• African wild dog;
  • cheetah;
  • human impact;
  • leopard;
  • lion


  1. Large carnivores are a critical component of Africa's biodiversity, and their conservation requires a clear understanding of interactions between large carnivores and people.
  2. By reviewing existing literature, we identify 14 key factors that influence large African carnivore conservation, including ecological (biodiversity conservation, interspecific competition, ranging behaviour, ecological resilience, prey availability, livestock predation, disease and population viability), socio-economic (people's attitudes and behaviours and human costs and benefits of coexistence with large carnivores) and political (conservation policy development and implementation, conservation strategies and land use zoning) factors.
  3. We present these key factors in a model illustrating the levels of impact on large African carnivore conservation.
  4. We identify the key principle that underpins each factor and its implications for both large carnivore conservation and human–carnivore conflict.
  5. We provide a synthesis of the key factors and related principles in large African carnivore conservation and highlight the importance of the site-specific and species-specific context in conservation policy and implementation, formulated through an interdisciplinary and adaptive approach.