LEAD:Jeremy Bruskotter, Ohio State University
The Large Carnivore Working Group has brought together researchers and stakeholders to produce a multi-dimensional conceptual model that identifies the social and ecological impacts and responses associated with wolves and other large carnivores that compete with human harvest systems, and to create a road map for proposal development. We formed a workshop committee that carefully planned a three-day event in Yellowstone National Park in 2014, with the aim of better understanding how large carnivores and human harvest systems (ranches, farms, and other extractive practices like hunting and fishing) compete, and how to research that competition.
This already-coupled socio-ecological system provides a rich set of information for data acquisition, synthesis, analysis, and modeling yet we identified data on the human-social side as deficient when compared to the ecological side. We developed a macro model structure which eliminated the need to couple social and ecological models, and eliminated the need to define a common currency between the two discipline-based model types. Rather, we identified an integrated ecological model structure that includes an expanded social sciences component with the goal of successful coexistence between human and carnivore/prey populations.