Insufficient Scientific Evidence Hinders Large Carnivore Management in Romania

29 Pages Posted: 24 May 2024

See all articles by Andra Claudia Neagu

Andra Claudia Neagu

University of Bucharest - Faculty of Geography

Laurentiu Rozylowicz

University of Bucharest

Abstract

Human-wildlife conflicts are constantly increasing due to growing competition for territory and resources. Romania hosts the largest population of European brown bears (Ursus arctos arctos) and gray wolves (Canis lupus) in Europe. Due to the rapid anthropization of the landscape, human-large carnivore interactions are increasingly common in Romania. These species are protected under the European Habitats Directive, thusly, wildlife management aims to maintain and continue their favorable conservation status. Therefore, evidence-based management and conservation actions are central in preventing conflicts and achieving coexistence. This research aims to contribute to increasing the effectiveness of large carnivore management by (1) assessing the alignment of the conservation actions enforced in Romanian protected areas management plans by comparing these actions with evidence-based actions; (2) analyzing the perceptions of the local population regarding the national management actions of the European brown bear and gray wolf; and (3) exploring how the interaction with large carnivores influences the perception of the local population regarding the management actions applied. The results indicate that most enforced actions do not display convincing evidence base to support their effectiveness, many of which still have unknown outcomes on conservation efforts. Moreover, the application of an opinion survey exposed a low tolerance level among people, particularly towards European brown bears, and an openness towards hunting as a solution. Research also revealed a lack of confidence in the decisions made by the authorities among people living in areas with large carnivores. This study contributes to large carnivores' protection in Romania by aiding protected areas administrators to identify conservation actions with proven effectiveness while simultaneously considering local needs.

Keywords: brown bear, gray wolf, human-carnivore coexistence, human-carnivore interactions, large carnivore management

Suggested Citation

Neagu, Andra Claudia and Rozylowicz, Laurentiu, Insufficient Scientific Evidence Hinders Large Carnivore Management in Romania. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4838613 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4838613

Andra Claudia Neagu (Contact Author)

University of Bucharest - Faculty of Geography

1 Balcescu St.
Bucharest, Bucuresti 010041
Romania

Laurentiu Rozylowicz

University of Bucharest ( email )

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