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Browsing by Subject "Canis lupus"

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  • Heikkilä, Sofi (2020)
    Conservation actions towards large carnivores have been successful in Europe, and the formerly lawfully persecuted species have started to reclaim their historical range. Coexistence with the predators is needed if their conservation should continue to succeed, as Europe does not host wilderness areas large enough to separate large carnivores from humans. As the importance of top-down regulation in ecosystems is recognized, the protection of these predators becomes essential. In Finland, all four large carnivore species, brown bear, grey wolf, Eurasian lynx and wolverine, have established populations, though their presence is not easily accepted by some. Large carnivores pose a threat to livestock and cause fear in the locals living in their territories. Wolf – hunting dog conflict is especially prominent in Finland south of reindeer husbandry area and the poaching of wolves hinders the population’s management. Attitudes towards large carnivores are often influenced by personal background, such as education level, ecological knowledge and respondent’s position in possible human – wildlife conflict. Residence can have an effect, as well, since conditions between living in urban or rural areas often differ. Hypothesis for this study are 1) attitudes towards large carnivores get worse while getting closer to protected areas, 2) attitudes towards large carnivores differ between eastern and western study areas, and 3) a higher education level increases positive attitudes towards large carnivores. The effect of ecological knowledge, prior experiences with large carnivores, age, sex and position in conflict was also explored. Study was conducted as a questionnaire, with face-to-face interviews and web survey distribution targeting two areas in Finland with large carnivore occupancy, one in the West and one in the East. A link between negatively perceived personal experiences and negative opinions towards large carnivores and their management was found. Living in the western area, where large carnivores have resided for a shorter time, predicted attitudes towards stricter management of the species. Third level education influenced attitudes positively. By understanding local attitudes towards large carnivores, it is possible to better understand the conflict between humans and predators, and so, find more likely solutions. Conservation actions where locals have been included, have been documented as successes. Regional differences in attitudes should be further studied and included in future decision making.
  • Retez, Gabriele (2021)
    After drastic declines in large carnivores’ populations globally, conservation efforts have been successful, and predators’ populations are in recovery. However, their comeback has led to new interactions with locals, generating different conflicts. Two main approaches have been considered to mitigate these conflicts, those being the land sparing and land sharing models, however, the land sparing model requires great extents of protected areas, areas that in Europe are missing, therefore forcing a call for the land sharing model. In Finland, this approach has generated debates among different stakeholders, the outcomes of this debate shaping the fate for the four species: brown bear (Ursus arctos), grey wolf (Canis lupus), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) and wolverine (Gulo gulo). Attitudes towards those species can be used to explore the drivers of the conflicts, however, only few studies have explored this context, considering the ecological and social dimension separately. In addition, the ecotourism industry has been recently recognized as a new stakeholder in the Finnish large carnivore’s context, but the effects of its activities were assessed only ecologically. Therefore, with this study I aimed to explore the attitudes of locals from a specific region of Finland towards the four large carnivores’ species, and to assess the different drivers of those species, through a combination of field questionnaires, social variables and large carnivores’ population data. I explored potential correlates of the differences in attitudes, adding also the spatial effect of ecotourism over the socio-ecological factors. I predicted attitudes to vary among species, having on one side the brown bear with positive attitudes, in contrast the wolf with negative attitudes, while neutral attitudes towards the lynx and wolverine. I also expected to find more negative attitudes in smaller localities rather than in localities with a greater human population density. Also, I explored whether the ecotourism activities have a positive or negative effect over the locals’ attitude towards carnivores, expecting the ecotourism industry to bring positive attitudes in nearby localities. As result, attitudes towards the four different species varied significantly, the attitudes towards each different species having different drivers, with the human population size being important for wolverines and wolves, while the status for bear and lynx populations. The ecotourism had an effect only on bear attitudes, being positively correlated (closer the ecotourism activities were, more positive the attitudes are). To mitigate the large carnivores-human conflict in Finland, a community approach is not the solution, since the different origins of the attitudes ‘drivers. However, the attitudes among species are positively correlated, consequently, by ameliorate the attitudes towards one species, also the others will benefit. Finally, by inducing a proper management within the ecotourism industry and promoting more the respective activity on a national level, the ecotourism can have a positive impact and get a positive role in the Finnish conflict.