Economic values of species management options in human-wildlife conflicts: Hen Harriers in Scotland

N. Hanley, M. Czajkowski, R. Hanley-Nickolls, S. Redpath

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    28 Citations (Scopus)


    In this paper, we use the choice experiment method to investigate public preferences over alternative management regimes for a top-level predator in UK moorlands, the Hen Harrier. These birds are at the centre of a conflict between moorland managers and conservation organisations. Illegal killing of Hen Harriers on moorland managed for Red Grouse is considered to be one of the main factors limiting harrier population growth in the UK. Incentives for persecution arise due to the impacts of Hen Harriers on populations of Red Grouse, which are managed for commercial shooting. Numerous alternatives have been proposed to manage this system. We considered three which have emerged from stakeholder debates and scientific enquiry: tougher law enforcement, moving "excess" birds from grouse moors, and feeding of harriers. Results showed that respondents, sampled from the Scottish general public, were willing to pay both for avoiding reductions in harrier populations and for increases, but that these values were lower than those associated with equivalent changes for another raptor sharing the same moorland habitat, the Golden Eagle. Respondents valued a move away from current management, but were largely indifferent to which management option was taken up, suggesting that management options should be selected in terms of relative costs, and on who bears these costs. Differences within our sample of respondents in preferences across management options emerge when a latent class model is estimated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)107-113
    Number of pages7
    JournalEcological Economics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2010


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