An adapted concept mapping technique to help conservation implementation - Exemplified for wolves returning to Lower Saxony in Germany

Autor(en): Buessing, Alexander Georg
Jannink, Nina
Scholz, Geeske 
Halbe, Johannes 
Stichwörter: ACCEPTABILITY; BIODIVERSITY; Biodiversity & Conservation; Biodiversity Conservation; Canis Lupus; Concept Map; DEVELOPING-COUNTRIES; Ecology; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; GAP; Implementation Space; LARGE CARNIVORES; MANAGEMENT; Participatory Modeling; SOCIAL-SCIENCE; Stakeholder; SUPPORT; VALUE ORIENTATIONS; WOLF
Erscheinungsdatum: 2019
Herausgeber: ELSEVIER
Volumen: 20
While higher-order predators like wolves (canis lupus) serve important ecological roles within social-ecological systems, prior studies indicated differences in the acknowledgement of these roles by specific stakeholder groups. As diverging underlying mental models may cause these differences in the societal valuation of the species, there is a need for the development of innovative methods to systematically uncover stakeholders' interests and their conceptions about relevant conservation issues. This paper proposes a concept mapping technique as a suitable way to investigate stakeholders' mental models based on their understanding of underlying reasons, consequences and solutions for a selected conservation issue. To illustrate the utilization of the methodology, we present a case study about the conservation of returning wolves in Lower Saxony, a region within North-West Germany. In the case study, we used a concept mapping task within face-to-face interviews to investigate the mental models of nine stakeholders from the three most important interest groups of hunters, shepherds, and conservationists. After the inductive categorization of the resulting qualitative data, we ordered the resulting categories into matrices with a rank order cluster (ROC) algorithm and found different underlying reasons and consequences for the conservation conflict. Thereby, we were able to identify 19 individual solutions, which however differed concerning their consensus between stakeholder groups. Only the consequence-oriented solution of supporting livestock owners was mentioned by all stakeholder groups. Overall, we were able to subsume stakeholders' solutions into three implementation spaces (human-human focused, population-management related and consequence-oriented solutions). While the solutions indicated possible case-specific interventions, the implementation spaces may be interesting for a further investigation within other conservation cases, and may illustrate how underlying mental models may be used to determine successful strategies for conservation management. (c) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
ISSN: 23519894
DOI: 10.1016/j.gecco.2019.e00784

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