“Solutions” for wildlife conservation, cont.

To pirates, add military standoffs in disputed territory:
It seems the very adorable Asiatic black bears of Kashmir are one group that is pleased by all the conflict there. Authorities estimate that their population has gone from 800 in 1990 to 3,000 now. They (and other endangered species in the area, presumably) are benefiting it seems from lingering fear of violence, which stops poachers and hunters, as well as the dearth of hunting rifles after the Indian authorities confiscated them as an attempt to quell the separatist revolt that started twenty years ago.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like this particular “solution” generalizes (not to mention the terrible human costs):
It looks like conflict itself is terrible for wildlife, and happens disproportionately in biodiversity hotspots. One study found that 80 percent of the armed conflicts between 1950-2000 took place in these areas important to maintaining plant and animal diversity. Detrimental effects on population and habitat, such as those suffered by the DRC's gorilla population are well known.

The bright side, looking at the Kashmir bear evidence and the Korean DMZ, seems to be that when conflict pauses, the animals benefit as well as the humans.

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