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Return of the otter: Aggravation of human-wildlife conflict and potential for mitigation strategies for coastal areas under pressure (RePress)

Return of the otter: Aggravation of human-wildlife conflict and potential for mitigation strategies for coastal areas under pressure (RePress)

, Vegard Lødøen, Otter and salmon in Valldøla Vegard Lødøen, ,

Vegard Lødøen

The Eurasian otter was once extirpated from most of Norway due to hunting, but after being protected it has recently made a comeback along the western coast. This has reignited a classic human-wildlife conflict, which often occurs when humans and predators compete for the same resources. In this case, otters and fishers both target the prized and endangered Atlantic salmon, whose numbers in many rivers have been dwindling as the coastal ecosystems have come under increasing pressure from human activities. Some local stakeholders now ask for decisive management action, including culling of otters, to save the salmon populations. However, it is not clear how, where, and when otters affect salmon stocks, how various stakeholders view the conflict, or what potential mitigation measures would be effective, sustainable, and acceptable to both stakeholders, wildlife management agencies and the regional population in general.

In the RePress project, we seek to investigate and alleviate the otter-human conflict in the region Sunnmøre in Western Norway. We will quantify otter predation in time and space by tagging salmon with radio tags, and simultaneously tag otters to reveal their behavior and feeding habits along the rivers. Stakeholder and management perceptions of otters, salmon and "acceptable" management of coastal ecosystems will be explored through surveys, interviews and local focus groups. Finally, the possibility of scaring otters away from "salmon hotspots" will be investigated by testing various deterrents along rivers, in zoos, and on aquaculture facilities. Combined, the findings will increase our knowledge of otter and salmon interactions, and offer guidelines on how to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts in general.

Kontaktperson

Marius Kambestad

Forsker - Bergen

maka@norceresearch.no
+47 452 06 875

Prosjektfakta

Navn

Return of the otter: Aggravation of human-wildlife conflict and potential for mitigation strategies for coastal areas under pressure (RePress)

Status

Aktiv

Periode

01.04.23 - 31.03.27

Sted

Bergen

Totalt budsjett

13.999.000 NOK

Forskningsområder

Forskningsgrupper

Finansiering

Research Council of Norway (RCN)

Prosjekteier

NORCE

Prosjektmedlemmer

Markus Johannessen
Rasmus Mohr Mortensen
Addy de Jongh
Christian Robstad
Hanna Kavli Lodberg-Holm
Frank Narve Rosell
Kathleen Epstein
David N. Carss
Yosra Zouhar
Markus Fjellstad Israelsen
Steven Guidos
Rose Keller
Oddgeir Andersen
Jiska Joanneke van Dijk

Samarbeidspartnere

NORCE, Norsik Institutt for Naturforskning, Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge, Cornell University, UK Centre For Ecology and Hydrology, Hofseth Aqua AS, Lakseelvene på Sunnmøre, Akvariet i Bergen

Prosjektet i sosiale medier

https://www.norceresearch.no/prosjekter/mer-laks-og-sjoorret-pa-sunnmore

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