A comparison of attitudes towards introduced wildlife in New Zealand in 1994 and 2012
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Attitudes play an important role in introduced wildlife management. The attitudes of New Zealanders to introduced wildlife and their control were surveyed in 2012, and compared with attitudes in 1994. Attitudes to widely established introduced herbivores such as deer, possums and rabbits have remained consistent, whereas those for goats, pigs and uncommon species such as thar, chamois and wallabies are changing. New Zealanders generally accept that large mammals are both a resource and a pest requiring management and control. Attitudes to small herbivores such as possums and rabbits, and predators such as mustelids and rodents, are negative and focused on control or extermination using multiple methods. Less than 1% of respondents felt doing nothing was acceptable, but acceptability of poisons has declined. Future management of introduced animals in New Zealand will need to be situational and utilise mixed management methods appropriate to different demographics and stakeholders, while appropriately resolving conflict.