Oral Presentation- Symposium 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Stakeholders' perspectives on species management: Prioritising actions to preserve our biodiversity (#487)

Hernan Caceres 1 , Katrina Davis 1 , Scott Atkinson 1 , Salit Kark 1
  1. The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland, Australia

While it is well-known that incorporating the perspectives and preferences of communities may lead to better conservation outcomes (i.e. long-term commitments, active participation, etc.), it is not a common practice. The literature describes several techniques to engage with the private sector, government agencies, and communities in conservation planning, but these are not applied mostly due to the challenges of achieving consensus (e.g. timeframe, existing plans, and clashing objectives). The prevalent practice often involves an individual assessment, and then a wait for managers to make decisions. In this project, we identified and incorporated the various perspectives and preferences of different stakeholders in Minjerribah-North Stradbroke Island (QLD, Australia), regarding the conservation of threatened, and culturally relevant species that are being impacted by 2 of the most successful invasive alien species in Australia: feral cats (Felis catus) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). We assessed the priorities and perceptions of multiple stakeholders from community groups, the private sector, and government agencies, in a spatially and temporally-explicit way. This approach reduces the gap between practitioners, the private sector, and community groups, by encouraging involvement and long-term commitment. It provides a platform for better understanding between participants, reduces management uncertainties, and facilitates the development of a unified management plan for culturally relevant, threatened, and invasive alien species in highly-vulnerable environments such as islands.