Skip to main content
SLU:s publikationsdatabas (SLUpub)

Översiktsartikel2021Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Effects of Human Disturbance on Terrestrial Apex Predators

Ordiz, Andres; Aronsson, Malin; Persson, Jens; Stoen, Ole-Gunnar; Swenson, Jon E.; Kindberg, Jonas


The effects of human disturbance spread over virtually all ecosystems and ecological communities on Earth. In this review, we focus on the effects of human disturbance on terrestrial apex predators. We summarize their ecological role in nature and how they respond to different sources of human disturbance. Apex predators control their prey and smaller predators numerically and via behavioral changes to avoid predation risk, which in turn can affect lower trophic levels. Crucially, reducing population numbers and triggering behavioral responses are also the effects that human disturbance causes to apex predators, which may in turn influence their ecological role. Some populations continue to be at the brink of extinction, but others are partially recovering former ranges, via natural recolonization and through reintroductions. Carnivore recovery is both good news for conservation and a challenge for management, particularly when recovery occurs in human-dominated landscapes. Therefore, we conclude by discussing several management considerations that, adapted to local contexts, may favor the recovery of apex predator populations and their ecological functions in nature.


carnivore recovery; ecological function; human disturbance; human-dominated landscapes; large carnivores; Northern hemisphere

Publicerad i

2021, Volym: 13, nummer: 2, artikelnummer: 68
Utgivare: MDPI