BSU Researcher Studies How Humans Can Coexist With Bears And Wolves

Aug 4, 2016

Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife

A Boise State academic is studying what it takes for humans and large carnivores to live together in the same environment.

Neil Carter is an assistant professor at Boise State. His study tries to figure out how humans can successfully coexist with large carnivores, like bears, wolves and tigers.

He found that humans are already adapting to living with animals, as we encroach on their territory. But he also found that the animals are adapting, too, to changes brought by people.

But he says more needs to be done, both by decision-makers and people on the ground, who interact with the animals every day.

”How are we going to live with mountain lions and wolves, that a lot of us value, how do we do that and how do we make sure that happens in the future?” Carter asks.

He says co-adaptation is the key, with both sides learning how to adapt to each other’s presence.

Carter says Idaho is the perfect place to put coexistence under the microscope as the state grows and people continue to encroach on wild areas.

Carter’s study was published online last month in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

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