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Understanding Drivers for the Acceptability of Management Strategies of
Native and Non-Native Animals, Plants and Woodlands in Berlin
Tanja Straka, Luise Bach, Ulrike Klisch, Henry Lippert,
Ingo Kowarik
Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
Background
Berlin: One of Europe’s Greenest Cities
● Multicultural city with an average population of about 3.6 million
inhabitants (Kowarik, 2008)
● Many green areas and enclosed by large areas of green woodlands (Fischer et
al., 2015)
● City with characteristically high proportion of non-native species in
densely populated and anthropogenically influenced areas (Kowarik, 1992)
Besides public places, citizens in Berlin also share their
backyards with native, but also non-native species ….
• … and have their own views about how they should be managed.
• Public acceptability of management strategies is crucial to the success of
conservation and management outcomes (Manfredo, 2008; Teel and Manfredo, 2010).
Doing nothing or lethal control? Letting grow or eradicating?
Acceptability of Management Actions
Depending on whether a species is perceived as non-native, severe
management actions are more likely to be accepted, such as lethal control or
even eradication (Bremner and Park, 2007; van Eeden et al.2020).
Native to Europe Non-native to Europe
Red fox
(Vulpes
vulpes)
Racoon
(Protycon
lotor)
Trembling
Poplar
(Populus
tremula)
Tree of
Heaven
(Ailanthus
altissima)
Native Woodland Non-native Woodland
Acceptability of Management Actions
• Acceptability of management actions are influenced by anthropomorphism,
people‘s emotions and cognitions (e.g. beliefs) (Jacobs et al. 2014, Straka et al. 2019, Manfredo
2020).
• However, previous studies either measured (mostly) cognitions or emotions
to predict responses to management actions of non-native species.
• In relation to non-native species factors such as beliefs and knowledge are
crucial (Shackleton et al. 2018) but clearly understudied.
• Further, native and non-native species might be perceived differently
whether they are presented individually or in groups/on a landscape scale.
Theoretical Background
Study Aims
To investigate:
i) the acceptability of management actions for native compared to non-native
urban animal and plant species (individuals) as well as woodlands (landscape
scale) nearby citizens.
ii) the predictive potential of knowledge, beliefs, anthropomorphism and
emotions on the acceptability of management actions varying in their
severity.
Methods
Methods
Quantitative survey (still ongoing): online questionnaire distributed to citizens
in Berlin and Brandenburg*
Six sections in questionnaire:
1. Self-assessed knowledge about non-native species
2. Emotions (valence)
3. Beliefs about non-native species
4. Anthropomorphism
5. Acceptability of management actions (doing nothing-control-eradication)
6. Demographics (e.g. gender, age)
*Snowball sampling - internet link distributed by e-mail to randomly selected institutions, associations, and
companies in Berlin (adapted from Fischer et al., 2015), private contacts, Survey Circle as well as via social media
Emotions
• Dimensional perspectives (bipolar scales) on valence (Jacobs et al. 2014)
• Valence = pleasure or displeasure of emotional states when one thinks
about a species or landscape
For each statement below, please indicate your feelings when you think about
the (species/landscape).
Please circle one number for each statement.
Don’t like -2 1 0 1 2 Like
Unpleasant -2 1 0 1 2 Pleasant
Negative -2 1 0 1 2 Positive
Not enjoyable -2 1 0 1 2 Enjoyable
Anthropomorphism
• Unipolar scales on anthropomorphism (Manfredo et al. 2020)
• Anthropomorphism = humanization of non-human beings by attributing
them with abilities, characteristics, motives and behaviors
Do you believe plants/ wildlife…
Please circle one number for each statement.
Have consciousness -2 1 0 1 2
Have intentions -2 1 0 1 2
Experience emotions -2 1 0 1 2
Have sensual experiences -2 1 0 1 2
Beliefs
• Dimensional perspectives (bipolar scales) on beliefs (Fischer et al. 2014)
• Defined as the subjective probability that an object has a certain
attribute (Fischer et al. 2014)
• Beliefs can be considered as a subjective form of knowledge (Fischer et al. 2014)
Do you think non-native wildlife / plants are…
Please circle one number for each statement.
Detrimental for
humanity
-2 1 0 1 2 Beneficial for
humanity
Detrimental for
economy
-2 1 0 1 2 Beneficial for
economy
Detrimental for
nature
-2 1 0 1 2 Beneficial for
nature
Uncontrollable -2 1 0 1 2 Controllable
Rare -2 1 0 1 2 Overbundand
Problematic -2 1 0 1 2 Non-problematic
Acceptability of Management Actions
Situation*: A raccoon can be found in your garden. How acceptable do you consider the following
management actions?
How unacceptable or acceptable do you
find the following management action:
Very
unacceptable
Neutral Very
acceptable
1. Do nothing -2 -1 0 1 2
2. Control population -2 -1 0 1 2
3. Lethal control -2 -1 0 1 2
*same scenarios were presented for native urban wildlife (fox), but also for native/non-native plants
and woodlands close-by with native/non-native vegetation. Latter extreme management strategies
were eradication (plants) or complete transformation (woodland).
(Preliminary) Results
survey is still ongoing
a Measured on a 5-point scale from -2 (very unacceptable) to +2 (very acceptable) with 0 as a neutral
point
b Significantly different between native and non-native species (Mann-Whitney U-Tests, p<.001)
Acceptabilitya
No actionb Population controlb
Lethal controlb
1. Management actions for urban wildlife in backyard (individual level)
Native
Non-native
Lethal control was not accepted while doing nothing and population control was
accepted. However: significant differences between native and non-native species.
Acceptabilitya
a Measured on a 5-point scale from -2 (very unacceptable) to +2 (very acceptable) with 0 as a neutral point
b Significantly different across between native and non-native species (Mann-Whitney-U-tests, p<.001)
No actionb Population controlb
Eradicationb
Native
Non-native
1. Management actions for urban plants in backyard (individual level)
Doing nothing and population control was accepted. However, eradication of native
plants was not accepted while it was accepted for non-native plant species.
Significant differences between native and non-native species.
Acceptabilitya
a Measured on a 5-point scale from -2 (very unacceptable) to +2 (very acceptable) with 0 as a neutral point
b Significantly different between woodlands with native and non-native species (Mann-Whitney U-tests, p<.001)
No actionb Maintain specific
areasb
Radical
transformationb
Native
Non-native
1. Management actions for urban woodlands close-by (landscape scale)
Doing nothing and maintaining areas was accepted while radical transformation
not. However, significant differences between native and non-native species.
• Emotions, beliefs and anthropomorphism were strong significant predictors for the
support of severe management actions on the species level. Beliefs were strongest
predictors for non-native species.
• In detail: negative emotions towards and beliefs about species as well as low
anthropomorphism supported extreme management such as of lethal control or
eradication of species (native and non-native).
2. Drivers for acceptability of lethal control (wildlife) and
eradication (plants)
• On a landscape scale (woodlands), these concepts were, however, less strong
predictors.
• Mixed results were found for beliefs and emotions and anthropomorphism was
no strong predictor on a landscape scale.
2. …. and for the transformation of woodlands
Conclusions
Conclusions
● Severe management actions (lethal control, eradication and complete
transformation) were overall not accepted; however, more accepted for
non-native compared to native species (individual and landscape scale).
● While beliefs, emotions and anthropomorphism have predictive potential
for the acceptability of management actions on a species level, other
factors might be more important on a landscape scale.
● Crucial to understand what people think and feel when the aim is to gain
public support for management actions of native and non-native species in
urban areas. For the management of non-native species particularly
important: beliefs.
Thank you!
… for your attention. Citizens who took part in the survey
Contact: tanja.straka@tu-berlin.de OR StadtNatur.TU.Berlin@gmail.com
References
Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg, 2019. Statistisches Jahrbuch 2019: Berlin, 1st ed. Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, Berlin, 600 Seiten.
Bremner, Alison; Park, Kirsty (2007): Public attitudes to the management of invasive non-native species in Scotland. In: Biological
Conservation 139 (3-4), S. 306–314.
Fischer, L., Kowarik, I., Botzat, A., Honold, J., Haase, D., Kabisch, N., 2015. Green Surge: Interaction of biological and cultural diversity of
urban green spaces. Internal project report on the assessment of BCD in European city regions.
Jacobs, M. H., Vaske, J. J., Dubois, S., Fehres, P., 2014. More than fear: role of emotions in acceptability of lethal control of wolves. Eur J
Wildl Res 60: 589-598
Kowarik, I., 1992. Das Besondere der städtischen Flora und Vegetation. Deutscher Rat für Landespflege (61), 33–47.
Kowarik, I. 2008. On the role of alien species in urban flora and vegetation. In Urban ecology (pp. 321-338). Springer, Boston, MA.
Manfredo, M. J., Urquiza-Haas, E. G., Don Carlos, A. W., Bruskotter, J. T., Dietsch, A. M. (2020). How anthropomorphism is changing the
social context of modern wildlife conservation. Biological Conservation 241: 1-9
Manfredo, M. J., 2008. Who cares about wildlife? : social science concepts for exploring human-wildlife relationships and conservation
issues. New York: Spinger
Teel, T. L. & Manfredo, M. J., 2010. Understanding the Diversity of Public Interests in Wildlife Conservation. Conservation Biology, 24(1),
pp. 128-139.
Shackleton, R. T. et al., 2018. Explaining peole's perceptions of invasive alien species: A conceptual framework. Journal of Environmental
Management, pp. 1-17.
Straka, T. M., Miller, K. K. & Jacobs, M. H., 2019. Understanding the acceptability of wolf management actions: roles of cognition and
emotion. Human DImensions of Wildlife, 24 October, pp. 1-14.
van Eeden, L. M. et al., 2020. Diverse punlic perceptions of species' status and management align with conflicting conservations
frameworks. Biological Conservation 242, pp. 1-6.

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Understanding Drivers for the Acceptability of Management Strategies of Native and Non-Native Animals, Plants and Woodlands in Berlin

  • 1. Understanding Drivers for the Acceptability of Management Strategies of Native and Non-Native Animals, Plants and Woodlands in Berlin Tanja Straka, Luise Bach, Ulrike Klisch, Henry Lippert, Ingo Kowarik Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
  • 3. Berlin: One of Europe’s Greenest Cities ● Multicultural city with an average population of about 3.6 million inhabitants (Kowarik, 2008) ● Many green areas and enclosed by large areas of green woodlands (Fischer et al., 2015) ● City with characteristically high proportion of non-native species in densely populated and anthropogenically influenced areas (Kowarik, 1992)
  • 4. Besides public places, citizens in Berlin also share their backyards with native, but also non-native species …. • … and have their own views about how they should be managed. • Public acceptability of management strategies is crucial to the success of conservation and management outcomes (Manfredo, 2008; Teel and Manfredo, 2010). Doing nothing or lethal control? Letting grow or eradicating?
  • 5. Acceptability of Management Actions Depending on whether a species is perceived as non-native, severe management actions are more likely to be accepted, such as lethal control or even eradication (Bremner and Park, 2007; van Eeden et al.2020). Native to Europe Non-native to Europe Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) Racoon (Protycon lotor) Trembling Poplar (Populus tremula) Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) Native Woodland Non-native Woodland
  • 6. Acceptability of Management Actions • Acceptability of management actions are influenced by anthropomorphism, people‘s emotions and cognitions (e.g. beliefs) (Jacobs et al. 2014, Straka et al. 2019, Manfredo 2020). • However, previous studies either measured (mostly) cognitions or emotions to predict responses to management actions of non-native species. • In relation to non-native species factors such as beliefs and knowledge are crucial (Shackleton et al. 2018) but clearly understudied. • Further, native and non-native species might be perceived differently whether they are presented individually or in groups/on a landscape scale. Theoretical Background
  • 7. Study Aims To investigate: i) the acceptability of management actions for native compared to non-native urban animal and plant species (individuals) as well as woodlands (landscape scale) nearby citizens. ii) the predictive potential of knowledge, beliefs, anthropomorphism and emotions on the acceptability of management actions varying in their severity.
  • 9. Methods Quantitative survey (still ongoing): online questionnaire distributed to citizens in Berlin and Brandenburg* Six sections in questionnaire: 1. Self-assessed knowledge about non-native species 2. Emotions (valence) 3. Beliefs about non-native species 4. Anthropomorphism 5. Acceptability of management actions (doing nothing-control-eradication) 6. Demographics (e.g. gender, age) *Snowball sampling - internet link distributed by e-mail to randomly selected institutions, associations, and companies in Berlin (adapted from Fischer et al., 2015), private contacts, Survey Circle as well as via social media
  • 10. Emotions • Dimensional perspectives (bipolar scales) on valence (Jacobs et al. 2014) • Valence = pleasure or displeasure of emotional states when one thinks about a species or landscape For each statement below, please indicate your feelings when you think about the (species/landscape). Please circle one number for each statement. Don’t like -2 1 0 1 2 Like Unpleasant -2 1 0 1 2 Pleasant Negative -2 1 0 1 2 Positive Not enjoyable -2 1 0 1 2 Enjoyable
  • 11. Anthropomorphism • Unipolar scales on anthropomorphism (Manfredo et al. 2020) • Anthropomorphism = humanization of non-human beings by attributing them with abilities, characteristics, motives and behaviors Do you believe plants/ wildlife… Please circle one number for each statement. Have consciousness -2 1 0 1 2 Have intentions -2 1 0 1 2 Experience emotions -2 1 0 1 2 Have sensual experiences -2 1 0 1 2
  • 12. Beliefs • Dimensional perspectives (bipolar scales) on beliefs (Fischer et al. 2014) • Defined as the subjective probability that an object has a certain attribute (Fischer et al. 2014) • Beliefs can be considered as a subjective form of knowledge (Fischer et al. 2014) Do you think non-native wildlife / plants are… Please circle one number for each statement. Detrimental for humanity -2 1 0 1 2 Beneficial for humanity Detrimental for economy -2 1 0 1 2 Beneficial for economy Detrimental for nature -2 1 0 1 2 Beneficial for nature Uncontrollable -2 1 0 1 2 Controllable Rare -2 1 0 1 2 Overbundand Problematic -2 1 0 1 2 Non-problematic
  • 13. Acceptability of Management Actions Situation*: A raccoon can be found in your garden. How acceptable do you consider the following management actions? How unacceptable or acceptable do you find the following management action: Very unacceptable Neutral Very acceptable 1. Do nothing -2 -1 0 1 2 2. Control population -2 -1 0 1 2 3. Lethal control -2 -1 0 1 2 *same scenarios were presented for native urban wildlife (fox), but also for native/non-native plants and woodlands close-by with native/non-native vegetation. Latter extreme management strategies were eradication (plants) or complete transformation (woodland).
  • 15. a Measured on a 5-point scale from -2 (very unacceptable) to +2 (very acceptable) with 0 as a neutral point b Significantly different between native and non-native species (Mann-Whitney U-Tests, p<.001) Acceptabilitya No actionb Population controlb Lethal controlb 1. Management actions for urban wildlife in backyard (individual level) Native Non-native Lethal control was not accepted while doing nothing and population control was accepted. However: significant differences between native and non-native species.
  • 16. Acceptabilitya a Measured on a 5-point scale from -2 (very unacceptable) to +2 (very acceptable) with 0 as a neutral point b Significantly different across between native and non-native species (Mann-Whitney-U-tests, p<.001) No actionb Population controlb Eradicationb Native Non-native 1. Management actions for urban plants in backyard (individual level) Doing nothing and population control was accepted. However, eradication of native plants was not accepted while it was accepted for non-native plant species. Significant differences between native and non-native species.
  • 17. Acceptabilitya a Measured on a 5-point scale from -2 (very unacceptable) to +2 (very acceptable) with 0 as a neutral point b Significantly different between woodlands with native and non-native species (Mann-Whitney U-tests, p<.001) No actionb Maintain specific areasb Radical transformationb Native Non-native 1. Management actions for urban woodlands close-by (landscape scale) Doing nothing and maintaining areas was accepted while radical transformation not. However, significant differences between native and non-native species.
  • 18. • Emotions, beliefs and anthropomorphism were strong significant predictors for the support of severe management actions on the species level. Beliefs were strongest predictors for non-native species. • In detail: negative emotions towards and beliefs about species as well as low anthropomorphism supported extreme management such as of lethal control or eradication of species (native and non-native). 2. Drivers for acceptability of lethal control (wildlife) and eradication (plants)
  • 19. • On a landscape scale (woodlands), these concepts were, however, less strong predictors. • Mixed results were found for beliefs and emotions and anthropomorphism was no strong predictor on a landscape scale. 2. …. and for the transformation of woodlands
  • 21. Conclusions ● Severe management actions (lethal control, eradication and complete transformation) were overall not accepted; however, more accepted for non-native compared to native species (individual and landscape scale). ● While beliefs, emotions and anthropomorphism have predictive potential for the acceptability of management actions on a species level, other factors might be more important on a landscape scale. ● Crucial to understand what people think and feel when the aim is to gain public support for management actions of native and non-native species in urban areas. For the management of non-native species particularly important: beliefs.
  • 22. Thank you! … for your attention. Citizens who took part in the survey Contact: tanja.straka@tu-berlin.de OR StadtNatur.TU.Berlin@gmail.com
  • 23. References Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg, 2019. Statistisches Jahrbuch 2019: Berlin, 1st ed. Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, Berlin, 600 Seiten. Bremner, Alison; Park, Kirsty (2007): Public attitudes to the management of invasive non-native species in Scotland. In: Biological Conservation 139 (3-4), S. 306–314. Fischer, L., Kowarik, I., Botzat, A., Honold, J., Haase, D., Kabisch, N., 2015. Green Surge: Interaction of biological and cultural diversity of urban green spaces. Internal project report on the assessment of BCD in European city regions. Jacobs, M. H., Vaske, J. J., Dubois, S., Fehres, P., 2014. More than fear: role of emotions in acceptability of lethal control of wolves. Eur J Wildl Res 60: 589-598 Kowarik, I., 1992. Das Besondere der städtischen Flora und Vegetation. Deutscher Rat für Landespflege (61), 33–47. Kowarik, I. 2008. On the role of alien species in urban flora and vegetation. In Urban ecology (pp. 321-338). Springer, Boston, MA. Manfredo, M. J., Urquiza-Haas, E. G., Don Carlos, A. W., Bruskotter, J. T., Dietsch, A. M. (2020). How anthropomorphism is changing the social context of modern wildlife conservation. Biological Conservation 241: 1-9 Manfredo, M. J., 2008. Who cares about wildlife? : social science concepts for exploring human-wildlife relationships and conservation issues. New York: Spinger Teel, T. L. & Manfredo, M. J., 2010. Understanding the Diversity of Public Interests in Wildlife Conservation. Conservation Biology, 24(1), pp. 128-139. Shackleton, R. T. et al., 2018. Explaining peole's perceptions of invasive alien species: A conceptual framework. Journal of Environmental Management, pp. 1-17. Straka, T. M., Miller, K. K. & Jacobs, M. H., 2019. Understanding the acceptability of wolf management actions: roles of cognition and emotion. Human DImensions of Wildlife, 24 October, pp. 1-14. van Eeden, L. M. et al., 2020. Diverse punlic perceptions of species' status and management align with conflicting conservations frameworks. Biological Conservation 242, pp. 1-6.