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Selected Publication:

Kaczensky, P., Blazic, M., Gossow, H..
(2004): Public attitudes towards brown bears (Ursus arctos) in Slovenia.
Biological Conservation, 118, 5, 661-674; ISSN: 0006-3207 FullText FullText_BOKU

In northern Slovenia a radical change in brown bear (Ursus arctos) management - from a policy of bear suppression to a policy of bear protection - resulted in a sharp increase in sheep predation by bears. In the bear core area in southern Slovenia, on the other hand, bears have always been present, cause little damage and are an important game species. This zoned management provided a quasi "natural experiment" to compare attitudes and knowledge between two areas of different bear history, management and damage level. Using a questionnaire survey we sampled 924 locals and 177 hunters in the two areas. Contrary to our expectation, we documented a very positive attitude towards bears, in both study areas and for both target groups. Apparently, regional differences in the damage level per se and the status as a game species are not the driving force shaping attitudes towards bears in Slovenia. The key factor in predicting the attitude towards bears was the perception of how harmful the bears are. Knowledge and socio-demographic factors were only of minor importance. Even though attitude towards bears was positive, support of the present policy of bear expansion was low. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Gossow Hartmut

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human dimension
sheep predation

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