Conservation designations protecting large carnivores have been a success in terms of a strong increase in carnivore numbers and an extension of their range in Europe after 100 years of near extinction. This conservation success raises dilemmas and challenges. In their absence, agriculture and rural land use have adapted to a more or less carnivore free environment with lifestyles, livestock and economies dependent on a low degree of carnivore pressures.
Norway’s animal husbandry, especially sheep and Sámi reindeer herding, is based on utilizing grazing resources in the outfields. It is stated a national objective to increase Norwegian food production, and meat production based on outfields for grazing has a considerable growth potential.
Current carnivore policy in Norway promotes a “two-fold objective” of ensuring sustainable carnivore populations while concurrently sustaining active and viable grazing communities. Norway also holds international and national responsibility for continued indigenous Sámi reindeer herding practices.
The primary objective of the LOCAL CARNIVORE project is to generate evidence-based knowledge on the dual pressures of increasing predation and the need for sustainable management of carnivore, of grazing resources, and sustainable economic, environmental, social and cultural development in rural communities.
- Understanding the spatial effects of the geographically differentiated carnivore management
- Analyse the interrelationship between carnivores, grazing animal husbandry change, farm decline and recruitment challenges
- Analyse the relationship between carnivores and the economic and social wellbeing of the wider rural community
Analyse cumulative effects, the adaptive capacity and action space, and the views of rural communities and businesses, among farmers, and (mainly South/Lule) Sámi reindeer herders
- Investigate how adaptive measures and policies influence different livelihood activities of farmer and reindeer herders.
- Carry out an international and Nordic analysis of efficiency of mitigating measures, incentives and compensation
- Develop recommendations for new or improved policies and measures
Industrial partners: Norwegian Smallholders Association, Norwegian Sheep and Goat Association, Norwegian Farmers’ Union, Nordland Reindeer Herding Sámis Association, Norwegian Agricultural Extension Service, Nortura, Nofence