Reconsidering the role of the built-environment in human-wildlife interactions.

Published online
15 Nov 2020
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
People and Nature

Serenari, C.

Publication language


The built environment refers to more than the physical environment and can be viewed as a creator and shaper of human and non-human experiences. The definition and meaning of the built environment takes on a different form when analysed using systems thinking, focusing on the movement and balancing of energy and materials. The built environment has substantial influence on human interactions with wildlife, specifically, carnivores. Everyday humancarnivore interactions such as rehabilitation efforts, translocation of organisms, designing captive breeding and recovery efforts, or administering veterinary care take on new meaning with this alternative framing of the build environment. This paper argues that greater attention is required to better understand and consider the role of the built environment and all its infrastructures in producing and shaping interactions between humans and carnivores. The paper unfolds in three stages: a review of empirical efforts to capture the relationship between human-natural-wildlife systems and the built environment; examination of theoretical and practical strategies for advancing research in this arena insights from the built environment and examples from across the globe; and discussion of how the proposed analytical lens can reveal unhelpful habitual human behaviour, feedbacks, and barriers, and explain unintended or unexplained consequences impacting human-carnivore relations.

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