Using movement ecology to evaluate the effectiveness of multiple human-wildlife conflict management practices

Sasha Pekarsky*, Ingo Schiffner, Yuri Markin, Ran Nathan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human-wildlife conflicts are universally growing, threatening sustainable coexistence and demanding increasing conservation efforts. While such conflicts are commonly tackled by combining different management practices, how each component contributes to management effectiveness usually remains unclear. This challenge can be addressed by integrating individual-based movement ecology with detailed information on the variety of management practices applied. Using a high-resolution movement dataset of common cranes (Grus grus) wintering at the agricultural landscape of the Hula Valley (Israel), we assessed their individual-level responses to three conflict management activities – intensive scaring, allocation of refuge areas and diversionary feeding – quantified in space and time throughout the wintering period. We found that diversionary feeding combined with active scaring reduced the cranes' core activity area and led to a significant shift in habitat preference. Low refuge area availability combined with low intensity diversionary feeding required compensation by higher scaring efforts. However, even intensive feeding was insufficient to prevent cranes from foraging on sensitive crops when refuge fields were highly limited. While most cranes heavily relied on the feeding station, a smaller group consistently avoided it and relied on refuge areas and sensitive crops despite scaring efforts. To achieve a more balanced management plan in our case study, provisioning of diversionary food should be much lower, and refuge areas should be designated based on crane habitat selection rather than solely on residual crops. Generally, we stress that quantitative behavioral analysis of target species that incorporates sub-populations with consistent behavioral variation, is important for effective combination of multiple management practices.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number109306
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume262
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Common crane
  • Disturbance
  • Diversionary feeding
  • Human-wildlife coexistence
  • Refuge areas
  • Scaring

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