Using Landscape Change Analysis and Stakeholder Perspective to Identify Driving Forces of Human–Wildlife Interactions | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
February 2021
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© 2021 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

Human–wildlife interactions (HWI) were frequent in the post-socialist period in the mountain range of Central European countries where forest habitats suffered transitions into built-up areas. Such is the case of the Upper Prahova Valley from Romania. In our study, we hypothesized that the increasing number of HWI after 1990 could be a potential consequence of woodland loss. The goal of our study was to analyse the effects of landscape changes on HWI. The study consists of the next steps: (i) applying 450 questionnaires to local stakeholders (both citizens and tourists) in order to collect data regarding HWI temporal occurrences and potential triggering factors; (ii) investigating the relation between the two variables through the Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA); (iii) modelling the landscape spatial changes between 1990 and 2018 for identifying areas with forest loss; (iv) overlapping the distribution of both the households affected by HWI and areas with loss of forested ecosystems. The local stakeholders indicate that the problematic species are the brown bear (Ursus arctos), the wild boar (Sus scrofa), the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the grey wolf (Canis lupus). The number of animal–human interactions recorded an upward trend between 1990 and 2018, and the most significant driving factors were the regulation of hunting practices, the loss of habitats, and artificial feeding. The landscape change analysis reveals that between 1990 and 2018, the forest habitats were replaced by built-up areas primarily on the outskirts of settlements, these areas coinciding with frequent HWI. The results are valid for both forest ecosystems conservation in the region, wildlife management, and human infrastructures durable spatial planning.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Mustățea, Mihai
Pătru-Stupariu, Ileana


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