Special Issue "Humans and Wild Animals: Interactions in Deep Time, Recent History, and Now"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Biodiversity Conservation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Joanna E. Lambert
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80302, USA
Interests: evolutionary ecology; nutritional ecology; community ecology; conservation biology; mammals; Africa; North America
Ms. Emily Beam
Guest Editor
University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA
Interests: animal behavior; carnivore ecology; animal learning and habituation; urban ecology; Africa; North America
Dr. Amanda L. Ellwanger
Guest Editor
1. Department of Cultural and Behavioral Science, Georgia State University Perimeter College, Dunwoody, GA 30338, USA
2. Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA
Interests: animal studies; integrative sociocultural and ecological methodology; anthropology; ethnoprimatology; human–wildlife interactions; niche construction; primate behavioral ecology and conservation; Africa; Asia
Prof. Dr. Joel Berger
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
2. Wildlife Conservation Society, New York, NY 10460,USA
Interests: conservation biology; biodiversity; climate impacts; mammals; North America; Africa; Asia

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Though human–wildlife conflict has recently received considerable attention, the reality is that we have shared landscapes with wild animals throughout our evolutionary history, suggesting that at no time have we not interacted with sympatric species. Our patterns of interaction with other species are by no means static, however, with significant spatiotemporal shifts in our ecological impact on animal communities and species populations. Salient examples of these ecological interactions include globally documented top-down effects during Pleistocene megafaunal extinction events and wide-reaching bottom-up effects as a consequence of habitat conversion. Most recently, unabated human population growth has exacerbated the intensity and gravity of these human–wildlife ecological interactions and frequency of encounters, with significant conservation and management implications. Some animal species flourish in emerging anthropogenic landscapes and in human proximity, others are declining rapidly in number.

In this Special Issue, we will explore the long history that humans have had with wild animals, with three overarching themes: (1) the changing patterns of human interactions with wild animals over our 200,000+ year history, (2) the circumstances that result in human–wildlife conflict versus coexistence, and (3) the conservation and management implications of human–wildlife interactions. We will consider including articles that address topics such as the ecology and evolution of species coexistence, changing human attitudes towards wild animals, human–animal ecological relationships (predator–prey, competitive, mutualisms, commensalism, amensalism), sources of conflict between humans and animals, competition between humans and animals for resources and space, urban animals and biodiversity in cities, animals as ecotourism subjects, the role of protected space, and implications for wildlife managers.

Dr. Joanna E. Lambert
Ms. Emily Beam
Dr. Amanda Ellwanger
Dr. Joel Berger
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diversity is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Human–wildlife conflict and coexistence
  • Biodiversity
  • Ecological community interactions
  • Predator–prey
  • Anthropogenic

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation Impacts Community Perceptions around Kibale National Park, Uganda
Diversity 2021, 13(4), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13040145 - 30 Mar 2021
Viewed by 362
The attitudes of community members living around protected areas are an important and often overlooked consideration for effective conservation strategies. Around Kibale National Park (KNP) in western Uganda, communities regularly face the threat of crop destruction from wildlife, including from a variety of [...] Read more.
The attitudes of community members living around protected areas are an important and often overlooked consideration for effective conservation strategies. Around Kibale National Park (KNP) in western Uganda, communities regularly face the threat of crop destruction from wildlife, including from a variety of endangered species, such as African elephants (Loxodonta africana), common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), and red colobus monkeys (Piliocolobus tephrosceles), as well as other nonhuman primates, including olive baboons (Papio anubis). These frequent negative interactions with wildlife lead many community members to resent the park and the animals that live within it. To mitigate these issues, community members around KNP partnered with researchers to start a participatory action research project to reduce human-wildlife interactions. The project tested four sustainable human-wildlife conflict mitigation strategies: digging and maintaining trenches around the park border, installing beehive fences in swampy areas where trenches could not be dug, planting tea as a buffer, and growing garlic as a cash crop. These physical exclusion methods and agriculture-based deterrents aimed to reduce crop destruction by wild animals and improve conditions for humans and wildlife alike. We conducted oral surveys with members of participating communities and a nonparticipating community that border KNP to determine the impact of these sustainable human-wildlife conflict mitigation strategies on attitudes toward KNP, wildlife officials, and animal species in and around KNP. We found that there is a positive correlation between participation in the project and perceived benefits of living near KNP. We also found that respondents who participated in the project reported more positive feelings about the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the organization that oversees KNP. This research will help inform future conservation initiatives around KNP and other areas where humans and animals face conflict through crop damage. Full article
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