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Conservation, Society and Invasive Species

Ford-Thompson, Adriana E. S. (2011) Conservation, Society and Invasive Species. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Invasive species pose a major environmental threat, and are frequently the subject of biodiversity conservation programmes. As stakeholder and public concerns surrounding invasive species have become increasingly recognised and better articulated, society has become more closely involved in invasive species management. This has resulted in the need to ensure that positive ecological outcomes, such as protecting native species and habitats, and positive social outcomes, for example public support and improved stakeholder relationships, are both achieved as a result of management interventions. Through identifying social factors affecting the relationship between conservation, society and invasive species, this thesis considers how both of these outcomes may be attained, in the context of invasive species management in Australia. Three dimensions of this relationship were analysed- stakeholder participation, social and political mechanisms and context, and public attitudes. This involved interview questionnaires, in-depth interviews, and postal surveys, respectively. The studies revealed three main social factors affecting the relationship - social associations with species, conflict over wildlife-related values, and conflicts between humans and invasive species. Social associations were related predominantly to species characteristics and their position in the environment, and may affect policy and legislation. Conflicts over wildlife-related values were related to management approaches, animal rights and welfare, and were also revealed to be a legacy of political history. The type of conflict between humans and invasive species was shown to affect management approaches. Stakeholder participation was shown to be essential in achieving both social and ecological outcomes, through conflict resolution, responsiveness to social factors, and justification of management approaches. This thesis provides a novel approach for analysing how social factors may influence both ecological and social outcomes of invasive species management. Although the focus of the thesis is on invasive species, the conclusions are also likely to be relevant for other conservation programmes.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Environment (York)
Depositing User: Dr Adriana Ford-Thompson
Date Deposited: 28 May 2012 08:56
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2356

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