The raptor and the lamb: reintroduction of carnivores in agricultural landscapes in Ireland

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O'Rourke, Eileen
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Wildlife management has its roots in the natural sciences and has traditionally promoted a scientific and technical approach to conflict mitigation. The below research is concerned with the conflict surrounding the reintroduction of the white-tailed sea eagle to Ireland, in particular that between farmers and conservationists. The farmers see the eagles as a threat to their livelihood and strongly resent the imposition of the birds without sufficient prior consultation with stakeholders on the ground. We argue that behind Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC) is nearly always human-human conflict. Management decisions need to be taken not just on the best science, but they have to incorporate a better understanding of the human dimension. The paper concludes by arguing that the positive transformation of the conflict surrounding the sea eagles was hampered by a political culture reluctant to cede decision making powers, along with institutional incapacity to encourage trust and relationship building between the different agencies and stakeholders impacted by the project.
Sea eagles , Species reintroduction , Stakeholders , Human-wildlife conflict , Conservation conflict transformation
O'Rourke, E. (2019) 'The raptor and the lamb: reintroduction of carnivores in agricultural landscapes in Ireland', in Olsson, E. G. A. and Gooch, P. (eds.) Natural Resource Conflicts and Sustainable Development. Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge, pp. 69-83.
© 2019, the Author. Published by Routledge. All rights reserved.