Different groups and individuals have different attitudes towards pest animals and how they should be managed, and this can determine success or failure of a pest management program. When planning pest management it is essential to consult those people who are affected by pest damage as well as those who might be affected by or need to be involved in pest management activities (see Planning strategic pest animal management). This is a two-way process where the landholders’ attitudes towards the pest and management options must be understood and valued equally to that of other stakeholders, such as government agencies that regulate pest management. Consultation requires active engagement, open discussion, and the development of trust between all parties. This is especially important where programs need to be coordinated across a broad landscape (eg wild dog management), requiring a range of landholders and groups to be involved. If several land managers within the landscape do not cooperate and actively stop management, such programs can be ineffective.
When trying to work out the dimensions of a pest problem it is important to identify:
- who has the problem
- where the problem is and what is the extent of the damage believed to be caused by the pest
- what stakeholders want to do about it.
Building trust between diverse individuals and groups can be a difficult and time consuming process, but it is essential. Some participants may need to improve their knowledge and understanding of pest animals and the available control options, in order to contribute and make an informed decision about management.
The nil tenure or cross tenure approach can be a useful method for reducing conflict and reaching decisions on cost sharing. This process involves key stakeholders coming to a joint understanding about the damage that pests cause, knowing where pests move throughout the landscape and where to implement management using a map with no tenure boundaries.