Carnivores are major components of ecosystems that regulate herbivore populations and beyond to ensure ecological balance. In Africa, the large carnivores of the three families: Felidae (lion, leopard, and cheetah), Hyenidae (spotted, striped and brown hyenas) and Canidae (wild dogs) are facing great conservation challenges resulting from negative impacts of their interactions with people. Similarly, the medium- to small-sized carnivores are to some degree facing the same challenges. Larger predators also play important role in the reconstruction of the Past in terms of site formation, bone accumulation and modification and in the interpretation of intra- and inter-specific competitions, especially with prehistoric human groups
The aim of the program will be to intensify the synergies between eco-ethology, zooarchaeology, paleontology and paleoecology to aid in understanding and resolving issues surrounding human-carnivore interactions over time and space, and better understand the ecology of predators and their role and effects both in the past, fossil communities, and in the modern time within specific ecosystems