Mainstreaming human and large carnivore coexistence through institutional collaboration
Achieving coexistence between large carnivores and humans in human‐dominated landscapes (HDLs) is a key challenge for societies globally. This challenge cannot be adequately met with the current sectoral approaches to HDL governance and an academic community largely dominated by disciplinary sectors. Academia (universities and other research institutions and organizations) should take a more active role in embracing societal challenges around conservation of large carnivores in HDLs by facilitating cross‐sectoral cooperation to mainstream coexistence of humans and large carnivores. Drawing on lessons from populated regions of Europe, Asia, and South America with substantial densities of large carnivores, we suggest academia should better embrace the principles and methods of sustainability sciences and create institutional spaces for the implementation of transdisciplinary curricula and projects; reflect on research approaches (i.e., disciplinary, interdisciplinary, or transdisciplinary) they apply and how their outcomes could aid leveraging institutional transformations for mainstreaming; and engage with various institutions and stakeholder groups to create novel institutional structures that can respond to multiple challenges of HDL management and human–large carnivore coexistence. Success in mainstreaming this coexistence in HDL will rest on the ability to think and act cooperatively. Such a conservation achievement, if realized, stands to have far‐reaching benefits for people and biodiversity.