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Research article2013Peer reviewedOpen access

Hunting for fear: innovating management of human-wildlife conflicts

Cromsigt, Joris; Kuijper, Dries P.J.; Adam, Marius; Beschta, Robert L.; Churski, Marcin; Eycott, Amy; Kerley, Graham I. H.; Mysterud, Atle; Schmidt, Krysztof; West, Kate


There is a growing theoretical basis for the role of predation risk as a driver of trophic interactions, conceptualized as the ecology of fear'. However, current ungulate management ignores the role of nonlethal risk effects of predation. We introduce the concept of hunting for fear' as an extension of the more classical hunting to kill' that is typically used in large herbivore management. Hunting for fear aims to induce a behavioural response in ungulates, for example, as a way of diverting them from areas where their impact is undesired. Synthesis and applications. Hunting for fear asks for novel, potentially controversial, ways of hunting to induce strong enough risk effects, including more hunting on foot and with dogs, extended hunting seasons (ideally year-round) and increased hunting of calves. Hunting for fear may offer novel opportunities to help manage the growing humanwildlife conflicts that we experience globally.


apex predators; behaviourally mediated trophic cascades; ecology of fear; ecosystem impacts of large herbivores; large carnivores; nonlethal risk effects; predation risk; top-down control; ungulate management

Published in

Journal of Applied Ecology
2013, Volume: 50, number: 3, pages: 544-549

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG15 Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

    Publication identifier


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