An Evaluation of Information Meetings as a Tool for Addressing Fear of Large Carnivores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Managing authorities in Scandinavia arrange public information meetings when members of the public express fear because wolves or brown bears approach human settlements. This study aimed to increase the understanding of the potential effect of information meetings on self-reported fear of wolves and brown bears. In total, 198 participants completed questionnaires before and after the information meetings. Nine follow-up interviews were held 1 year later. The quantitative analyses revealed that participants who found the information credible reported a significant increase in social trust and a decrease in vulnerability and fear. The qualitative analyses pointed to the importance of information content and meta-communication, for example, nonverbal cues. It is proposed that, among participants who find the information credible, information meetings may change the appraisal of wolves and brown bears, and therefore they might prove useful as an intervention to address fear of these animals.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences
  • Mid Sweden University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Fish and Wildlife Management

Keywords

  • Brown bears, fear, information, interventions, wolves
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-298
Number of pages18
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Volume30
Issue number3
Early online date2016 Nov 8
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 4
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes