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Twitching for values in the human domain: how do Australians value native birds? Ainsworth, GB, Aslin, HJ, Garnett, ST and Weston, M. Twitching for values.

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Presentation on theme: "Twitching for values in the human domain: how do Australians value native birds? Ainsworth, GB, Aslin, HJ, Garnett, ST and Weston, M. Twitching for values."— Presentation transcript:

1 Twitching for values in the human domain: how do Australians value native birds? Ainsworth, GB, Aslin, HJ, Garnett, ST and Weston, M. Twitching for values in the human domain: how do Australians value native birds? Ainsworth, GB, Aslin, HJ, Garnett, ST and Weston, M.

2 Context ARC project: ‘Increasing the effectiveness & efficiency of threatened bird conservation’ Action Plan for Birds Biophysical - Institutional - Social Influence of values on conservation outcomes 1 st year of PhD: Social Values of Australian Threatened Birds

3 How do Australians Value Native Birds? - native bird species known - valued most widely - values held for threatened & non-threatened native species - values held for particular native threatened species

4 Wildlife Management Wildlife management: Biophysical; Economic, wildlife policy framework interactive relationships information, values & efforts socio-structural;valuational;institutional/regulatory (Kellert & Clark 1991) ecological, socio-psychological (Steinhoff 1980)

5 Values Value: ‘relative worth, merit or importance’ of something:  cannot be observed directly only through their expression in the form of attitudes & behaviours Values are critical:  personal goals: good & bad, right & wrong  interpret events & information  across situations & events Social science perspective:  person’s values towards wildlife  thinking & behaviour in wildlife situation (Manfredo 2008)

6 Culture & societygeneral beliefs/worldviewsvaluesspecific beliefs/specific attitudesbehavioral commitments & intentionsbehaviours enduring changeable Cary et al 2000 Values: Attitudes: Behaviours:

7 Wildlife Values Research Traditionally: Attitudes tested by empirical research, socio-psychological surveys, representative samples: “I think duck hunting is ok as long as the bird is not endangered” However, knowledge of individual native taxa across Australian society will likely be highly erratic: - variation in prevalence, characteristics and distribution of bird taxa - iconic / locally significant / expert knowledge Measure of values reflected across society for native threatened birds can reveal public interest in and perceptions of individual species

8 Developing a Typology of Bird Attitudes Developing a Typology of Bird Values No precedent for valuing an entire class of fauna such as Australian native birds (~720 species) Review of commonly used empirical approaches to valuing wildlife CAMPBELL, L. & SMITH, C. (2006) What Makes Them Pay? Values of Volunteer Tourists: Working for Sea Turtle Conservation. Environmental Management, 38, value categories, qualitative KELLERT, S. R. (1985) Social & Perceptual Factors in Endangered Species Management. Journal of Wildlife Management, 49, value categories, quantitative

9 Native Bird Values Typology The social values of Australian birds….??? Biophysical physical attributes & biological functioning of birds expressions of group identity or social experiences & objects of specialized attachments Aesthetic symbolic physical attractiveness & symbolic characteristic of birds Aesthetic physical spiritual meaning or message attached to birds Spiritual strong affection for individual animals Anthopomorphic increases / decreases in bird populations Conservation interrelationships between bird species & natural habitats Ecological mastery & control of birds (sport); being a good naturalist Mastery duty to protect & preserve birds Moralistic exciting experiences with birds in their natural habitat Experiential conflict between birds & humans Negative material benefit of bird products to human society (food) Utilitarian- consumption Which of these values does society hold for native birds? ? material benefit of bird habitat to human society (development) Utilitarian- habitat 13 value categories

10 nationally representative, publicly available data; data directly aligned with value category, directly related to individual bird species 13 Value categories 21 National projects X Social profiles Native Bird Values Correlation Matrix

11 Media Stories Influence of media on public perception of native birds is important Newsbank – 162 local, regional, and national newspapers 1998 – 2010 Complete full-text content: community events, schools, politics, government policies, cultural activities, local companies, state industries, & people in the community 67,156 bird stories identified 2,830 analysed across all value categories negative conservation moralistic utilitarian-habitat biophysical

12 Wildlife Values & Conservation Outcomes Social profiles = better understanding of our relationship with native birds - as a whole class of fauna, as families, as individual species This research is ultimately important for threatened bird conservation: - understand priorities currently given to individual species - useful for communicating conservation messages to the broader community Better understanding of ourselves as humans and development of Australian culture

13 With grateful thanks to… NSW / ACT David Collyer Mimmo Cozzolino Susan Freeman Vanessa Keyzer Cilla Kinross Hollis Taylor Les Terrett Andrea Wild NT Fiona Douglas Michael Honer Tim Schinkel QLD Joan Dawes Noela Edwards Jean Tucker Maureen Cooper VIC Rob Buttrose, Grace Lewis, Megan Moore, Alan Sergi, Janelle Thomas, Paris Yves WA Ian Abbott Greg Barrett Fiona Colbeck Clive Nealon Kirsty Sadler State / territory conservation departments Birdwatching tour companies National galleries and libraries Australian Defence Forces Conservation volunteer groups Australian Institute of Sport Regional shire councils


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