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Preferred harvest principles and - regulations amongst willow ptarmigan hunters in Norway

Andersen, Oddgeir, Kaltenborn, Bjørn Petter, Vittersø, Joar, Willebrand, Tomas
Wildlife biology 2014 v.20 no.5 pp. 285-290
Lagopus, hunters, models, surveys, wildlife management, Norway
Hunters' preferences for different harvest principles and harvest regulations such as season length and harvest quotas provide important knowledge for wildlife management. We report results from a survey of 2788 willow ptarmigan hunters regarding commonly used harvest-principles and -regulations. A harvest quota strategy was the most preferred principle. Hunters were in general more positive to an annual bag, than daily quotas. Age was a particularly strong predictor of the ‘no winter hunt’ (after 23 December) regulation, and also a fairly strong predictor for the per annum and per day quota strategies respectively. This study has shown that ptarmigan hunters prefer annual quotas, rather than shortened hunting season or reduced number of hunters. We also emphasize the importance of social—ecological systems thinking when adaptive management strategies are developed and that management strategy evaluation models should be used to evaluate these strategies.