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Preventing and Mitigating Human-Great Ape Conflict

Guidelines on the prevention and mitigation of conflict between humans and great apes were the fourth publication in the series of Best Practices for great ape conservation. Written by Drs. Kimberley Hockings and Tatyana Humle, these guidelines focus on an increasingly troublesome issue: the intensifying interactions between humans and great apes, which often flare into conflicts over immediate resources such as food and water. All too often, the ultimate cause of these conflicts is the inexorable expanse of human settlements into the great apes’ remaining forest habitat. With the majority of great apes surviving outside of parks and other protected areas, careful strategies are necessary to avoid conflicts whenever possible, or else to minimize their impact to all involved.

This publication was designed to help researchers and wildlife managers understand the causes of human-great ape conflict, and find equitable ways to resolve it. The authors offer guidance for dealing with two particular aspects of human-great ape interaction – their conflicts over resources, and attacks by great apes on humans. The document provides researchers and wildlife managers with a framework in which to understand such conflicts, as well as a range of options and potential countermeasures to employ. These guidelines are intended not as a simple list of problems and solutions, but as an integrated conceptual structure which has been designed to help wildlife managers address the needs of both great apes and humans wherever they interact.

Citation: Hockings, K. and Humle, T. 2009. Best Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Mitigation of Conflict Between Humans and Great Apes. IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.

Best Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Mitigation of Conflict Between Humans and Great Apes