Wild Mammals in Urbanities: Investigating Human Perceptions of Urban Wildlife

Simon Moesch

Understanding human perceptions towards urban wildlife is essential for the development of management instruments. While some species such as wild boar (Sus scrofa) or red fox (Vulpes vulpes) are associated with damage, fear and disease, humans also seek contact with nature and feed animals like squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) and hedgehogs (Erinaceidae). In my PhD project, I investigate the social side of human-wildlife-interactions in urban areas. With a nationwide survey I aim to gather information on which animals are perceived as positive, neutral and negative and what humans connect with certain speciesby humans. Combined with modelling of human-wildlife-interaction zones and expert interviews with forest and greenspace managers, conservation organisations and hunting associations, my aim is to classify measures in terms of greenspace planning, environmental education and population control, which lead to a less conflictive human-wildlife-coexistence.