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Diversity 2015, 7(3), 318-341; doi:10.3390/d7030318

The Nature of the Nuisance—Damage or Threat—Determines How Perceived Monetary Costs and Cultural Benefits Influence Farmer Tolerance of Wildlife

1
School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
2
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Downsview, ON M3N 1S4, Canada
3
Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Division, Kentville, NS B4N 4E5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michael Wink
Received: 1 May 2015 / Accepted: 11 August 2015 / Published: 25 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Biodiversity in Agricultural Landscapes)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1125 KB, uploaded 25 August 2015]   |  

Abstract

Biodiversity-friendly farming is a growing area of discussion among farmers, as well as in government departments and non-government organizations interested in conservation on private land. Those seeking to encourage biodiversity on farms must understand the production challenges presented by wildlife. Such species destroy agricultural commodities or present threats to family, pets, or infrastructure. A survey of farmers in the Canadian Maritime provinces sought to understand the drivers of tolerance. Our results demonstrated that estimated monetary losses from a species were largely unrelated to the perceived acceptability of those losses. Rather, the type of nuisance—damage to crops/property or threat to the safety of people, pets, or livestock—determined whether a loss would be perceived as acceptable and if that acceptability would influence tolerance. For damaging species, the perception of cultural benefits seemed able to convert high estimated economic losses to acceptable ones, for overall tolerance. For threatening species, however, minor perceived financial losses seemed augmented by low perceived benefits and made unacceptable, leading to intolerance. Female, older, and part-time farmers were most likely to identify threatening species as a nuisance. The use of an elicitation-based survey design provided novel insight as a result of the lack of prompts, but also presented analytical challenges that weakened predictive power. Recommendations are given for further research and management. View Full-Text
Keywords: wildlife acceptance capacity; cultural carrying capacity; farm biodiversity; agroecosystem; cultural ecosystem services; human dimensions; human-wildlife interaction wildlife acceptance capacity; cultural carrying capacity; farm biodiversity; agroecosystem; cultural ecosystem services; human dimensions; human-wildlife interaction
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Goodale, K.; Parsons, G.J.; Sherren, K. The Nature of the Nuisance—Damage or Threat—Determines How Perceived Monetary Costs and Cultural Benefits Influence Farmer Tolerance of Wildlife. Diversity 2015, 7, 318-341.

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