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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Modelling stakeholder satisfaction for conflict resolution in wildlife management: a case of wolf population in Sweden

Lin, Huayi; Zebrowski, Piotr; Fath, Brian D.; Liljenstrom, Hans; Rovenskaya, Elena


The Swedish wolf population has rebounded from near extinction in the 1960s to around 365 individuals in 2020, after the implementation of the Hunting Act (jaktlagen) in 1966. This recent increase in the wolf population has evoked a serious divide between "pro-wolf" and "anti-wolf" Swedish citizens. Despite the continuous efforts by the Swedish government to reconcile this antagonism, the conflicts are persistent with a sign of impasse. In this paper, we present a modelling tool, which can bring transparent and "structured dialogue to the opposing positions." This approach includes a stylized framework for quantitative modelling of stakeholders' satisfaction levels regarding their preferred size of the wildlife population in question, based on the concept of satisfaction functions. We argue that this framework may contribute to conflict resolution by bringing a common understanding among stakeholders, facilitate a societal discourse, and potentially help to assess likely support for conservation policies. We present a showcase application of this modeling tool in the context of the conflict over the Swedish wolf conservation policies. The model is informed using a thorough literature review as well as interviews, which identified relevant stakeholder groups and respective drivers of their attitudes towards wolves.


Conflict resolution; Conservation; Modelling; Population biology; Satisfaction levels; Wolves; Stakeholders; Wildlife management

Published in

European Journal of Wildlife Research
2021, Volume: 67, number: 4, article number: 61
Publisher: SPRINGER