Human–Wildlife Interactions and Coexistence in an Urban Desert Environment

Kelli L. Larson, Jose Benito Rosales Chavez, Jeffrey A. Brown, Jorge Morales-Guerrero, Dayanara Avilez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Negative interactions between people and wildlife pose a significant challenge to their coexistence. Past research on human–wildlife interactions has largely focused on conflicts involving carnivores in rural areas. Additional research is needed in urban areas to examine the full array of negative and positive interactions between people and wildlife. In this study, we have conducted interviews in the desert metropolis of Phoenix, Arizona (USA), to explore residents’ everyday interactions with wildlife where they live. Our multifaceted approach examines interactions involving physical contact and observational experiences, as well as associated attitudinal and behavioral responses and actions toward wildlife. Overall, the qualitative analysis of residents’ narratives identified two distinct groups: people who are indifferent toward wildlife where they live, and those who appreciate and steward wildlife. Instead of revealing conflicts and negative interactions toward wildlife, our findings underscore the positive interactions that can foster human wellbeing in urban areas. The holistic approach presented herein can advance knowledge and the management of coexistence, which involves not only managing conflicts but also tolerance, acceptance, and stewardship. Understanding diverse human–wildlife interactions and managing coexistence can advance both wildlife conservation and human wellbeing in cities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3307
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • human–wildlife coexistence
  • nature conservation
  • urban ecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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