Landowners’ wildlife value orientations, attitudes and behaviour in relation to game management practices
Landowners are shaping the landscape, sometimes through wildlife management for hunting purposes; however, no studies have looked at the connection between how landowners view wildlife (their wildlife value orientations—WVO) and, respectively, their attitudes to and stated game management practices potentially affecting the landscape. This study, using a nationally representative data set of landowners in Denmark, makes this connection. Using a utilitarian-pluralist-mutualist-distanced orientation scale, most Danish landowners (especially full-time farmers) were utilitarian followed by pluralist. Utilitarian and pluralist were generally more accepting of game management practices than mutualists and distanced landowners. Landscape- or nature-orientated game management practices were accepted by a clear majority of landowners regardless of WVOs (though utilitarian and pluralists were more positive). More narrow game-orientated management practices were significantly more acceptable for those with a utilitarian and mutualist orientation. In a management context, results are relevant when predicting changes in the rural landscape and the relation to developments in the composition of landowners, and in their WVO. Moreover, in relation to potential conflicts, the general public in Denmark has a higher proportion of mutualists and distanced than among landowners, and are likely to be less accepting of the narrow, game-orientated practices.
KeywordsBiotope changes Hunting Nature conservation Wildlife management
We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for constructive comments.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support for this work from the “15. Juni Fonden”.
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