Our September 2020 issue features a special section on people and wildlife, exploring interactions between humans and crocodiles, elephants, lions & leopards. Our Briefly section also highlights news on human–wildlife interactions. This issue’s Editorial by our Editor Martin Fisher explores the reasons behind Oryx’s flip to open access—a momentous milestone in the journal’s history.

Find out more about this issue’s contents, including our Editor’s picks, below.

In the warm summer months, American alligators travel overland to natural and artificial waterways including small lakes, canals, and golf course ponds. Brevard County, Florida, USA. Photos: Frank Robb. Learn more in Powell et al.’s blog post here.

People and wildlife

  • Costs of coexistence: understanding the drivers of tolerance towards Asian elephants Elephas maximus in rural Bangladesh – Saif et al.
  • Human–elephant interactions in areas surrounding the Rungwa, Kizigo, and Muhesi Game Reserves, central Tanzania – Hariohay et al. (see blog post here)
  • Beyond conflict: exploring the spectrum of human–wildlife interactions and their underlying mechanisms – Bhatia et al.
  • Synthesizing Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus attack data and historical context to inform mitigation efforts in South Africa and eSwatini (Swaziland) – Pooley et al. (see blog post here)
  • Using environmental niche modelling to investigate abiotic predictors of crocodilian attacks on people – Powell et al. (see blog post here)
  • Environmental predictors of livestock predation: a lion’s tale – Robertson et al. (see blog post here)
  • Big cat in well: an unconventional threat to leopards in southern India – Gubbi et al.
  • A socio-ecological landscape analysis of human–wildlife conflict in northern Botswana – Dunnink et al.
  • Determining the risk of predator attacks around protected areas: the case of Bardia National Park, Nepal – Upadhyaya et al.
  • People and jaguars: new insights into the role of social factors in an old conflict – Caruso et al. (see blog post here)

Behind the cover

People and wildlife are increasingly having to share space and resources, and habitat degradation and fragmentation have heightened the importance of understanding people’s tolerance of wildlife. In rural Bangladesh, contrary to expectations, monetary costs do not significantly shape people’s tolerance of Asian elephants, despite major impacts on livelihoods. Rather, intangible costs and benefits determine tolerance. The socio-economic and bio-cultural dynamics of communities explain these results, and a wildlife tolerance model of this system could be used to incorporate these complexities into conservation decision-making. For further details, see here. (Photograph © Demamiel62/Shutterstock)

Editorial – Democratizing knowledge for conservation: Oryx becomes open access by Martin Fisher

‘In these turbulent times, with the increasing importance of biodiversity conservation thrown into relief by the spill-over of the COVID-19 virus from natural hosts to people, with future spill-overs expected as deforestation and wildlife trade bring more wild species into contact with people and livestock, and with daily assaults on truth in science and other fields of endeavour, the peer-reviewed scientific literature has never been more vital. As it has done for well over a century, Oryx will continue to support conservation practitioners and researchers to communicate their work. But from January 2021 this will be with a difference: the work of the journal’s authors to secure the future of biodiversity and the environment will be accessible to all readers.’

Editor’s picks

  • Release site selection: reintroductions and the habitat concept – Stadtmann & Seddon
  • Effectiveness of unmanned aerial vehicles to detect Amazon dolphins – Oliveira-da-Costa et al. (see blog post here)
  • Predicted distribution and habitat loss for the Endangered black-faced black spider monkey Ateles chamek in the Amazon – Rabelo et al.
  • Using questionnaire surveys and occupancy modelling to identify conservation priorities for the Critically Endangered Balkan lynx Lynx lynx balcanicusMelovski et al.

A drone over a dolphin group in the Mamirauá Reserve. Photo: Mauro Pimentel/AFP.
Learn more in Oliveria-da-Costa et al.’s blog post here.

Conservation News

  • Community-led management lays the foundation for coral reef recovery in Cambodian marine protected areas – Glue et al.
  • Conservation Leadership Programme 2020 Team Awards announced – Tointon
  • Decline of whale shark deaths documented by citizen scientist network along the Venezuelan Caribbean coast – Sánchez et al.
  • Rediscovery of Rhododendron adenosum in south-west China – Yao et al.
  • Natural remedies for COVID-19 as a driver of the illegal wildlife trade – Svolkinas et al.


Grants & opportunities

Emma joined the Oryx team in 2018, having previously completed a BSc in Geography at the University of Sussex and an MSc in Conservation Science at Imperial College London. She has a keen interest in marine conservation and has experience working on sea turtle, coral reef, and tropical fish monitoring projects. Her previous research includes an ethological study on the impact of human enrichment on the welfare of captive giant Pacific octopus, and an investigation into the barriers to increased conservation involvement in European zoos.