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Environmental Management

, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp 814–827 | Cite as

The Islands Are Different: Human Perceptions of Game Species in Hawaii

  • Cheryl A. LohrEmail author
  • Christopher A. Lepczyk
  • Edwin D. Johnson
Article

Abstract

Hawaii’s game animals are all non-native species, which provokes human–wildlife conflict among stakeholders. The management of human–wildlife conflict in Hawaii is further complicated by the discrete nature of island communities. Our goal was to understand the desires and perceived values or impacts of game held by residents of Hawaii regarding six game species [pigs (Sus scrofa), goats (Capra hircus), mouflon (Ovis musimon), axis deer (Axis axis), turkeys (Melagris gallopavo), and doves (Geopelia striata)]. We measured the desired abundance of game on the six main Hawaiian Islands using the potential for conflict index and identified explanatory variables for those desires via recursive partitioning. In 2011 we surveyed 5,407 residents (2,360 random residents and 3,047 pre-identified stakeholders). Overall 54.5 and 27.6 % of the emailed and mailed surveys were returned (n = 1,510). A non-respondent survey revealed that respondents and non-respondents had similar interest in wildlife, and a similar education level. The desired abundance of game differed significantly among stakeholders, species, and islands. The desired abundance scores were higher for axis deer, mouflon, and turkeys compared to pigs, goats or doves. Enjoyment at seeing game and the cultural value of game were widespread explanatory variables for desired abundance. Models for Lanai emphasized the economic value of game, whereas models for Maui identified the potential for game to contaminate soil and water. Models for Oahu and Kauai revealed concern for human health and safety. Given our findings we recommend managers design separate management plans for each island taking into consideration the values of residents.

Keywords

Game species Human dimensions Potential for conflict index Wildlife stakeholder acceptance capacity 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Thanks to the numerous volunteers that vetted our survey prior to dissemination, especially Rebecca Christoffel. We would also like to thank Will Pitt, Michael Schuett and two anonymous reviewers for comments that improved the manuscript. This project was partially supported by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Hatch project [HAW00110-H] and the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources to C. Lepczyk.

Supplementary material

267_2014_353_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1623 kb)
267_2014_353_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (158 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 157 kb)
267_2014_353_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (648 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 647 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cheryl A. Lohr
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Christopher A. Lepczyk
    • 1
  • Edwin D. Johnson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Natural Resources and Environmental ManagementUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Division of Forestry and WildlifeHawaii Department of Land and Natural ManagementHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.SinagraAustralia

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