Conflicts between Cattlemen and the Florida Panther: Insights and Policy Recommendations from Interviews with Florida Cattlemen

Elizabeth Frances Pienaar, Melissa M. Kreye, Caitlin Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recovery of the Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) depends on habitat conservation on private rangelands. However, cattlemen-panther conflicts and lack of trust in wildlife agencies is undermining panther conservation efforts. Based on semi-structured interviews and group meetings with Florida cattlemen, we examine how cattlemen's land stewardship practices support panther conservation, and causes of conflicts with the panther and wildlife agencies. Given the heterogeneous attitudes of cattlemen and their varying economic conditions, a complementary suite of programs is needed to achieve efficient conservation of the panther and panther habitat. Current and proposed government incentive programs are unlikely to attain the level of habitat conservation required to recover the Florida panther. We suggest that efforts should be made to build social capital and trust by engaging influential cattlemen in panther conservation actions, thereby lending credibility to conservation initiatives and improving the rate of uptake and levels of commitment by other cattlemen. Moreover, providing cattlemen with payments that are contingent on keeping lands as unimproved pasture or wildlife habitat without mandating particular land management practices may be an effective policy alternative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-588
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Ecology
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 31 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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