When Cape to City first started in 2015, 68 landholders were surveyed in and around the Cape to City project area to examine perspectives towards the proposed coordinated control efforts. This initial work was critical to understanding the factors that motivate, or conversely prevent, participation in widespread predator control programmes.
This survey found that the majority (87%) of surveyed landholders were supportive of control efforts because of benefits to native biodiversity and economic benefits from reduction in toxoplasmosis from control of feral cats. These results were important to identify the wider benefits such as the return of native species that result from predator control on rural properties to the whole community, and thus funding such endeavours.
In 2020, we talked to landholders again through an online survey and interviews exploring landholders’ perceptions after five years of predator control on their land. Key findings were that:
The summary report of the 2015 survey called for greater communication with landholders. The present 2020 survey findings reinforce this recommendation while acknowledging limitations. With this in mind and given the current efforts to communicate with landholders, some additional thought is required about alternative pathways to inform landholders of ongoing work, success stories and to engage with them.
Perceptions that predator control is ongoing, successful and participated in by peers and key agencies is likely to lead others to participate and create a cycle of increased participation, followed by increased success in predator control efforts.
Future focus based on survey:
22 January 2021
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