Innovative techniques for estimating illegal activities in a human-wildlife-management conflict

Cross, Paul and St. John, Freya A.V. and Khan, Saira and Petroczi, Andrea (2013) Innovative techniques for estimating illegal activities in a human-wildlife-management conflict. PLoS ONE, 8 (1). e53681. ISSN 1932-6203. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0053681) (Full text available)

Abstract

Effective management of biological resources is contingent upon stakeholder compliance with rules. With respect to disease management, partial compliance can undermine attempts to control diseases within human and wildlife populations. Estimating non-compliance is notoriously problematic as rule-breakers may be disinclined to admit to transgressions. However, reliable estimates of rule-breaking are critical to policy design. The European badger (Meles meles) is considered an important vector in the transmission and maintenance of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle herds. Land managers in high bTB prevalence areas of the UK can cull badgers under license. However, badgers are also known to be killed illegally. The extent of illegal badger killing is currently unknown. Herein we report on the application of three innovative techniques (Randomized Response Technique (RRT); projective questioning (PQ); brief implicit association test (BIAT)) for investigating illegal badger killing by livestock farmers across Wales. RRT estimated that 10.4% of farmers killed badgers in the 12 months preceding the study. Projective questioning responses and implicit associations relate to farmers' badger killing behavior reported via RRT. Studies evaluating the efficacy of mammal vector culling and vaccination programs should incorporate estimates of non-compliance. Mitigating the conflict concerning badgers as a vector of bTB requires cross-disciplinary scientific research, departure from deep-rooted positions, and the political will to implement evidence-based management.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: F.A.V. St-John
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2013 14:46 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2017 23:34 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/33117 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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