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.
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