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Geo-spatial aspects of acceptance of illegal hunting of large carnivores in Scandinavia.

Gangaas KE, Kaltenborn BP, Andreassen HP - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: Our results show how certain social values are associated with acceptance of poaching, and how these values differ geographically independent of carnivore abundance.We found the highest acceptance of illegal hunting in rural areas with free-ranging sheep and strong hunting traditions.Our results show that spatially-stratified surveys are required to reveal the large scale patterns in social dynamics of human-wildlife conflicts.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Hedmark University College, Faculty of Applied Ecology and Agricultural Sciences, Campus Evenstad, Koppang, Norway. kristin.gangas@hihm.no

ABSTRACT
Human-carnivore conflicts are complex and are influenced by: the spatial distribution of the conflict species; the organisation and intensity of management measures such as zoning; historical experience with wildlife; land use patterns; and local cultural traditions. We have used a geographically stratified sampling of social values and attitudes to provide a novel perspective to the human - wildlife conflict. We have focused on acceptance by and disagreements between residents (measured as Potential Conflict Index; PCI) towards illegal hunting of four species of large carnivores (bear, lynx, wolf, wolverine). The study is based on surveys of residents in every municipality in Sweden and Norway who were asked their opinion on illegal hunting. Our results show how certain social values are associated with acceptance of poaching, and how these values differ geographically independent of carnivore abundance. Our approach differs from traditional survey designs, which are often biased towards urban areas. Although these traditional designs intend to be representative of a region (i.e. a random sample from a country), they tend to receive relatively few respondents from rural areas that experience the majority of conflict with carnivores. Acceptance of poaching differed significantly between Norway (12.7-15.7% of respondents) and Sweden (3.3-4.1% of respondents). We found the highest acceptance of illegal hunting in rural areas with free-ranging sheep and strong hunting traditions. Disagreements between residents (as measured by PCI) were highest in areas with intermediate population density. There was no correlation between carnivore density and either acceptance of illegal hunting or PCI. A strong positive correlation between acceptance of illegal hunting and PCI showed that areas with high acceptance of illegal hunting are areas with high potential conflict between people. Our results show that spatially-stratified surveys are required to reveal the large scale patterns in social dynamics of human-wildlife conflicts.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

The correlation between acceptance for poaching and traditions for big game hunting (upper panel), and between the potential conflict index (PCI2) and human density (log transformed; lower panel) at county level.
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pone-0068849-g002: The correlation between acceptance for poaching and traditions for big game hunting (upper panel), and between the potential conflict index (PCI2) and human density (log transformed; lower panel) at county level.

Mentions: As carnivore densities are estimated at the county level we also made a model with average acceptance at each county as response, but without the individual characteristics. The final selected model showed higher acceptance of illegal hunting in Norway than in Sweden (F1,115 = 63.98, p<0.001), and a positive correlation between acceptance of illegal hunting and the prevalence of big game hunting (F1,115 = 32.49, p<0.001; Fig. 2).


Geo-spatial aspects of acceptance of illegal hunting of large carnivores in Scandinavia.

Gangaas KE, Kaltenborn BP, Andreassen HP - PLoS ONE (2013)

The correlation between acceptance for poaching and traditions for big game hunting (upper panel), and between the potential conflict index (PCI2) and human density (log transformed; lower panel) at county level.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3722212&req=5

pone-0068849-g002: The correlation between acceptance for poaching and traditions for big game hunting (upper panel), and between the potential conflict index (PCI2) and human density (log transformed; lower panel) at county level.
Mentions: As carnivore densities are estimated at the county level we also made a model with average acceptance at each county as response, but without the individual characteristics. The final selected model showed higher acceptance of illegal hunting in Norway than in Sweden (F1,115 = 63.98, p<0.001), and a positive correlation between acceptance of illegal hunting and the prevalence of big game hunting (F1,115 = 32.49, p<0.001; Fig. 2).

Bottom Line: Our results show how certain social values are associated with acceptance of poaching, and how these values differ geographically independent of carnivore abundance.We found the highest acceptance of illegal hunting in rural areas with free-ranging sheep and strong hunting traditions.Our results show that spatially-stratified surveys are required to reveal the large scale patterns in social dynamics of human-wildlife conflicts.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Hedmark University College, Faculty of Applied Ecology and Agricultural Sciences, Campus Evenstad, Koppang, Norway. kristin.gangas@hihm.no

ABSTRACT
Human-carnivore conflicts are complex and are influenced by: the spatial distribution of the conflict species; the organisation and intensity of management measures such as zoning; historical experience with wildlife; land use patterns; and local cultural traditions. We have used a geographically stratified sampling of social values and attitudes to provide a novel perspective to the human - wildlife conflict. We have focused on acceptance by and disagreements between residents (measured as Potential Conflict Index; PCI) towards illegal hunting of four species of large carnivores (bear, lynx, wolf, wolverine). The study is based on surveys of residents in every municipality in Sweden and Norway who were asked their opinion on illegal hunting. Our results show how certain social values are associated with acceptance of poaching, and how these values differ geographically independent of carnivore abundance. Our approach differs from traditional survey designs, which are often biased towards urban areas. Although these traditional designs intend to be representative of a region (i.e. a random sample from a country), they tend to receive relatively few respondents from rural areas that experience the majority of conflict with carnivores. Acceptance of poaching differed significantly between Norway (12.7-15.7% of respondents) and Sweden (3.3-4.1% of respondents). We found the highest acceptance of illegal hunting in rural areas with free-ranging sheep and strong hunting traditions. Disagreements between residents (as measured by PCI) were highest in areas with intermediate population density. There was no correlation between carnivore density and either acceptance of illegal hunting or PCI. A strong positive correlation between acceptance of illegal hunting and PCI showed that areas with high acceptance of illegal hunting are areas with high potential conflict between people. Our results show that spatially-stratified surveys are required to reveal the large scale patterns in social dynamics of human-wildlife conflicts.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus