Public preferences for the management of different invasive alien forest taxa

Anže Japelj, Jana Kus Veenvliet, Judita Malovrh, Andrej Verlič, Maarten de Groot
2019 Biological Invasions  
Invasive alien species (IAS) require management to mitigate their impact on ecosystems. The success of management decisions often depends on whether they are socially acceptable and to what extent people are willing to be actively involved in an early warning and rapid response system (EWRR). We administered a nationwide public poll to assess people's knowledge on plant, insect and fungal IAS; their perception of IAS as an environmental problem; and their support for different IAS management
more » ... sures. Most respondents (76%) knew the term IAS, and more than half (62%) provided a correct definition. Species with more media attention and those that are easily visible are more frequently identified correctly. Almost all respondents (97%) support an EWRR system; however, there is heterogeneity in terms of the types of actions people approve of. Non-lethal measures garner more support than lethal ones. Gender and previous knowledge also affect the level of agreement. The willingness-to-pay question largely confirmed this, as people were divided into four classes according to their preferences for either biological, mechanical or chemical measures to control IAS; completeness and location of removal; and having an EWRR established. Mechanical removal is the most preferred treatment in two of the four classes, and complete removal is preferred over partial removal in one of the four classes. Having an EWRR is consistently supported in all classes, and removal in urban areas is preferred over removal in forestland in only one class.
doi:10.1007/s10530-019-02052-3 fatcat:xgka7ijxnfcy7otvcczqahpek4