Public attitude towards the implementation of management actions aimed at reducing human fear of brown bears and wolves

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Previous research on human fear of large carnivores has mainly been based on self-reports in which individual survey items and the objects of fear are measured, so whether a person fears attacks on humans or livestock and pets has not been identified. The objectives of this study were to differentiate between the objects of fear as well as capturing attitudes towards implementation of management actions and the potential for conflict index (PCI). These concern the implementation of a limited number of management actions currently used or discussed in Sweden that are aimed at reducing human fear of brown bears/wolves. 391 persons living in areas with either brown bear (n = 198) or wolf (n = 193) in Sweden responded to a questionnaire. The degree of self-reported fear varied between residents in brown bear areas and residents in wolf areas. The fear of attacks on livestock and pets was stronger than fear of attacks on humans in both brown bear and wolf areas. In brown bear areas, fear was strongest for livestock, while in wolf areas fear was strongest for pets. The fear of attacks on livestock and pets was significantly stronger in wolf areas, while the fear of attacks on humans was strongest in brown bear areas. In both brown bear and wolf areas, there was little acceptance of implementation of management actions that would allow people to carry pepper spray or a gun outdoors. Management actions aimed at setting a population cap for bear/wolf populations, information on how to act when encountering a bear/wolf, and providing information on local presence of bear/wolf had relatively high acceptability. This was especially true for respondents expressing high fear of attacks on humans.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Vilt- och fiskeförvaltning
Sidor (från-till)122-130
TidskriftWildlife Biology
StatusPublished - 2015
Peer review utfördJa