The combined effects of centralization and carnivore management on sheep farmers and sheep farming in Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionHuman Dimensions of Wildlife. 2020, . 10.1080/10871209.2020.1818895
Sheep farmers in areas with large carnivores experience economic loss, psychological stress, and perceived alienation from political processes. This can result in decisions that differ from those made by farmers in areas without large carnivores, possibly influencing the whole farming system. We used applications for farming subsidies to examine changes in sheep farming in Norway 1999 to 2017. Along the urbanrural dimension, we found a stronger decline in increasingly rural areas. The decline was furthermore larger inside regions used for the reintroduction of large carnivores than outside these regions. The observed decline in some regions was compensated by growth in central regions, outside carnivore prone areas, and on managed land where the sheep was protected from carnivores. The result complements studies of mental dispositions and decision processes aiming to explain how large carnivores and the carnivore management policy influence the farmers' attitudes and decisions, resulting in behaviors that effect larger social systems.