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Traditional use of wildlife in modern society

public attitudes and hunters' motivations

Ljung, Per E. (2014). Traditional use of wildlife in modern society. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Umeå : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2014:25
ISBN 978-91-576-7998-7
eISBN 978-91-576-7999-4
[Doctoral thesis]

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Populations of many large mammals and birds are increasing in many parts of Europe and North America. At the same time, the number of hunters is generally decreasing and an increasing proportion of people live in urban areas. Urban living means less contact with nature and the use of natural resources, and is associated with less utilitarian thinking of wildlife. We used questionnaires to 1) assess non-hunting Swedes' attitudes toward hunting in relation to experience with hunting, both nationally, and in an urban (Stockholm) and a rural region (Northern Sweden), 2) to examine trends in attitudes over time, and 3) to study the use of traps by hunters.

Positive attitudes toward hunting were foremost associated with consuming game meat in one's household and having friends or parents who hunt. Positive attitudes were also associated with living rural, being man, being older and having attended university. Of non-hunters, 66% had a close friend who hunted and 65% consumed game meat on at least an annual basis. Non-hunters in Stockholm were, compared to in Northern Sweden, less positive toward hunting, but much of the difference was reduced when controlling for experience with hunting. We found a stable, somewhat increasing support for hunting over time; for example general support for hunting significantly increased from 72% to 84% between 1980 and 2012. A likely explanation for the increase in support is the increase in wildlife numbers that has led to increased damage to motorists, gardeners, farmers, and foresters. Other explanations include changes in hunting practices and legislation as well as the trends of eating local and organic food.

Results from the survey of Swedish hunters showed that 15% of the respondants had trapped, and 55% had hunted (without using traps) red fox (Vulpes vulpes), European badger (Meles meles), and/or corvids, during the 12 months prior to the survey. An important motivation for trapping these predators seems to be to increase the populations of other game species. With sprawling cities, rebounding wildlife, and invasive predator species, trapping is expected to be more needed in the future.

In summary, the key to maintain hunting support is for hunting to remain relevant to society by providing tangible benefits – such as game meat – and to alleviate negative impacts from wildlife using socially acceptable methods.

Authors/Creators:Ljung, Per E.
Title:Traditional use of wildlife in modern society
Subtitle:public attitudes and hunters' motivations
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :26 February 2014
Number of Pages:87
I.Ljung, P. E., Riley, S., Heberlein, T. A., Ericsson, G. (2012). Eat prey and love: game meat consumption and attitudes toward hunting. Wildlife Society Bulletin 36(4), 669-675.
II.Ljung, P. E., Riley, S., Ericsson, G. (in press). Game meat feeds urban support of traditional use of natural resources. Society and Natural Resources.
III.Ericsson, G., Ljung, P. E., Kagervall, A., Sandström, C. (manuscript). Increasing support for hunting 1980-2012.
IV.Ljung, P. E., Widemo, F., Ericsson, G. (submitted). Trapping in predator management: catching the user.
Place of Publication:Umeå
Publisher:Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Associated Programs and Other Stakeholders:SLU - Environmental assessment > Data from Environmental Assesment (FoMA) is used
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-7998-7
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-7999-4
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:P Natural resources > P01 Nature conservation and land resources
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 504 Sociology > Social Psychology
Agrovoc terms:game meat, wild animals, traditional uses, hunting, wildlife management, attitudes, human behaviour, sweden
Keywords:attitude, game meat, hunting, non-hunter, predator trapping, questionnaire, support, time series, venison, wildlife management
Permanent URL:
ID Code:11035
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
External funders:Länsstyrelsen Dalarnas län and Länsstyrelsen Gävleborg and Länsstyrelsen Västernorrland and Länsstyrelsen Jämtlands län and Länsstyrelsen Norrbotten and Länsstyrelsen i Västerbotten and Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and Svenska jägareförbundet
Deposited By: Per Ljung
Deposited On:27 Feb 2014 14:20
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 11:05

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