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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Believed effect - A prerequisite but not a guarantee for acceptance of carnivore management interventions

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


Conflicts over wildlife and their potential impacts on human practices and livelihoods are widespread. Large carnivore predation on livestock often becomes a contested topic which has led to global declines in carnivore numbers over centuries. To minimise impacts of carnivores on human livelihoods and allow conservation, various interventions are used to prevent attacks. However, these interventions can only be effective if they are used and implemented. According to the Technology Acceptance Model, end user acceptance depends on perceived usefulness and ease of use. This study investigates the former as believed effect through a modified version of the Potential for Conflict Index. Using a web-based questionnaire we assess acceptance levels and believed effect of interventions intended to prevent carnivore predation on livestock, dogs, and reindeer among animal owners/keepers and members of the public in Sweden. The analysis shows that believed effect is a prerequisite for acceptance of an intervention, but not a guarantee. Interventions promoted by authorities are in some cases highly acceptable to users and the public, but in other cases believed contra-productive and are opposed by the end users. Active promotion of the latter may undermine mitigation efforts. Carnivore removal is generally more acceptable to animal owners than to members of the public. The results are useful to minimise conflicts within carnivore management and increase transparency and success of conservation. The results are discussed in relation to how similar questions may be approached in other systems using combined measures of believed effect, accept-intention, and the Potential for Conflict Index.


Large carnivore; Predation; Conflict mitigation; Human perceptions; Potential for conflict index; Wildlife conflict

Published in

Biological Conservation
2020, Volume: 241, article number: 108251