In the last week in May, DICE held a hugely successful two-day conference looking at human-wildlife coexistence. Researchers involved in this complex and ever-topical issue travelled from across the country to attend. They were treated to a series of fascinating talks in the Grimond building. Topics ranged from the unborn future generations of America helping to conserve wildlife by representing the absent majority, to the conflicts arising from unpredictably successful reintroduction projects in England. The first day ended with a poster session, which allowed attendees to share and discuss their research while indulging in the fine food and drink provided.
The second day included brilliantly executed talks from DICE PhD students, Lydia Tiller and Valeria Boron. Their research, on elephants and jaguars utilising human-modified environments, stimulated much in-depth discussion. Attendees were also offered the chance to attend one of two workshops. Freya St John’s workshop looked at methods of resolving difficulties when researching illegal hunting. She introduced Randomised Response Technique – an ingenious method of reliably collecting unbiased data when interviewing the very people involved in the illegal activities! The second, equally absorbing workshop was delivered by Nils Bunnefeld, who introduced theoretical frameworks for tackling tricky conservation conflicts.
The conference provided information and insight that was useful to all researchers of human-wildlife coexistence, and allowed attendees to reflect on their own work and discuss in detail. Congratulations to Freya, Tatyana and Rachel for pulling it off so successfully!
– Lawrence Sampson