The parakeet protectors: Understanding opposition to introduced species management
Journal of Environmental Management
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Under embargo until 2 January 2019 in compliance with publisher policy
The surveillance and control of introduced and invasive species has become an increasingly important component of environmental management. However, initiatives targeting 'charismatic' wildlife can be controversial. Opposition to management, and the subsequent emergence of social conflict, present significant challenges for would-be managers. Understanding the substance and development of these disputes is therefore vital for improving the legitimacy and effectiveness of wildlife management. It also provides important insights into human-wildlife relations and the 'social dimensions' of wildlife management. Here, we examine how the attempted eradication of small populations of introduced monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) from England has been challenged and delayed by opposition from interested and affected communities. We consider how and why the UK Government's eradication initiative was opposed, focusing on three key themes: disagreements about justifying management, the development of affective attachments between people and parakeets, and the influence of distrustful and antagonistic relationships between proponents and opponents of management. We draw connections between our UK case and previous management disputes, primarily in the USA, and suggest that the resistance encountered in the UK might readily have been foreseen. We conclude by considering how management of this and other introduced species could be made less conflict-prone, and potentially more effective, by reconfiguring management approaches to be more anticipatory, flexible, sensitive, and inclusive.
The authors are grateful to all participants of this study for their time and contributions, to ParrotNet (COST Action ES1304) for sponsoring discussions that contributed to the development of this manuscript, to Jamie Lorimer for valuable feedback, and to Stephen Pruett-Jones and an anonymous reviewer for their constructive comments and suggestions. SLC was funded by a scholarship from the University of Exeter.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record
Published online 2 January 2018
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