European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 57, Issue 6, pp 1213–1221 | Cite as

Preferences for wildlife management methods among the peri-urban public in Scotland

  • Norman Dandy
  • Stephanie Ballantyne
  • Darren Moseley
  • Robin Gill
  • Andrew Peace
  • Christopher Quine
Original Paper


Wildlife management remains a matter of considerable controversy amongst many stakeholders, particularly where lethal control (culling) is used. Wild deer provide perhaps one of the best examples of such a management ‘problem’, especially where they are encountered in peri-urban environments. Faced with potential controversy, decision-makers in public land management organisations need information which clearly differentiates between generally acceptable management objectives and methods, and less mainstream preferences. We conducted a questionnaire survey aimed at assessing the preferences of community members in peri-urban Scotland for management methods in response to specific problems and analysed the results in relation to three social categories—age, gender and familiarity with wildlife. Active management was broadly accepted. Fencing dominated as the preferred first management response with little variation across social category, or between management problems. Changing human behaviour (e.g. introducing speed limits) was also a highly preferred response by the respondents in this study. In general, the order of preferred management responses stayed the same in relation to different management impacts. Culling (lethal control) had almost no support as a first management response to any problem, although considerably more respondents support it as a third preference. Our results suggest that culling is acceptable as a subsidiary management response in peri-urban areas, but only where other preferred management methods have been tried and failed.


Public Preferences Deer Lethal control Management methods Fencing Scotland 



This research was conducted as part of the ‘Management of roe deer in peri-urban Scotland’ research project (Contract CR/2007/30) funded by the Scottish Government on behalf of the Deer Commission for Scotland. We are grateful to all of those who responded to our questionnaire, and to Ewan Mackie and two anonymous reviewers for comments on earlier drafts.

Ethical standards

All research reported in this paper was conducted in full compliance with the law of the UK and to the standards stated in our institution’s Statement of Research Ethics (available at


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Copyright information

© © Crown copyright 2011. Published with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office and Forest Research  2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman Dandy
    • 1
  • Stephanie Ballantyne
    • 1
  • Darren Moseley
    • 1
  • Robin Gill
    • 1
  • Andrew Peace
    • 1
  • Christopher Quine
    • 1
  1. 1.Forest ResearchCentre for Human and Ecological SciencesFarnhamUK

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