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Institutional collapse, not guns and bombs, is most-cited cause of wildlife declines from war
The other 14 pathways affected wildlife indirectly, creating circumstances that enabled easier or more profitable wildlife killing, habitat destruction or conservation. The most common pathway linking armed conflict to wildlife declines was weakened institutional enforcement, cited in approximately half of the case studies. Biological research is typically deprioritized in conflict areas, given threats to personal safety and lack of financial and institutional support. Opportunities exist to reduce the negative impacts of war on wildlife by strengthening institutions that manage the environment before and during conflict.
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