I wanted to use Wile E. Coyote and Bambi, but the publisher wouldn't let me.

I wanted to use Wile E. Coyote and Bambi, but the publisher wouldn’t let me.

In 2014, we surveyed farmers in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia , asking which animal species they considered a nuisance. It was a novel survey design, as it did not prompt with species names but rather elicited them from respondents. We then asked farmers to tell us about their monetary loss from each listed species, the acceptability of that loss, how they cope with it, any cultural benefits it provides, and – finally – whether they’d rather have the species or not. Statistical analysis revealed that tolerance was unrelated to perceived monetary losses. Rather, tolerance seemed linked to the type of nuisance they represented to the farmer: threat or damage. Coyote and deer were useful archetypes of each kind, and of the different mental algebra that farmers undertake: deer were very expensive but also enjoyed, and thus the loss was seen as a reasonable trade-off and the species tolerated. By contrast, coyote were not expensive, but were also not enjoyed and thus not tolerated. More work is needed to understand the nature of non-monetary costs, such as trauma, as part of the inversion. The paper is available this week open access at Diversity, part of a special issue on Managing Biodiversity in Agricultural Landscapes, led by lab alumni Kate Goodale.