Where the wild things are: urbanization and income affect hunting participation in Tuscany, at the landscape scale

  • Jacopo Cerri
  • Marco Ferretti
  • Linda Coli
Original Article


In the last few decades, hunters decreased in Italy, reshaping human-wildlife conflicts and constraining the budget of wildlife agencies. Socioeconomic dynamics connected with modernization reduced hunter recruitment in Northern America, by changing the value orientations of the younger generations, as well as social support towards hunting. Despite similar dynamics characterized Europe in the last few decades, no study addressed their effect over the decrease in hunting participation in Mediterranean European context. We modeled the effect of the percentage of urbanized soil, the average per capita income, the aging index of residents, the ratio between utilized agricultural area and the total agricultural area, the density of farmers per hectare of utilized agricultural area, the province, and the hunting district, over the observed variation in the proportion of hunters over the resident population between 2001 and 2011, at 258 municipalities in Tuscany, Central Italy. Both the proportion of urbanized surface and the average income at each municipality showed a nonlinear, negative, association with the variation in the proportion of hunters. Our findings agree with previous studies exploring the effect of the so-called “forces of modernization” over hunting decline in Northern America. Future studies could adopt socioeconomic variables reflecting modernization to model hunting variation at the Italian level. Policy makers can therefore use these estimates to better account for the numerical decrease of hunters in wildlife management policies, tailoring financing policies for wildlife agencies.


Hunting Outdoor recreation Hunter decline Trend Wildlife value orientations Modernization Urbanization 



We are extremely grateful to Dr. Cristina Marullo, who helped in understanding and structuring income data for the study area.

Supplementary material

10344_2018_1183_MOESM1_ESM.docx (150 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 150 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Istituto di ManagementPisaItaly
  2. 2.Regione ToscanaPistoiaItaly
  3. 3.Università degli Studi di Firenze, Scuola di AgrariaFlorenceItaly

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