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The causes of increased conflict between humans and animals

On this edition of Your Call, we discuss the rise in human-wildlife conflict due to the climate crisis.

Conflict between human and non-human animals is not new, but new research shows that climate change is causing even fiercer competition to emerge. As weather patterns change and resources dry up, animals are increasingly coming into contact with humans, sometimes with disastrous consequences.

According to a University of Washington study:

  • Since the late 1990s, interactions between humans and polar bears tripled in the Canadian town of Churchill, as climate change causes sea ice to melt.
  • In Tanzania, drought is forcing elephants into villages in search for food and water, resulting in crop damage and retaliatory killings.
  • As ocean temperatures rise, whales are changing the timing of their yearly migration, leading to increased collisions with ships.

What should be done to protect these animals? And what can humans do to prepare for more interactions with creatures that we are not used to contending with?

Ann Bryant, executive director of Bear League, a volunteer community based organization in the Lake Tahoe Basin committed to keeping bears safe and wild in their natural habitat

Dr. Christine Wilkinson, carnivore ecologist and conservation scientist based at UC Berkeley and the California Academy of Sciences

Web Resources:

ABC News: Number of bears being hit and killed by cars in Tahoe continues to soar

NPR: Climate change is fueling more conflict between humans and wildlife