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Swedes accept protective hunting - but only of certain species

Research at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that Swedes generally accept protective hunting as a means of saving threatened species. But only as long as crows, minks and gulls are killed and not foxes or raptors.

The study conducted at the Department of Zoology, University of Gothenburg, shows how Swedes feel about protective hunting of animals that may cause various problems. The results of the study, based on a survey mailed to 3000 representative Swedes, of which 1751 responded, point to an interesting paradox: the support for general control of wild animals in Sweden is low - while there is rather strong support for hunting aimed to protect threatened species.

Specific reasons
The strongest support for human control of animal populations was found in cases where there are specific reasons for the control, for example when animals pose a risk to traffic or to threatened species. Yet, the support varied depending on species, being the lowest for raptors and foxes and the highest for minks, crows and gulls.
Support for limiting wolves
The support for control of wild animals is generally lower in urban areas and among younger people.

According to the study, around 30 percent of all Swedes want to limit the distribution and number of wolves to a very large or fairly large extent - which is similar to how they feel about control of minks, crows and gulls. The support for a limitation decreases with age and is lower among people residing in urban areas.

Information important
The researchers behind the study stress the importance of understanding public attitudes in order to implement successful wildlife management measures.

'The results suggest that information on the reasons for protective hunting is very important, as is clear information on which species are involved. This pertains especially to protective hunting in urban regions,' says Daniel Isaksson, PhD, Department of Zoology, University of Gothenburg.

Daniel Isaksson, PhD, Department of Zoology, University of Gothenburg
+46 (0)735 76 12 32

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:

Further reports about: Zoology crows gulls minks protective hunting urban areas wild animals

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