Large carnivores are key foci for conservationists, tour operators and hunters alike. They provide revenue-generating opportunities,but also can be keystone species in conservation areas, influencing the maintenance of biological diversity. They often degrade livelihoods of people when coming into conflict with livestock land-uses. We acknowledge these challenges specifically for cases where large carnivores are present in small areas and propose an alternative strategy to the traditional carrying capacity approaches, directed at managing the effects of large carnivores.We advocate an approach where managers of small areas mimic natural social dynamics such as coalition tenure, density dependent changes in litter size, age at first birth and birth intervals, as well as subadult dispersal. This assists with achievement of population and evolutionary targets through a process-based approach mimicking drivers of variance in social groups. Such an applied conservation husbandry approach may have robust outcomes that do not compromise conservation values.