Date of Completion
Honors College Thesis
Honors College, Environmental Studies Electronic Thesis
wildlife conservation, public support, willingness to pay, Canadian lynx, American marten, northern long-eared bat
Wildlife conservation is of the utmost importance to the preservation of a healthy planet, with the extinction of wild animals increasing at previously unseen rates. However, conservation is also becoming increasingly difficult without strong public support, and this often varies in extent and success when it comes to different species and taxa. There is considerable research investigating how the physical characteristics of species affect public support of their conservation. Results suggest species seen as more charismatic, or even more likeable, are more likely to gain support for their conservation, regardless of conservation status. This study aimed to identify whether conservation status, and concern for it, is as important of a consideration for endangered species that are not seen as simply likeable or appealing, or whether this tends to be more ignored for such species. We found that for the treatments/species we chose in our experiment, and in the context we distributed the survey in, their conservation status was a more significant factor than their perceived appeal when it came to public support for their conservation. These results have implications for wildlife conservation efforts, as it shows that appeal is not always the most important factor when attempting to garner support, and that influencing the perception of concern for certain species may be a more effective avenue than relying on appeal for successful wildlife conservation.
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Redmond, Natalie Theresa, "Does Conservation Status Matter if You’re Ugly? An Experimental Survey of Species Appeal and Public Support" (2018). UVM Honors College Senior Theses. 267.