Stories of backyard bears and cat-eating coyotes are becoming increasingly common—even for people living in non-rural areas. Farmers anxious to protect their sheep from wolves aren’t the only ones concerned: suburbanites and city dwellers are also having more unwanted run-ins with mammalian predators.
As carnivore populations increase, however, their proximity to people, pets, and livestock leads to more conflict, and we are once again left to negotiate the uneasy terrain between elimination and conservation. John Shivik, author of “The Predator Paradox: Ending the War with Wolves, Bears, Cougars and Coyotes,” says that we can end the war while still preserving and protecting these key species as fundamental components of healthy ecosystems. By reducing almost sole reliance on broad scale “death from above” tactics and by incorporating nonlethal approaches to managing wildlife—from electrified flagging to motion-sensor lights—we can dismantle the paradox, have both people and predators on the landscape, and ensure the long-term survival of both.