Thinking Outside the Box on Human-Wildlife Conflict

When farmland in Africa expanded into the wilds to feed growing human populations, crops were trampled by elephants and farm animals fell prey to lions and cheetahs. As you will find in this Deutsche Welle article, little human ingenuity enlisted bees and dogs to negotiate peace.

Thinking outside the box on human-wildlife conflict _ Strategy _ DW.COM _ 02

Elephants instinctively steer clear of African honeybees and avoid unpredictable landscape features. In Kenya, fences made of swaying beehives suspended at irregular heights is a practical, affordable, and effective way to keep elephants from crossing the line separating fields from forests. Farmers are also able to launch a cottage industry in honey and beeswax candles. Their crops, meanwhile, thrive with the extra attention of the resident pollinators. In Namibia, big cats are repelled from farms and villages by Anatolian Shepherd dogs. Working with locals and leveraging animals’ natural urges can improve biodiversity and food production. Restoring harmony in this case is a matter not of vanquishing adversaries, but simply understanding them. Click here for the original Deutsche Welle article.

Guiding Questions

  • What pests or wildlife nuisances are in your area? (Cities have them too.)
  • How can using their natural aversions or predilections help humans and wildlife live amicably?

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