SNH Commissioned Report 611: Building an evidence base for ...

Oct 23, 2012 - variation in attitudes across conflicts, and build partnerships and constructive media ... ANNEX 2: BLOG SITES AND WEB LINKS CONSULTED.
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Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 611

Building an evidence base for managing species conflicts in Scotland

COMMISSIONED REPORT

Commissioned Report No. 611

Building an evidence base for managing species conflicts in Scotland

For further information on this report please contact: Pete Moore Scottish Natural Heritage Great Glen House INVERNESS IV3 8NW Telephone: 01463 725370 E-mail: [email protected] This report should be quoted as: Milner, J.M. & Redpath, S.M. 2013. Building an evidence base for managing species conflict in Scotland. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 611. This report, or any part of it, should not be reproduced without the permission of Scottish Natural Heritage. This permission will not be withheld unreasonably. The views expressed by the author(s) of this report should not be taken as the views and policies of Scottish Natural Heritage. © Scottish Natural Heritage 2013.

COMMISSIONED REPORT

Summary Building an evidence base for managing species conflicts in Scotland Commissioned Report No.: 611 Project no: 13654 Contractor: Jos M. Milner & Steve M. Redpath Year of publication: 2013 Background Many wildlife species are perceived to have a negative impact on human livelihoods, for example through direct or indirect impacts on livestock, agricultural crops, forestry, game management and fisheries. These species can lead to conflict when parties with different strongly held views clash over their management and when one party tries to assert their interests at the expense of the other. Thus conflicts can arise because one party may seek to control a species which is protected by legislation and of interest to conservation, or because conservation organisations may seek to increase the abundance of a species that is perceived by others to be damaging. Many of these so-called human-wildlife conflicts are between stakeholders with conservation interests and those with other, primarily economic, interests. The conflicts are often damaging, divisive and intractable with impacts on conservation, livelihoods and relationships between organisations and individuals. This report examines species conflicts in Scotland. We restrict ourselves to conflicts involving birds and mammals, and focus on terrestrial / freshwater systems, excluding marine issues. We consider those situations that fulfil the definition above and involve opposing groups of stakeholders. We exclude issues such as deer-vehicle collisions or birdand bat-strike at wind farms that certainly may create wildlife management problems, but do not fall into this definition of conflict. Main findings  Conflicts arise when parties with different, strongly held views clash over species management and when one party tries to assert their interests at the expense of the other.  Species conflicts occur across Scotland and involve a diversity of species and a diversity of sectors and stakeholders. In this report we explored the published material and have spoken with key stakeholders to assess the information, identify mitigation practices and produce guidelines as to what future work needs to be done to help mitigate species conflicts in different regions/habitats.  We divided species conflicts up into those involving piscivores, raptors and protected mammalian predators, geese, badgers, gulls, deer, tick control and population control. In most cases, the stakeholders perceived that the species at the heart of the conflicts caused serious problems. However, these problems were not always evident from the scientific data, in many cases because appropriate studies had not been conducted. The level of evidence varied across conflicts, suggesting that there is a need to develop costeffective ways of long-term monitoring of species and their impact.

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 Stakeholders’ concerns varied between conflicts and depended on their interests. However, there were a number of common threads. Generally there was a lack of trust a