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    Comparing narratives on carnivore management in a dryland ecosystem: a case study of state-backed lethal control

    Taylor, J. and Nunez, P. and Gaspero, P. and Pooley, Simon and Fernandez-Ahrez, V. (2023) Comparing narratives on carnivore management in a dryland ecosystem: a case study of state-backed lethal control. The Rangeland Journal , ISSN 1036-9872.

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    The lethal control of native carnivores as a principal management strategy is not often recommended due to its questionable efficacy and the negative long-term consequences it can have on wildlife populations. Here we use as a case study a region that has incentivised the lethal control of native pumas and culpeo foxes for over 50 years to examine how this policy has effected institutional narratives in the region. We carried out four key informant interviews with institutional actors to establish their approaches and perspectives on carnivore management. We also examined the informational basis for the current legislative approach to predation, and identified topics for discussion surrounding legislation and its formation for decision-makers in the province. We identified a duality where two branches of government have contradictory policies regarding livestock production and carnivore management. All institutions involved in predation management in rural landscapes produced narratives supporting sustainable development and suggested, in varying degrees, that alternatives to lethal control would be positive. A consistent narrative that the current law was not fit for purpose as after 50 years the issue of predation remained supported this call for alternatives strategies. However, interviewees also stated that any modification of the existing law would require demand from livestock producers who generally view carnivores poorly. Furthermore, there is evidence that discussions surrounding management strategies suffer from cultural bias, with rural inhabitants finding themselves marginalised from the decision-making process. We identified a need for empathy regarding the adverse situation of rural inhabitants facing the impacts of predation, and an appreciation of the role that carnivores play within their environments, in order to change the negative discourse surrounding human-carnivore interactions


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): carnivores, interviews, lethal control, livestock, management, marginalisation, policy, predator control, semiarid zones
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Simon Pooley
    Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2023 05:18
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:21


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