For successful conservation of large carnivores, charismatic and controversial species, ensuring human tolerance is essential. Therefore, wolf conservation projects aim to improve both the biological and socio-political conditions. I used a mixed methods approach to explore the effectiveness of a wolf conservation project in improving the coexistence of wolves and humans in Slovenia. I evaluated the effectiveness of the project to improve the social acceptance of wolves in Slovenia by quantitatively investigating attitude change, an indicator of social acceptance, over a two year period. Although attitudes toward wolves generally seem to have remained stable, I documented change in beliefs about the extent of wolf-caused damage and actual and acceptable wolf population size, as well as changes in individual statements about attitudes toward wolf management. To explore the role of public participation in improved wolf conservation, I carried out 19 semi-structured interviews with a range of participants that were involved in different public involvement actions. For the basis of the evaluation of the process, Reed’s (2008) criteria for effective stakeholder participation in environmental management were used. I found considerable evidence of learning through participation and increased social capital that positively influences the coexistence between wolves and humans in Slovenia.
|Publisher||Memorial University of Newfoundland|
|Department||Department of Geography|
|Degree||Master of Science|
|University||Memorial University of Newfoundland|