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Acceptability and consensus for the management of game and non-game crop raiders

Acceptability and consensus for the management of game and non-game crop raiders

Wildlife Research 47(4): 296-308

ISSN/ISBN: 1035-3712

Context. Wild boars (Sus scrofa) and European badgers (Meles meles) have been increasingly implicated in crop damage in Greece. The species' increasing presence on agricultural land has also raised concern about disease transmission to livestock and humans. Greece does not have any plans for the management of these situations, because they have only recently emerged. Understanding public preferences for management strategies is necessary for the successful implementation of management plans. Aims. To survey residents of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, north-eastern Greece, to understand variation between stakeholder groups in preferences for the management of wild boars and European badgers in different scenarios. Methods. Data were collected from on-site face-to-face surveys (n = 585), between September and November 2017. Respondents, assigned to one of general public, farmers, hunters and farmer-hunter groups, were asked to rate their acceptability of wild boar and European badger management strategies under four conflict scenarios: wild boars and European badgers raid crops and transfer disease. Key results. Stakeholders preferred less invasive strategies for the management of crop raiders, although they accepted lethal control in the more severe disease-transmission scenarios. Potential for conflict was higher for non-lethal control in the crop-raiding scenarios and for lethal control in the disease-transmission scenarios. Farmers and farmer-hunters were the groups more strongly supporting management strategies in all scenarios. Hunters were more reluctant to accept the reduction in numbers of a game species (i.e. the wild boar) than of a non-game species (i.e. the European badger). Conclusions. Variation in the acceptability of and consensus for wild boar and European badger management strategies was considerable, both among and within groups.

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Accession: 071046114

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