Governing wildlife commons

Wild boars, wolves, and red kites

Authored by: Christian Schleyer , Nina Hagemann , Katharina Rauchenecker

Routledge Handbook of the Study of the Commons

Print publication date:  January  2019
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138060906
eBook ISBN: 9781315162782
Adobe ISBN:


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Wildlife can be analyzed as part of a social-ecological system (SES), where forests and agricultural lands constitute the primary natural resource systems and various forms of wildlife are the resource units. Excluding someone from using or appropriating wildlife is often difficult or induces high transaction costs. At the same time, wildlife has the characteristic of being rival in consumption and can, therefore, be characterized as a common pool resource. Wildlife are important for humans, providing food, conserving biodiversity, and supporting various forms of recreation. Human–wildlife conflicts can arise when some actors benefit from wildlife (e.g., through hunting wild boars) while others bear the costs (e.g., wild boar trampling on arable land) (Milner et al. 2014). Such human–wildlife conflicts may range from actually endangering lives to concerns over wildlife entering urban areas and making residents unfamiliar with such wildlife feel uneasy or insecure. Diffuse anxieties are linked to wildlife as well; an example is the ‘reappearance’ of wolves in Western Europe (Thiel et al. 2012; Vitali 2014).

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