Based on conflict over a bird-feeder.
My wife and I had an argument a few years back. Not a big one but one large enough to cause death in the local wildlife.
I hated being vindicated in this way but yesterday I heard the bump on the glass door while sensing the dark shape of a passing sparrow hawk. Yes, I hear you say, you shouldn’t have glass, it causes 250 million bird deaths a year and yes, hawks have to feed.
But these are not the points for discussion here.
It’s all about conflict.
I’ll make it brief and then leave my point hanging.
Rather like where to hang the feeder: I wanted it set close to the house, tucked within the right hand corner of two walls where no hawk could get near the feast of blue, great, willow, and coal tits.
She wanted it away from the house so that we wouldn’t attract rats to the other feast of nut shells under the feeder.
She won. The tits lost. The hawk won. I lost. Rats always win.
But the nub is this.
This wasn’t a wildlife:wildlife conflict between predator and prey, it wasn’t even a human:wildlife conflict over humans, raptors or rats (or a true one when lions eat humans).
The clue as to the answer is in the opening sentence.
There is plenty of conflict within wildlife conservation today. This social science paper, ‘Tilting at Wildlife’, provides further reading on human:human conflict over different interests – full 4 page pdf here and I’ve written more on this unpalatable issue here.
[A previous version of this first posted Jan 2015]