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

Steve M. Redpath* (Corresponding Author), John D C Linnell, Marco Festa-Bianchet, Luigi Boitani, Nils Bunnefeld, Amy Dickman, R J Gutiérrez, R J Irvine, Maria Johansson, Aleksandra Majić, Barry J McMahon, Simon Pooley, Camilla Sandström, Annelie Sjölander-Lindqvist, Ketil Skogen, Jon E Swenson, Arie Trouwborst, Juliette Young, E J Milner-Gulland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Citations (Scopus)
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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2157-2163
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Reviews
Issue number4
Early online date24 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

S. R. is grateful for the King Carl XVI Gustaf guest professorship that allowed him to write this paper. J. D. C. L. was supported by the Research Council of Norway (grant number 251112). A. S.-L. was supported by the Swedish Research Council (grant number 421-2014-1446). A. T. was supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (grant number 452-13-014). We thank L. David Mech and two anonymous referees for helpful suggestions.

Funded by
Research Council of Norway. Grant Number: 251112
Swedish Research Council. Grant Number: 421-2014-1446
Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. Grant Number: 452-13-014


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


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