A review of volunteers’ motivations to monitor and control invasive alien species

Ana A. Anđelković, Lori Lawson Handley, Elizabete Marchante, Tim Adriaens, Peter M. J. Brown, Elena Tricarico, Laura N. H. Verbrugge

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People make an important contribution to the study and management of biological invasions, as many monitoring and control projects rely heavily on volunteer assistance. Understanding the reasons why people participate in such projects is critical for successful recruitment and retention of volunteers. We used a meta-synthesis approach to extract, analyze and synthesize the available information from 28 selected studies investigating motivations of volunteers to engage in monitoring and control of invasive alien species (IAS). Our findings show how motivations fit three broad themes, reflecting environmental concerns, social motivations, and personal reasons. An important outcome of this study is the description of motivations that are unique to the IAS context: supporting IAS management, protecting native species and habitats, and livelihood/food/income protection or opportunities. In addition, our study reflects on important methodological choices for investigating volunteer motivations as well as ethical issues that may arise in practice. We conclude with a set of recommendations for project design and future research on volunteer motivations in IAS contexts, emphasizing the importance of collaboration with social scientists.
Translated title of the contributionDe motivatie van vrijwilligers in het monitoren en beheren van invasieve uitheemse soorten, een review
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-175
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 25-May-2022

Thematic List 2020

  • Invasive species
  • Nature & society

Thematic list

  • Invasive species (nature management)

EWI Biomedical sciences

  • B003-ecology

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