Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Constantly chasing dogs: assessing landholder stress from wild dog attacks on livestock using quantitative and qualitative methods.

Abstract

This study investigated landholder psychological stress associated with wild dog attacks on farm livestock in Australia. Levels of psychological intrusion, avoidance and hyperarousal were assessed using quantitative and qualitative methods. Qualitative data were acquired using in-depth semi-structured interviews and focus groups. The internationally validated 'Impacts of Events Scale - Revised' (IES-R), which includes components of intrusiveness, avoidance and hyperarousal, was used to quantify the impact of the wild dog attacks on livestock and allow a comparison with other trauma studies. Qualitative data supported the IES-R results and provided depth to understanding the IES-R components. Intrusiveness was the most significant of the three components and was indicated by persistent thoughts of the dog attack issue, lack of sleep, anger and frustration, impacts on relationships at a personal, business and community level and time involved in dealing with the issue. This study lends weight to the validity of using the IES-R scale to assess the impact of traumatic events on landholders and the utility of the mixed methods approach for reinforcing and extending the knowledge base regarding their experience. Findings can aid decision-makers in integrating the well-being of landholders, families and communities into wild dog management policy and programs.