Presentation on theme: "Factors Affecting Human Responses to Exotic and Invasive Species"— Presentation transcript:
1 Factors Affecting Human Responses to Exotic and Invasive Species Paul Gobster, Research Social Scientist, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station, Evanston ILHas been involved in studying human reaction to nature for years now.Invasives can get people’s underwear tied in knots more than any other issue.What factors make responses differ from one species to another?Paul H. GobsterUSDA Forest ServiceNorthern Research Station-Evanston, IL
2 Purpose of TalkDeveloping effective strategies for management of invasive species is dependent in part on how the public will respondBy understanding the type and importance of various factors, managers may be able to choose or fine tune strategiesPreliminary list with examples based on previous research, case studies, anecdotes
3 Examples Alewives in Great Lakes Zebra Mussels in Great Lakes Introduced trout and salmonMilfoil & other aquatic weedsGovernment (“friendly”) fliesGypsy moth NE vs MidwestALB, EABPurple loosestrife in wetlandsBuckthorn in Chicago prairiesBlack cherry in Chicago prairiesFeral cats in WIFeral pigs in Hawaii, etc.Red foxes in SFEucalyptus in SFWild horses & burros in W USGrey squirrels in EuropeGeese in urban areasPigeons in urban areasMonk parakeets in MidwestRats everywhereCockroaches everywhereExamplesAlewives in Great LakesZebra musselsIntroduced trout & salmon
4 (WARNING: a first approximation!) R = response to the exotic/invasive speciesV= value of the exotic/invasiveT= threatI= impact or value of the exotic/invasive on the species/ecosystem/object of concernM= impact of management control mechanismsC= contextS= stakeholder group factorsEquation for measuring social impact of invasive pest.R – ResponseV – Value of invasive/exoticT – ThreatI – Impact or value of the exotic on the species/ecosystem/object of concernM – Impact of management control mechanismsC – Context: where & when it’s happeningS – Stakeholder group factors
5 Value (of the species of concern) Charismatic-aesthetic-recreationalUtilitarian-economic-culturalAlternative ecologies (e.g., non-native trees filter air pollutants and offer shade-cooling)Value:Charismatic-aesthetic-recreational; feral cats – bad work, trying to kill anything with big eyes…Utilitarian-economic-cultural – feral pigs in HawaiiAlternative ecologies: non-native trees may have some benefits
6 ThreatFamiliarity (length of establishment, degree of exoticness, fear factor)Spatial/temporal factors-- Proximity of Threat/Rate of spread and distributionThreatSpread of gypsy moth over 100 yrsFamiliaritySpatial/temporal factorsDifferent perception of gypsy moth from New England to Midwest
7 Impact (value of human and ecological factors affected by species of concern) PersonalSocialEconomicEcologicalImpact – value of human & ecological factors affected by species of concernWhat is the value of particular species and how would losing it affect community?Pimentel et al., 2004
8 Management Factors (Costs and Benefits of intervention) Impact of control mechanism (personal, social, ecological, ethical)Probability of success of control mechanism (limited – complete eradication)Duration of control mechanism (short term, cyclic, perpetual)$$ cost and who pays for it"They're fryingbaby rabbits!"Management factors – costs & benefits of interventionImpact of control mechanism – values of communityProbability of success – back every year vs one-timeCosts, who pays
9 Context Physical setting—site and adjacent areas Remoteness (urban to wilderness)Previous site disturbance(s)ContextPhysical setting – site & adjacent areas; one more invasive in a field full of them vs new introduction in pristine area.
10 Individual and Stakeholder Group Factors Social contextStakeholder centrality (e.g., income/recreation dependent, NIMBY)EducationUrban-rural residenceIdeas of natureDegree of consensus/divergence in perceptionsIndividual & stakeholder group factorsIncome, NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard)Yellowstone: reintroducing native species, removing non-nativeRestoration conflict in Chicago: let nature take its own courseConsensus/divergence of groups
11 Example 1: Feral cats in WI 62. Do you favor the DNR take steps to define free roaming feral domestic cats… as an unprotected species?High charismatic value to many peopleThreat low; impact acknowledged but disputedShooting as a mgmt strategy highly contentious%hunters who favor shooting outweighed by % general public oppositionSignificant urban-rural splitVoters approve “Kitty-Kitty Bang-Bang” ProposalFeral cats in WIHigh charismatic value to many peopleDelist domestic feral cats to allow shooting them – “Kitty-Kitty Bang-Bang”Within days, website had 27,000 people supporting not shooting themEventually buried the proposal.Feral cats around a long time, mousers in the barns, not perceived as a big threat. Impact on songbird population acknowledged but how much debated.NC--People all over the US should boycot Wisconsin. Stop buying cheese and stop supporting the Packers.TX--Face the reality Wisconsin. Cats are part of a world we all share and deserve a chance to survive. Only cowards and ill-behaved children target the defenseless. For shame!CA-- Obviously Wisconsin is slipping back into it's 19th century yahoo, redneck history. There are plenty of modern, humane ways to control the population of feral cats. What a laughingstock they are.WI--I am embarrased and ashamed to admit that I am a Wisconsonite.
12 Example 2: ALB in Chicago ALB low valueHigh threat and impact--many trees in neighborhood, city and beyondManagement impacts of removal severe; injection labor intensiveUrban context of complete removal is severe; stakeholders homogeneousGeneralizability to EAB? Other insects and diseases?ALB in ChicagoLow value, high-threat/impact on neighborhood trees.Management impact severe as well; injection alternative favored when it became available, as keeping trees.Generalization to other insects? Hard to call
13 ConclusionsPublic response to invasives based on a complex number of factors and relationshipsEven if a species has little perceived value, management impacts can be contentiousUse preliminary list of factors to think about approaches, communicationsPlease send feedback on factors, esp. the math part (see handout)Response to invasives complex.There may be other factors not considered.