Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Europe shows that humans and large predators can share the same landscape

19.12.2014

The recovery of large carnivores in Europe is a great success for nature conservation. At one third of mainland Europe, at least one species of large carnivore is present, according to an article in the scientific magazine Science that researchers from 26 countries have contributed to. It is an excellent example that humans and carnivores can share the same landscape, says main author Guillaume Chapron, from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

The recovery of large carnivores in Europe is a great success for nature conservation. At one third of mainland Europe, at least one species of large carnivore is present, according to an article in the scientific magazine Science that researchers from 26 countries have contributed to. It is an excellent example that humans and carnivores can share the same landscape, says main author Guillaume Chapron, from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).


Lynx

Photo: Henrik Andrén/SLU


Brown bear

Photo: Kjell Isaksen

By the early 20th century, large carnivores had been exterminated from most of Europe, with just relict populations persisting. Now we have increasing or stable populations of brown bears, wolves, Eurasian lynx and wolverines, and they do not live in a remote wilderness but in a human-dominated landscape.

That is a great difference in comparison to the strategies being pursued in other parts of the world where carnivores are mainly protected in large national parks or wilderness areas, separated from people. If Europe had used that model we would hardly have any carnivores at all because there are not enough large areas of wilderness remaining.

“This is a success story that builds on a good legislation, political stability, strong institutions and a favourable public opinion”, says Guillaume Chapron, researcher at Grimsö Wildlife Station, Department of Ecology, at SLU. In addition, Europe's forests and wild herbivore populations are in far better shape today than they were 100 years ago.

The environmental movement in the 1970's and 1980's paved the way for the Council of Europe's Bern Convention and the EU's habitat directive legislation that has given these species the opportunity to recover.

“The large carnivores are an example of species that have benefited from this pan-European legislation and that the Habitats Directive works”, says Guillaume Chapron.

76 researchers have contributed to the article, among them five from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). They have compiled data and produced a distribution map for large carnivore map across most of Europe.

The brown bear is currently present in 22 countries. It is the most common large carnivore in Europe with 17,000 individuals that can be clustered into ten populations. All populations are relatively stable or slightly expanding, although a few remain critically small.
Wolves are the second most common species, about 12,000 individuals, with ten populations in 28 countries. Most of the populations are increasing, but a couple of populations seem to be decreasing. One Spanish population is on the brink to extinction.
Lynx are present in 23 countries, with 9,000 individuals. Most of the eleven populations are stable but some of them are decreasing.
Wolverine lives only in Sweden, Norway and Finland, in two populations with 1,250 individuals. Both populations are increasing.
Guillaume Chapron says that Europe can be an example for other parts of the world.

“Europe has twice as many wolves as the USA (excluding Alaska) in spite of being half the size and more than twice as densely populated. Our experience illustrates the incredible ability that these species have to survive to the modern, human-dominated world.”

Generally speaking people in Europe are positive to carnivores but the conflicts that caused the historical declines are still present, like predation on livestock. The most severe challenges for large carnivore conservation are in countries where large carnivores have previously been totally extirpated and where people have lost their adaptations to sharing the landscape with their wild neighbours. Furthermore, species like wolves have been coopted as powerful symbols for wider political and social tensions between rural and urban areas.

A variety of practices that reduce damage on livestock, like electric fences and livestock-guarding dogs, can facilitate co-existence. Furthermore there is a need for dialogue between stakeholders and cooperation between different sectors and different countries. It is crucial that these conflict issues are taken seriously to prevent a possible backlash against conservation in general.

Contact information: Guillaume.Chapron@slu.se ph +46-(0)581 69 73 13

Pressofficer: Mikael Jansson, Mikael.Jansson@slu.se or +46-733 707 111

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/346/6216/1517.abstract Artivle in Sceince

Mikael Jansson | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: Agricultural Sciences Europe SLU carnivore carnivores conservation livestock populations species

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Joint research project on wastewater for reuse examines pond system in Namibia
19.12.2016 | Technische Universität Darmstadt

nachricht Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>