Environmental Management 70, 605–617 (2022).
Autores/as: Tamara Pazos; Patricia Álvarez Figueiró; José A. Cortés Vázquez; María Amalia Jácome; María J. Servia.
Implementing management practices for the control of invasive species can be a complex task with multiple dimensions, where the identification of stakeholders and drivers of those practices is of paramount importance. The invasive hornet Vespa velutina has spread across Europe and Asia from its native range in SE Asia in recent years. A common control method is the removal and destruction of its nests on citizens’ request to call centers. In this paper we have explored the knowledge and main factors that influence the perceptions of the citizens on the species in an invaded municipality in NW Spain, as well as the management practices of the municipal emergency unit responsible for nest removal activities. Our analysis brings out multiple drivers of management practices that derive both from the citizens’ and practitioners’ knowledge, and highlights several points of conflict between both stakeholder groups connected to (1) the degree of service provided to the local population, (2) the risk of allergic reactions as a motive to urge removals, or (3) the quality of information provided by mass media. Our results support the crucial importance of environmental education programs that seek to increase the knowledge of the general public about the threats of invasive species. Such programs might be incorporated to implement and optimize management plans of V. velutina by enhancing communication between experts and local population.