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The costs and benefits of managing wild geese in Scotland

MacMillan, Douglas and Hanley, Nick and Wright, Robert (2001) The costs and benefits of managing wild geese in Scotland. [Report]

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Abstract

In terms of general attitudes, the study finds that people rate wildlife conservation as an important component of rural policy. Wild geese conservation is rated as less important than most other conservation issues raised with the public. Despite this, there was clear majority support for geese conservation policy, even when this is costly. The willingness-to-pay surveys found that different attributes of goose conservation policy were valued differently by the various groups. For instance, the general public and visitors were willing to pay between £7-£19 per household per year for a management policy that did not involve shooting. Residents, on the other hand, were not willing to pay anything for this type of policy. The qualitative and quantitative research strongly suggests that all groups favoured conservation policies that target endangered species. Statistical analysis of the willingness to pay results showed that the general public were not prepared to pay significantly higher levels of additional taxation for polices that extended conservation measures to nonendangered species. Both visitors and local residents were actually prepared to pay more for a policy that protected endangered species only, than one that included all species.