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Understanding the threats posed by non-native species: public vs. conservation managers.

Gozlan, R. E., Burnard, D., Andreou, D. and Britton, J.R., 2013. Understanding the threats posed by non-native species: public vs. conservation managers. PLoS One, 8 (1), e53200 .

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Gozlan et al..pdf - Published Version


DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053200


Public perception is a key factor influencing current conservation policy. Therefore, it is important to determine the influence of the public, end-users and scientists on the prioritisation of conservation issues and the direct implications for policy makers. Here, we assessed public attitudes and the perception of conservation managers to five non-native species in the UK, with these supplemented by those of an ecosystem user, freshwater anglers. We found that threat perception was not influenced by the volume of scientific research or by the actual threats posed by the specific non-native species. Media interest also reflected public perception and vice versa. Anglers were most concerned with perceived threats to their recreational activities but their concerns did not correspond to the greatest demonstrated ecological threat. The perception of conservation managers was an amalgamation of public and angler opinions but was mismatched to quantified ecological risks of the species. As this suggests that invasive species management in the UK is vulnerable to a knowledge gap, researchers must consider the intrinsic characteristics of their study species to determine whether raising public perception will be effective. The case study of the topmouth gudgeon Pseudorasbora parva reveals that media pressure and political debate has greater capacity to ignite policy changes and impact studies on non-native species than scientific evidence alone.

Item Type:Article
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:20877
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:17 Jun 2013 09:20
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:47


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