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Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc. 2017 Nov;92(4):2157-2163. doi: 10.1111/brv.12326. Epub 2017 Mar 24.

Don't forget to look down - collaborative approaches to predator conservation.

Author information

Institute of Biological & Environmental Science, University of Aberdeen, Zoology Building, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, UK.
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Grimso Wildlife Research Station, SE-730 91, Riddarhyttan, Sweden.
Norwegian institute for nature research, P.O. Box 5685 Sluppen, NO-7485, Trondheim, Norway.
Département de biologie, Faculté des Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, 2500, boulevard de l'Université, Sherbrooke, J1K 2R1, Canada.
Department of Biology and Biotechnologies, University of Rome 'La Sapienza', Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5, 00185, Roma, Italy.
Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA, U.K.
Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Zoology Department, University of Oxford, The Recanati-Kaplan Centre, Abingdon, OX13 5QL, U.K.
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, 87102, U.S.A.
The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, AB15 8QH, UK.
Environmental Psychology, Department of Architecture and Built Environment, Lund University, PO Box 118, 221 Lund, Sweden.
Biotechnical Faculty, Biology Department, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.
UCD School of Agriculture & Food Science, University College Dublin Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies, Birkbeck, University of London, London, WC1H 9EZ, U.K.
Department of Political Science, Umeå University, SE-901 87, Umeå, Sweden.
Gothenburg Research Institute, University of Gothenburg, Box 603, 405 30, Göteborg, Sweden.
Norwegian institute for nature research, Gaustadalléen 21, NO-0349, Oslo, Norway.
Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, PO Box 5003, NO - 1432, Ås, Norway.
Department of European and International Public Law, Tilburg University, PO Box 90153, 5000 LE, Tilburg, The Netherlands.
NERFC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian, EH26 0QB, UK.
Department of Zoology and Merton College, Tasso Leventis Professor of Biodiversity, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PS, U.K.


Finding effective ways of conserving large carnivores is widely recognised as a priority in conservation. However, there is disagreement about the most effective way to do this, with some favouring top-down 'command and control' approaches and others favouring collaboration. Arguments for coercive top-down approaches have been presented elsewhere; here we present arguments for collaboration. In many parts of the developed world, flexibility of approach is built into the legislation, so that conservation objectives are balanced with other legitimate goals. In the developing world, limited resources, poverty and weak governance mean that collaborative approaches are likely to play a particularly important part in carnivore conservation. In general, coercive policies may lead to the deterioration of political legitimacy and potentially to non-compliance issues such as illegal killing, whereas collaborative approaches may lead to psychological ownership, enhanced trust, learning, and better social outcomes. Sustainable hunting/trapping plays a crucial part in the conservation and management of many large carnivores. There are many different models for how to conserve carnivores effectively across the world, research is now required to reduce uncertainty and examine the effectiveness of these approaches in different contexts.


bottom-up; carnivores; collaboration; conflict; conservation; hunting; predator management; top-down

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