Human-wildlife conflicts with crocodilians, cetaceans and otters in the tropics and subtropics

Patrick Cook, Joseph E. Hawes, João Vitor Campos-Silva, Carlos A. Peres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


Conservation of freshwater biodiversity and management of human-wildlife conflicts are major conservation challenges globally. Human-wildlife conflict occurs due to attacks on people, depredation of fisheries, damage to fishing equipment and entanglement in nets. Here we review the current literature on conflicts with tropical and subtropical crocodilians, cetaceans and otters in freshwater and brackish habitats. We also present a new multispecies case study of conflicts with four freshwater predators in the Western Amazon: black caiman (Melanosuchus niger), giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), boto (Inia geoffrensis) and tucuxi (Sotalia fluviatilis). Documented conflicts occur with 34 crocodilian, cetacean and otter species. Of the species reviewed in this study, 37.5% had conflicts frequently documented in the literature, with the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) the most studied species. We found conflict severity had a positive relationship with species body mass, and a negative relationship with IUCN Red List status. In the Amazonian case study, we found that the black caiman was ranked as the greatest ‘problem’ followed by the boto, giant otter and tucuxi. There was a significant difference between the responses of local fishers when each of the four species were found entangled in nets. We make recommendations for future research, based on the findings of the review and Amazon case study, including the need to standardise data collection.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12688
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2022


  • Amazon
  • Animal attack
  • Aquatic mammal
  • Carnivore
  • Crocodile
  • Dolphin
  • Fisheries
  • Human-wildlife conflict
  • Otter
  • Predator

Cite this