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Article

Human–Wildlife Conflict: The Human Dimension of European Bison Conservation in the Bieszczady Mountains (Poland)

1
Department of Animal Genetics and Conservation, Warsaw University of Life Sciences-SGGW, Ciszewskiego 8, 02-786 Warsaw, Poland
2
Centre for Interdisciplinary Research, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Konstantynów 1J, 20-708 Lublin, Poland
3
Cisna Forest District, Cisna 87A, 38-607 Cisna, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2021, 11(2), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020503
Received: 13 December 2020 / Revised: 13 January 2021 / Accepted: 11 February 2021 / Published: 15 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
The study aimed to compare the attitudes to European bison of local village inhabitants in Bieszczady and city dwellers in Rzeszów. Our study showed that not only does the growing European bison population cause an increase in negative attitudes among local village communities, but this species also causes more conflict than any other herbivore in the Bieszczady Mountains. Village residents believed that the main threats that arise from the European bison were from the damage they cause and forest use limitations. The current compensation system for the damage caused by this species does not solve this problem, because over 60% of damage is not effectively reported to the state administration. The city dwellers of Rzeszów displayed a different attitude towards the European bison. We concluded that while educational workshops for local villagers may alleviate conflict in the short term, ultimately it is only by restricting the growth of the European bison population that a long-term effect will be achieved.
An important limitation for the population growth of European bison in the Bieszczady Mountains may be the level of social acceptance. The study aimed to compare attitudes to European bison of local village inhabitants in Bieszczady and city dwellers in Rzeszów. We also investigated whether damage caused by European bison or other wild species changes peoples’ perceptions of this animal. Our study showed that not only does the growing European bison population cause an increase in negative attitudes among local village communities, but this species also causes more conflict than any other herbivore in the Bieszczady Mountains. Village residents believed that the main threats that arise from European bison were the damage they cause and forest use limitations. The current compensation system for the damage caused by this species does not solve the problem because over 60% of damage is not effectively reported to the state administration. The city dwellers of Rzeszów displayed a different attitude towards the European bison. We concluded that while educational workshops for local villagers may alleviate conflict in the short-term, ultimately it is only by restricting the growth of the European bison population that a long-term effect will be achieved. View Full-Text
Keywords: European bison; attitude; Carpathians; human–wildlife conflict; damage; forest; village; city; compensation; health risk European bison; attitude; Carpathians; human–wildlife conflict; damage; forest; village; city; compensation; health risk
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MDPI and ACS Style

Klich, D.; Łopucki, R.; Perlińska-Teresiak, M.; Lenkiewicz-Bardzińska, A.; Olech, W. Human–Wildlife Conflict: The Human Dimension of European Bison Conservation in the Bieszczady Mountains (Poland). Animals 2021, 11, 503. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020503

AMA Style

Klich D, Łopucki R, Perlińska-Teresiak M, Lenkiewicz-Bardzińska A, Olech W. Human–Wildlife Conflict: The Human Dimension of European Bison Conservation in the Bieszczady Mountains (Poland). Animals. 2021; 11(2):503. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020503

Chicago/Turabian Style

Klich, Daniel, Rafał Łopucki, Magdalena Perlińska-Teresiak, Agata Lenkiewicz-Bardzińska, and Wanda Olech. 2021. "Human–Wildlife Conflict: The Human Dimension of European Bison Conservation in the Bieszczady Mountains (Poland)" Animals 11, no. 2: 503. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020503

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