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Homecoming without Nostalgia: Local Communities and the Reintroduction of the Wild Forest Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus sennicus) in Finland

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Wildlife translocations often raise concerns about the purpose and impact among people living in target locations. We applied the integrated impact assessment in planning the reintroduction of wild forest reindeer in Finland. We investigated the variety of expected socioecological impacts, the relative importance of these impacts and local willingness to participate in local-level reintroduction activities. The reintroduction project organised interactive forums in 2013 and 2016 in each of the four regions suitable for wild forest reindeer. The variety of recognised potential impacts was high, but the relative importance given to the expected impacts varied relatively little from forum to forum. Importantly, we found a contextual and relational value of wild forest reindeer that extended beyond their intrinsic and instrumental value. The results indicate high local acceptance of reintroduction and willingness to participate in it.

Keywords: integrated impact assessment; local community; pragmatism; wildlife reintroduction

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2022

This article was made available online on January 4, 2021 as a Fast Track article with title: "Homecoming without Nostalgia: Local Communities and the Reintroduction of the Wild Forest Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus sennicus) in Finland".

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  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2021) of 1.831. 5 Year Impact Factor: 2.192.
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