Advanced

The impact of access to an ultrasonic scaring device on human fear of wolves

Johansson, Maria LU and Frank, Jens (2016) In Wildlife Biology 22. p.29-36
Abstract

The increase of wolves in Scandinavia is associated with socio-ecological conflicts, and the conservation and management of this species is as much a political and socio-cultural challenge as a biological matter. One component in this conflict is people's feeling of fear, but there have been very few evaluations of management interventions aimed at addressing human fear of wolves. Based on the theory of human-environment interaction, this paper presents a first attempt to evaluate the effect of introducing a hand-held ultrasonic scaring device. A total of 27 persons living in wolf territories had access to the device for six months. No significant effect on participants' appraisal of wolves, trust in managing authorities, or... (More)

The increase of wolves in Scandinavia is associated with socio-ecological conflicts, and the conservation and management of this species is as much a political and socio-cultural challenge as a biological matter. One component in this conflict is people's feeling of fear, but there have been very few evaluations of management interventions aimed at addressing human fear of wolves. Based on the theory of human-environment interaction, this paper presents a first attempt to evaluate the effect of introducing a hand-held ultrasonic scaring device. A total of 27 persons living in wolf territories had access to the device for six months. No significant effect on participants' appraisal of wolves, trust in managing authorities, or selfreported fear could be identified. The investigated psychological variables were stable over time in a reference sample of people in the large-carnivore counties (n = 202). The introduction of the device was largely rejected by the public. In-depth interviews with 10 persons who declined the invitation to have access to the device revealed that the device was considered an irrelevant solution to the conflict between humans and wolves, and that people lacked trust in the technology. It is concluded that the potential in using an ultrasonic device to reduce fear of wolves seems very limited in the present context. Further interventions to address human fear must be identified in dialogue with the people affected, and should preferably be based on psychological principles.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Wildlife Biology
volume
22
pages
8 pages
publisher
Nordic Council of Wildlife Research
external identifiers
  • Scopus:84960083201
ISSN
0909-6396
DOI
10.2981/wlb.00154
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f3ced11d-7c51-4d9e-89bc-17b85271fee3
date added to LUP
2016-07-14 10:45:31
date last changed
2016-10-19 15:30:57
@misc{f3ced11d-7c51-4d9e-89bc-17b85271fee3,
  abstract     = {<p>The increase of wolves in Scandinavia is associated with socio-ecological conflicts, and the conservation and management of this species is as much a political and socio-cultural challenge as a biological matter. One component in this conflict is people's feeling of fear, but there have been very few evaluations of management interventions aimed at addressing human fear of wolves. Based on the theory of human-environment interaction, this paper presents a first attempt to evaluate the effect of introducing a hand-held ultrasonic scaring device. A total of 27 persons living in wolf territories had access to the device for six months. No significant effect on participants' appraisal of wolves, trust in managing authorities, or selfreported fear could be identified. The investigated psychological variables were stable over time in a reference sample of people in the large-carnivore counties (n = 202). The introduction of the device was largely rejected by the public. In-depth interviews with 10 persons who declined the invitation to have access to the device revealed that the device was considered an irrelevant solution to the conflict between humans and wolves, and that people lacked trust in the technology. It is concluded that the potential in using an ultrasonic device to reduce fear of wolves seems very limited in the present context. Further interventions to address human fear must be identified in dialogue with the people affected, and should preferably be based on psychological principles.</p>},
  author       = {Johansson, Maria and Frank, Jens},
  issn         = {0909-6396},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  pages        = {29--36},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xb39ec30)},
  series       = {Wildlife Biology},
  title        = {The impact of access to an ultrasonic scaring device on human fear of wolves},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.2981/wlb.00154},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2016},
}