How many and what type of livestock were killed or injured in the most recent attack by wild animals?
How many hectares of crops were lost in the most recent attack by wild animals?
Wolves predating sheep and wild boar raiding crops may seem a world away, but back in 2015 these questions were included in surveys conducted across households in rural communities living in and around the Zarand Landscape Corridor, which provides a safe passage for wildlife moving between the Western and Southern Carpathian Mountains of Romania.
To build a better understanding of the local perception of wild animals – primarily bears, wolves and wild boar – Fauna & Flora International (FFI) asked livestock owners, shepherds, crop farmers and beekeepers about their experiences of human-wildlife conflict.
Where once these species were able to move uninterrupted across Europe’s landscapes, the spread of human populations and accompanying development have transformed the continent into smaller, fragmented patches of habitat, with large-scale infrastructure, intensified forestry practices and loss of traditional agriculture restricting movement across large areas of former wilderness.
With less high-quality habitat available to them, large animals are forced to head towards human populations in search of food, which can spell disaster for both wildlife and people. Human-wildlife conflict occurs across the world in areas where continued habitat loss is driving large animals capable of causing serious damage closer to communities, and Europe is no different.