Stakeholder consultation report, white-tailed eagle project

Mayhew, Michael (2013) Stakeholder consultation report, white-tailed eagle project. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This report evaluates stakeholder opinion regarding the ecological, economic and social impacts of a proposed white-tailed eagle (WTE) (Haliaeetus albicilla) re-introduction in Cumbria and supports the requirement of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) guidelines for re-introductions (2013) for social feasibility studies. As the regulatory body appointed by the government, Natural England has a legal obligation to consider re-introduction proposals of native species listed under schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with senior representatives from the conservation, field sports, farming and statutory sectors who were selected through the use of purposeful sampling techniques. Qualitative analysis of interview transcripts and written statements was performed using the grounded theory-constant comparison method. Despite concerns regarding the impoverishment of habitats and the risks associated with contemporary landscape hazards such as wind farms, the majority of stakeholder groups from the conservation and statutory sectors were convinced that the Cumbrian landscape could meet the ecological needs of a WTE population. However opinions remained divided with regard to the potential impact of such a large raptor on native species in existing ecosystems. Furthermore, conservation representatives held the view that a WTE re-introduction in Cumbria would not upset the natural balance in the landscape. By contrast the field sports and farming sectors cautioned that the balance of nature could only be maintained if mechanisms were devised to control as well as protect Cumbrian WTEs. Regarding the economic case for the proposed re-introduction, there was consensus of opinion across stakeholder sectors that a WTE population would deliver economic benefits on a regional scale, by creating a unique wildlife watching eco-tourism initiative and attracting increased visitor numbers to Cumbria. However stakeholder representatives from the conservation, statutory and field sports sectors cautioned that only certain types of rural business could expect to share the financial rewards of a re-introduction, whereas others such as livestock farmers and commercial shooting interests could pay a cost.

Item Type: Report
Departments: Forestry and Conservation
Additional Information: This report should be evaluated alongside the Public Consultation Report (White-Tailed Eagle Project) by Dr Mic Mayhew, April 2013. See http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3831/
Depositing User: Michael Mayhew
Date Deposited: 24 May 2018 08:40
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2018 18:25
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3832

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