coexistence between people and carnivores in practical, cultural, ecological and policy-wise ways.
We are professors in ecology, wildlife management, policy sciences, anthropologists, lawyers, graduate students, scientists, and practitioners engaged in the conservation and study of carnivore species worldwide. We are a truly interdisciplinary group. We want to contribute to mitigating conflicts between carnivores and humans. We work with bears, lions, mountain lions, snow leopards, tigers, wolves and wolverines.
In different contextually relevant ways, we are all enabling coexistence in the face of mounting pressures. We seek new and creative collaborative and effective conservation processes.
In trying to implement measures that can minimize conflicts, we work with local people, indigenous people, ranchers, landowners, industry, wildlife managers, and a wide range of stakeholders and seek their strong participation in conserving carnivores. We are also engaged in dialogue with governments, non-governmental organizations, natural resource professionals and others, seeking to organize arenas where a broader range of perspectives can influence the decision-making process securing carnivore conservation.
WHERE WE WORK
We work in Western North America, East Africa and Asia. We have:
- Created innovative conservation programs for the snow leopard in Pakistan where compensation is provided to farmers who lose livestock to snow leopard predation.
- Created a livestock predation program and participatory programs for reducing human-lion conflicts in Tanzania;
- Designed protected areas in Africa and Italy;
- Contributed to discoveries in behavioral ecology of grizzly bears and wolverine ecology projects in Montana.
Wherever we work we seek to help manage conflicts between people and carnivores by engaging local communities and officials. We formed the YALE LARGE CARNIVORE GROUP because we care about carnivores and the people affected by them. Our group will serve as a platform to communicate, share our experiences, and stimulate more intensive and extensive discussion of on the ground conservation. We will host guest lectures, seminars, and conferences to highlight and promote successful approaches to addressing conflicts between humans and carnivores.
THE CHALLENGES OF MANAGING LARGE CARNIVORES
“Managing large carnivores is a complex, dynamic, ongoing, social process. It directly reflects the feelings, beliefs and values of the many people who participate in one way or another. Understanding this complex social process is a vital first step to envisioning how we can change things for the better” (Clark & Rutherford 2005, p.7).
Human action with regard to wildlife is the outcome of larger political and economic processes of determining who gets what resources, how, when, and where. Conservation efforts cannot ignore those aspects and the specific social contexts within which they occur. Conservation efforts that do not recognize their importance are bound to fail.
Successfully addressing these human dimensions depends on our ability to find creative ways to protect species in sustainable ways through an inclusive, participatory process with people who live and work in carnivore habitat.