Using decision modeling with stakeholders to reduce human-wildlife conflict: a Raptor-Grouse case study

Stephen Redpath, Beatrice E. Arroyo, E.M. Leckie, P Bacon, N Bayfield, R.J. Gutierrez, Simon J. Thirgood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


The successful resolution of human-wildlife conflicts requires the participation of local communities and other stakeholder groups in formulating management decisions. In the uplands of the United Kingdom, a controversial conservation issue concerns the relationship between the conservation of a legally protected raptor, the Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) and the management of a gamebird, the Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus). We used multicriteria analysis to evaluate the perspectives of two groups of stakeholders, grouse managers and raptor conservationists, and the acceptability to them,of different management solutions to this conflict. Both groups quantified the relative importance of evaluation criteria and used these as a basis for comparing different upland and Hen Harrier management options. In relation to upland management, grouse managers placed more importance on economic criteria than did raptor conservationists, who valued natural-environment criteria more highly. Intensively managed grouse moors, involving the control of harrier numbers, were ranked most highly by grouse managers and managed nature reserves by raptor conservationists, but both groups also ranked legally managed grouse moors highly. When evaluating Hen Harrier management options, grouse managers considered time scale and cost the most important criteria, whereas raptor conservationists considered the effects on harrier populations to be most important. Harrier quota schemes were the management solution most favored by grouse managers, whereas raptor conservationists preferred allowing barriers to attain natural densities. Notably, however, one technique that has already been partly tested in the field-the use of diversionary feeding was scored highly by both groups and thus holds promise for some form of compromise. This exercise highlighted the value of these objective techniques for developing dialog and trust between stakeholder groups, and it highlighted the need to conduct further research to test the effectiveness of different management options. There was broad agreement that the workshop moved the prior positions of individual stakeholders and was a valuable tool in helping to resolve human-wildlife conflicts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-359
Number of pages10
JournalConservation Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004


  • conflict resolution
  • decision modeling
  • gamebird predation
  • Hen harrier
  • predator management
  • habitat characteristics
  • Circus cyaneus
  • conservation
  • management
  • predation
  • moors
  • moorland
  • UK


Dive into the research topics of 'Using decision modeling with stakeholders to reduce human-wildlife conflict: a Raptor-Grouse case study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this