Call for papers - Human-wildlife conflict and coexistence in the African context

Submitted by editor on 21 October 2022.
Photo by Brutus Östling.

Human-wildlife interactions are projected to increase globally in association with human population growth, expansion of settlements, human access to previously undisturbed areas, and increasing anthropogenic demand for resources. Some of the most expansive and challenging interactions between humans and wildlife will occur in Africa. This growth in interactions can result in augmented human-wildlife conflicts that can occur on rangeland used primarily for agricultural activities, in urban and peri-urban settings, at protected area edges, but also inside protected areas as wildlife, humans and livestock may transgress jurisdictional boundaries for resource access. Mitigation strategies for human-wildlife conflicts will rely heavily on understanding the patterns, mechanisms, and trends of conflict. Although human-wildlife conflict trajectories are expected to see positive growth, conflict patterns and trends will become increasingly complex on dynamic landscapes with shifting land cover and land use, fluctuating intensity of human activity, greater demand for resources, and with a changing climate. Highlighting patterns, mechanisms, and trends in human-wildlife conflict as supported by empirical data is required to identify commonalities and to help management decisions and the channelling of funds towards mitigation.

In this special issue we invite:

submissions of original research work on human-wildlife interactions from across African terrestrial systems and the terrestrial-aquatic interface. We anticipate that studies documenting human-wildlife conflict, specifically their manifestation, causes and/or trends will form most submissions. However, we strongly encourage case studies that demonstrate coexistence, which can provide important lessons and positive take-home messages for comparable systems. Areas of interest will primarily include rangeland, cropland, protected areas (e.g., national parks, nature reserves, communal and freehold conservancies), as well as agricultural land-protected area interface. While there is no taxonomic bias for the special issue, the study organisms and populations should be those that can be classified as wildlife species to ensure fit with  the scope of the Wildlife Biology journal.

Studies that make use of long-term datasets (temporal replication) and/or occur over vast landscapes (spatial replication) using consistent methodologies are particularly welcome. For example, for many areas in Africa data on conflict levels are collected by governments, supporting organizations such as NGO-s, or academic institutions. In some cases, such data are collected simultaneously with wildlife population estimates as part of long-term monitoring, and submissions that address both conflict and population monitoring are strongly encouraged.

In addition to providing updated science on the human-wildlife interface in Africa, we hope that some of the submissions for the special issue will be able to highlight the communities in Africa whose members are engaged in systematic surveys, mitigation of human-wildlife conflicts, wildlife monitoring, and who find themselves at the forefront of human-wildlife interactions. Community involvement in these aspects can empower local people for wildlife conservation through cultivating skillsets, education, and job creation.

Please contact the Guest Editors Bogdan Cristescu (bogdan [at] cheetah [dot] org), Ezequiel Fabiano (fabianoezekiel [at] gmail [dot] com) or the Editor-in-Chief, Ilse Storch (ilse [dot] storch [at] wildlife [dot] uni-freiburg [dot] de) for any questions regarding the special issue. Please submit to the contacts above a brief manuscript proposal (maximum 1 page) by 15 March 2023. Include research questions, study area, species, methodology, key results, author list and affiliations. 

Please note that many of our authors get a discount or publish for free in Wildlife Biology. Read more. We look forward to receiving your manuscript.