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MY INTERACTIONS WITH ANIMALS Personal –pets –falconry –birdwatching Professional –endangered species –wildlife conservation –biodiversity.

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Presentation on theme: "MY INTERACTIONS WITH ANIMALS Personal –pets –falconry –birdwatching Professional –endangered species –wildlife conservation –biodiversity."— Presentation transcript:

1 MY INTERACTIONS WITH ANIMALS Personal –pets –falconry –birdwatching Professional –endangered species –wildlife conservation –biodiversity

2 HUMAN-WILDLIFE RELATIONSHIPS Knowledge, attitudes, preferences, values, activities and issues

3 ONTOGENY OF HUMAN- WILDLIFE RELATIONSHIPS Key components develop early in life and may even be innate (the “biophilia hypothesis”) <8 years old--affected strongly by basic emotions related to animals (fear, cuddly things, etc.) 8-12 years old--most significant period, acquire “facts” about animals from personal experiences –outdoor interactions with wildlife are very important –reinforced by books, stories, classroom learning, and TV (13% of children’s books have an animal in the title!) 13-16 years old--concepts, abstract ideas, ethics –begin to understand the complexity of relationships

4 Human-animal relationships Basic attitudes towards animals Knowledge of animals Preferences for certain animals Values attributed to animals Activities involving wildlife Opinions on key wildlife issues

5 KNOWLEDGE OF WILDLIFE Most Americans are surprisingly ignorant about wildlife, but they often have strong “beliefs” that are thought to be factual (but often aren’t) Stephen Kellert’s 1980 study (T-F and multiple choice test), for example: –“Most insects have backbones” (57% correct) –“The manatee is an insect” (26% correct) –“The coyote is an endangered species” (26% correct) –“Raptors are small rodents” (13% correct) Overall, for the general population, 53% correct Many errors could be traced to common “myths” about wildlife

6 KNOWLEDGE OF WILDLIFE Americans were most knowledgeable about: –Dangerous wild animals (63% correct) –Pets (56% correct) –Domestic animals (53% correct) Americans were least knowledgeable about: –Native predators (47% correct) –Taxonomic relatedness (38% correct) –Invertebrates (36% correct)

7 KNOWLEDGE OF WILDLIFE Most knowledgeable groups: –birdwatchers, trappers and hunters, college educated, high income, members of nature groups, residents of Alaska and Rocky Mountains Least knowledgeable groups: – 75 years old, <25 years old, residents of large cities

8 A SHOCKING DISCOVERY 2002 study of British school children (4-12 years old) Identification and knowledge of native wildlife versus Pokémon characters –Sex and age differences existed –Overall, kids knew much more about Pokémon characters (78% correct) than native species (53% correct)!!!

9 ATTITUDES TOWARD ANIMALS 1980 study by Stephen Kellert is a classic Based on responses of Americans to a battery of questions designed to reveal attitudes toward animals Used statistical methods to arrange respondents into categorical groups Revealed 10 groupings of basic attitudes Subsequently validated by many other similar studies

10 10 ATTITUDES Naturalistic: primary interest in wildlife and outdoors; animals are the context for activities in natural setting (backpackers, nature study, sport hunting) Ecologistic: Primary concern for environment as a system, emphasis on wildlife interactions with other species (ecological study, conservation activism) Humanistic: Primary interest and affection for individual animals, especially pets and large attractive species (pet ownership, casual zoo visitation, anthropomorphism) Moralistic: Primary concern for ethically correct treatment of animals, strongly opposed to exploitation and cruelty (animal welfare/rights group member) Scientistic: Primary interest in studying the physical attributes and biological functioning of animals (scientific study, collecting)

11 10 ATTITUDES (continued) Aesthetic: Primary interest in the artistic and symbolic features of animals (nature appreciation, wildlife art) Utilitarian: Primary concern for the practical and material values of animals (farmers, meat hunters, trappers) Dominionistic: Primary satisfaction derived from mastery and control of animals, typically in a sporting context (trophy hunters, animal spectator sports) Negativistic: Primarily concerned about avoiding animals because of fear and dislike (fear of animals, cruelty to animals) Neutralistic: Completely uninterested, passive avoidance due to indifference (avoidance of animals)

12 WHO’S IN AND NOT IN THESE GROUPS Naturalistic: college educated, Alaska vs <6th grade, black Ecologistic: college educated, Alaska vs <6th grade, black Humanistic: 18-25 yrs old, female vs farmers, >60 yrs old Moralistic: west coast, female vs rural, male Scientistic: college educated,18-25 yrs old vs >60<12 yrs old Aesthetic: female, east coast vs <6th grade, farmer Utilitarian: farmers, >60 yrs old vs college educated, urban Dominionistic: farmer, male vs west coast, female Negativistic: black, <8th grade vs college educated, rural Neutralistic: urban, female vs rural, male

13 HOW MANY ARE IN THESE GROUPS? Naturalistic: 1978 (10%), 1995 (12%) Ecologistic: 1978 (7%), 1995 (13%) Humanistic: 1978 (35%), 1995 (22%) Moralistic: 1978 (20%), 1995 (16%) Scientistic: 1978 (1%), 1995 (<1%) Aesthetic: 1978 (15%), 1995 (13%) Utilitarian: 1978 (20%), 1995 (14%) Dominionistic: 1978 (3%), 1995 (8%) Negativistic: 1978 (2%), 1995 (15%) Neutralistic: 1978 (35%), 1995 (40%) Theistic: 1995 (<1%) a new category? Note: totals are >100% because of overlap

14 2002 CLASS Naturalistic: 24% (vs 12%) Ecologistic: 22% (vs 13%) Humanistic: 28% (vs 22%) Moralistic: 19% (vs 16%) Scientistic: 2% (vs <1%) Aesthetic: 9% (vs 13%) Utilitarian: 6% (vs 14%) Dominionistic: <1% (vs 8%) Negativistic: <1% vs 15%) Neutralistic: <1% (vs 40%) Theistic: <1% (vs <1%) Note: totals are >100% because of overlap

15 ANIMAL PREFERENCES Not all animals are liked by people; favorites exist Kellert’s study ranked a range of species Top favorites (among choices offered): –dog, horse, swan, robin, butterfly, trout, salmon, eagle, elephant, owl, turtle, cat Bottom least favorites: –cockroach, mosquito, rat, wasp, rattlesnake, bat, vulture, shark, skunk, lizard, crow, coyote We generally prefer animals that are: –beautiful, intelligent, related to us, large, useful, economically valuable, not threatening, not predatory, graceful

16 WHY WE VALUE ANIMALS We have relied on wildlife as valuable resources for >99% of human history Today, we value wildlife in 2 basic ways: –Instrumental value: We still value animals that are useful to us because they help us achieve our own goals (an anthropocentric view) –Intrinsic value: We also value animals in their own right, regardless of their usefulness (a biocentric view) Many Americans do not value wildlife highly in either context and are willing to compromise human needs for only a few favored species

17 PARTICIPATION IN ACTIVITIES INVOLVING WILDLIFE American interact with wildlife in a variety of ways: –78% watched nature shows on TV –67% owned a pet –59% feed birds –45% visit zoos –44% fished –12% hunted –11% belonged to a conservation organization – 8% birdwatched seriously How they interact with wildlife influences their relationship with wildlife (e.g., the “Bambi” effect)

18 MOST ASPECTS OF HUMAN-ANIMAL RELATIONSHIPS ARE DYNAMIC Much variation exists within American public –gender, ethnicity, age, regional, etc. Differences exist between different cultures Changes take place over time Education influences human-animal relationships

19 GENDER AND ATTITUDES

20 ETHNICITY AND ATTITUDES

21 USA VERSUS JAPAN

22 CULTURAL VIEWS OF WHALING

23 HISTORICAL CHANGES IN ATTITUDES

24 EDUCATION AFFECTS ATTITUDES naturalistic moralistic ecologistic negativistic utilitarian dominionistic “Negative” attitudes diminish; “positive” attitudes replace them

25 EDUCATION AFFECTS ATTITUDES

26 MANY AMERICANS PURSUE WILDLIFE-RELATED ACTIVITIES In 1996, there were 40 million “consumptive recreational users” and 110 million “non- consumptive recreational users” 82 million feed birds, 60 million bird watched, 18 million photographed animals Most Americans support wildlife conservation and management Most Americans want stronger wildlife protection (e.g., 82% favor the Endangered Species Act in spite of special-interest opposition)

27 OPINIONS ON WILDLIFE ISSUES VARY WIDELY In the USA wildlife species are held as a public trust and managed by government in ways that reflect “the public’s” views But, “the public” can be divided on key wildlife issues, reflecting differences between individuals/groups Divergent opinions can often be interpreted in terms of underlying knowledge, attitudes, preferences and values

28 PEOPLE WANT GOVERNMENT TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR WILDLIFE

29 VIEWS ABOUT HUNTING ARE COMPLEX

30 SPECIES PREFERENCES AND WILLINGNESS TO SACRIFICE

31 REGIONAL DIFFERENCES

32 SPECIAL INTERESTS AND WILDLIFE

33 EDUCATION AND VIEWS ON WILDLIFE ISSUES

34 HUMAN-WILDLIFE RELATIONSHIPS CAN IMPROVE Better knowledge, improved attitudes, increased value, and broader tolerance promote an ethic of care and compassion Education makes a huge difference Early experiences with animals are very important Messages and images conveyed by the media can be very influential (e.g., whaling, tuna-porpoise, killing baby seals for fur, listing feral cats as unprotected animals, etc.)


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