European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 60, Issue 4, pp 681–689 | Cite as

Trapping in predator management: catching the profile of trap users in Sweden

  • Per Eriksson Ljung
  • Fredrik Widemo
  • Göran Ericsson
Original Paper


Many populations of wildlife, including large- and medium-sized predators are increasing in Europe. Trapping can be one way to reduce negative impacts of predators on human interests, such as game species and threatened species, but there is little knowledge of trap usage and motivation behind it. We used a mail survey in Sweden (n = 3,886 respondents) to compare predator trappers with hunters who used other methods to kill predators, and with other hunters who did not kill predators, in regard to sociodemographics, beliefs, behaviors, and constraints. During 12 months prior to the survey 19 % of respondents had trapped any small- or medium-sized predator, while 15 % of respondents had trapped and 55 % had hunted (without using traps) red fox (Vulpes vulpes), European badger (Meles meles), or corvid birds. Reducing predator numbers was an important reason for hunting predators with traps. Of predator trappers, 97 % had hunted species that were potentially prey of the targeted predators (e.g., roe deer [Capreolus capreolus], hare [Lepus spp.], and grouse), 94 % believed that there were too many red foxes, badgers, or corvids on their main hunting ground, and 64 % believed it to be very important to reduce predator numbers to benefit other game species. We conclude that the use of traps is widespread among Swedish hunters, and that increasing wildlife populations, increased presence of wildlife in urban areas, and management of invasive species calls for effective management actions, of which trapping can be one.


Badger Corvids Game management Hunting Predator control Red fox Trapping 



The research was jointly funded by The Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management and the Faculty of Forest Sciences at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). We thank A. Fischer and two anonymous reviewers for valuable comments and suggestions, and A. Kagervall and S. Ljung for helpful discussions, and useful comments on the manuscript


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Per Eriksson Ljung
    • 1
  • Fredrik Widemo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Göran Ericsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental StudiesSwedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)UmeåSweden
  2. 2.Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife ManagementNyköpingSweden

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