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Beware of the wolf: Is animal fear affecting willingness to pay for conservation of large carnivores?

By Runar Brännlund, Maria Johansson, Jens Karlsson and Magnus Sjöström

Abstract

From an interdisciplinary approach, this study aims at analysing self-reported animal fear, specifically large carnivore fear, in relation to public willingness to financially contribute to fulfil a governmental policy on large carnivore-induced costs. In a survey of 2 455 Swedes, it was found that people whose animal fear was directed particularly towards large carnivores, were less likely to be willing to pay (WTP), or were likely to be willing to pay a lower amount of money. In the prediction of WTP, the contribution of the fear variables was equally important as the socio-economic factors. From a management point of view it seems urgent to understand what kinds of measures that may reduce human fear of large carnivores. It is also suggested that further studies should include standardised measures of anxiety and fear in order to be able to closer link the results of large carnivore fear to the psychological literature on human fears.Carnivores; willingness-to-pay

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