Social factors hold implications for the success or failure of wildlife reintroductions. Potential conflict issues may prevent projects from proceeding or succeeding. The manner in which wildlife managers engage with affected people in conflict scenarios may prevent or contribute toward conflict escalation, so an understanding of how to improve engagement is required. We conducted interviews with individuals who reported conflicts with beavers (Castor fiber) within the case study of a reintroduction trial in England, called the ‘River Otter Beaver Trial’. Using a qualitative thematic analysis, we identified five themes to be considered when engaging with affected people in beaver reintroduction conflicts: (1) Proactive Engagement or a Fast Response; (2) Appropriate Communication; (3) Shared Decision-Making; (4) Sense that Humans are Responsible for Conflicts with Reintroduced Species; (5) A Need for Certainty. We conclude that engagement with affected individuals will likely be improved, with reduced conflict potential, where these themes are addressed.
|Published: 10 November 2020|
Journal for Environmental Planning and Management