To study human-wildlife encounters, scientists turn to Tik Tok

Read the full story at e360 Digest. The research paper is open access.

Herders on the Tibetan plateau are prone to seeing gray wolves, snow leopards, brown bears, and other wildlife, with the potential for conflict. Historically, it has been difficult to study these encounters, but the rise of smartphones has given researchers a valuable new tool — videos of wildlife taken by the herders themselves.

For a new study led by the Yale School of the Environment, scientists combed through social media videos of wildlife encounters in the Sanjiangyuan region of the Tibetan plateau. Researchers assembled 207 videos from TikTok and other platforms, including 49 videos of gray wolves, 93 of snow leopards, and 65 of brown bears.

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