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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Are birdwatchers willing to participate in local goose management? A case study from Sweden

Eriksson, Louise; Johansson, Maria; Mansson, Johan; Sandstroem, Camilla; Eklund, Ann; Elmberg, Johan


Stakeholder involvement in wildlife management is important and requires knowledge about factors motivating such participation. With several goose populations increasing in Europe and goose management incorporating multiple objectives, involvement of stakeholder groups with diverse interests is needed. In this study, we examined how evaluations of geese (attitude and acceptance capacity), but also experiences of birdwatching and birdwatcher identity, were associated with willingness to participate in local goose management. A survey among members of Sweden's largest birdwatching organization was conducted (n = 5010). The majority of respondents, 64%, displayed a divided evaluation of geese, most frequently in terms of an overall positive attitude towards geese but a low acceptance for current goose population levels (i.e. acceptance capacity). Birdwatchers' willingness to participate in goose management was generally low. Whereas they were more willing to take part in goose counts (i.e. monitoring) than to participate in local goose management groups, they were least willing to contribute to mitigating crop damage through scaring geese. Results further revealed that birdwatchers with a divided evaluation of geese and an entirely positive evaluation displayed the highest willingness to participate in goose management. However, a stronger distinct birdwatcher identity as a result of more birdwatching experiences was even more strongly associated with higher willingness to take part in goose management. The results highlight a need to intensify efforts to engage stakeholder groups with an interest in conservation issues in the participatory goose management system in Europe.


Birdwatchers; Attitudes; Acceptance capacity; Identity; Geese; Goose management

Published in

European Journal of Wildlife Research
2023, Volume: 69, number: 2, article number: 28
Publisher: SPRINGER

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      Fish and Wildlife Management

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