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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Animal owners' appraisal of large carnivore presence and use of interventions to prevent carnivore attacks on domestic animals in Sweden

Eklund, Ann; Flykt, Anders; Frank, Jens; Johansson, Maria


Large carnivores elicit strong emotional reactions, which could influence consensus or social conflicts between persons promoting wildlife conservation and people who suffer from its negative consequences. Interventions to prevent carnivore attacks on domestic animals are intended to promote coexistence between people and carnivores, but could fail to mitigate fear and social conflicts if emotions and perspectives of intervention end users are not given careful consideration. We conducted focus group interviews with animal owners in Sweden and applied a framework of the appraisal theory of emotion to gain a nuanced understanding of their appraisal of intervention use. The analysis identified that appraisals occur at two different levels. The first process related to appraisals of carnivore presence and the second process related to appraisals of intervention use. The interventions can provide an opportunity to facilitate the animal owners' coping with carnivore presence and thereby reduce their experienced anxiety of carnivore attacks. However, if animal owners are presented with interventions which they consider irrelevant, that have implications with which they cannot cope, or that are incongruent with the animal owners' norms, then the promotion of interventions can also generate frustration and negative emotions. As such, interventions have the potential to either mitigate or undermine wildlife-related conflicts. In the wider context, taking the perspective of the individual becomes essential, and animal owners' experiences and appraisals of intervention use must be acknowledged to allow development of social trust and empathetic dialog between stakeholders in the future.


Appraisal theory; Emotion; Large carnivore; Livestock; Conservation; Wildlife conflict

Published in

European Journal of Wildlife Research
2020, Volume: 66, number: 2, article number: 31
Publisher: SPRINGER

    SLU Authors

    • UKÄ Subject classification

      Animal and Dairy Science

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