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This chapter briefly discusses a descriptive typology of attitudes towards wildlife that was quite influential in the pioneering years of research on human dimensions of wildlife. It describes a more recent theory‐driven approach to understanding human relationships with wildlife, guided by the cognitive hierarchy. The theory of cognitive hierarchy stresses that individual behaviour is guided by a hierarchy of interrelated cognitions including values, value orientations, attitudes and norms, and behavioural intentions. Studies using the wildlife value orientation scales suggest that domination orientations are deeply engrained in the cultural transmission process and endure over generations. The usefulness of studying wildlife value orientations depends on the concept's predictive validity. The cognitive hierarchy does not explicitly consider emotions. The concepts and measurements may reflect emotional content, but they are not intended to directly capture emotional dispositions or responses. Future research on human dimensions of wildlife may benefit from the study of both cognitive and emotional responses to wildlife.
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Steg—Environmental Psychology: An Introduction
8  Human dimensions 
of wildlife
Maarten H. Jacobs
Wageningen University, The Netherlands
Jerry J. Vaske
Colorado State University, USA
Tara L. Teel
Colorado State University, USA
Michael J. Manfredo
Colorado State University, USA
8.7 SUMMARY 85
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Steg—Environmental Psychology: An Introduction
Imagine walking in a forest and encountering a deer. You might remember this
moment because it is special, perhaps the highlight of the trip. Humans are strongly
attracted to wildlife. Wildlife-based tourism and recreation are increasingly popular
(Reynolds & Braithwaite, 2001) and wildlife TV documentaries attract large audi-
ences ( Jacobs, 2009). Negative relationships with wildlife (e.g. snake phobias),
however, are also common (Öhman & Mineka, 2003). In general, the relationships
between humans and wildlife are complex, as they are closely tied to the evolution
of humans in natural environments, and are also manifestations of socialisation and
past individual experiences. Because the human brain evolved in part to meet wildlife-
related challenges, research into human thought, emotion and action can reveal
insights into the general workings of the human mind. Research into human dimen-
sions of wildlife is also of practical relevance as it helps to understand current opin-
ions and public debates about wildlife-related issues such as the reintroduction of
predators or the killing of species that cause harm to humans or damage crops.
In this chapter, we first discuss a descriptive typology of attitudes towards wildlife
(Kellert, 1976). Subsequent sections describe a more theory-driven approach to
understanding human relationships with wildlife, guided by the cognitive hierarchy.
This theoretical framework differentiates among the various thought processes that
form the basis for human behaviour (Manfredo, Teel, & Henry, 2009; Teel & Man-
fredo, 2009). While research on human dimensions of wildlife has predominantly
focused on cognitive aspects, new avenues are beginning to emphasise the impor-
tance of emotional factors, which will be explored in the last section. To some extent,
the research and theorising discussed in this chapter overlaps with a broader research
domain in which people’s responses to nature and landscapes and views of the rela-
tionship between humans and nature are studied (see Chapters 5, 6, 7 and 14).
However, as we will see, research on the human dimension of wildlife has increas-
ingly generated its own network of experts and literature, and is becoming an inde-
pendent field of research.
Kellert (1976) presented a typology of attitudes towards wildlife that has received wide
attention. Based on personal interviews and large-scale surveys, Kellert distinguished
nine basic attitudes (Kellert has also referred to these as values) towards wildlife (Box 8.1).
Environmental Psychology: An Introduction, First Edition. Edited by Linda Steg, Agnes E. van den Berg,
Judith de Groot.
© 2012 the British Psychological Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Published 2012 by the British
Psychological Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Steg—Environmental Psychology: An Introduction
Kellert’s typology has been mostly applied to describe the attitudes of different
groups of people. For example, a study among hunters and non-hunters (Kellert,
1978) found that hunters could be divided into three groups based on their attitudes
towards wildlife: utilitarian hunters who supplement their diet by shooting game,
naturalistic hunters with close ties to, and appreciation for, nature, and dominionistic
hunters who seek to dominate animals and nature. Non-hunters could be classified
into a group with humanistic attitudes and a group with moralistic attitudes. A large-
scale survey in the United States showed that women had higher scores than men
on humanistic, moralistic and negativistic attitudes, while men scored higher on
utilitarian, dominionistic, naturalistic and ecologistic attitudes (Kellert & Berry,
1987). Additional research has shown that favourable responses towards predators
were positively related to naturalistic, moralistic and ecologistic attitudes, but nega-
tively related to negativistic and utilitarian attitudes (Kellert, 1985).
By revealing this diversity in public responses to wildlife and wildlife-related issues,
Kellert has opened up the study of human–wildlife relationships. Theoretically,
however, his work is not informed by a clear conceptual foundation and conclusive
evidence about the reliability and validity of the measurement instrument is lacking.
Manfredo and colleagues (Fulton, Manfredo, & Lipscomb, 1996; Manfredo, 2008;
Teel & Manfredo, 2009; Whittaker, Vaske, & Manfredo, 2006) have developed a
Kellert  (1976,  1996)  has  developed  a  typology 
consisting of  nine basic  attitudes towards wild-
life, also referred to as ‘values of wildlife’:
Utilitarian: Practical and material 
exploitation of wildlife.
Naturalistic: Direct experience and 
exploration of wildlife.
Ecologistic-scientific: Systematic study of 
the structure, function and relationships 
in the realm of wildlife.
Aesthetic: Physical appeal and beauty of 
Symbolic: Use of wildlife for language 
and thought.
Humanistic: Strong emotional 
attachment and ‘love’ for aspects of 
Moralistic: Spiritual reverence and 
ethical concern for wildlife.
Dominionistic: Mastery, physical control 
and dominance of  wildlife.
Negativistic: Fear, aversion and alienation 
from wildlife.
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Steg—Environmental Psychology: An Introduction
theory for studying human thought and behaviour towards wildlife, labelled the
‘cognitive hierarchy’. Building on insights from social psychology (Homer & Kahle,
1988), this framework stresses that values belong to a hierarchy of cognitions that
form the basis for human behaviour and includes values, value orientations, attitudes
and norms, and behavioural intentions. In this hierarchy, values are the most abstract
cognitions, while behavioural intentions are the most specific cognitions and immedi-
ate antecedents of actual behaviour (see Figure 8.1).
Because values are often formed early in life, are culturally constructed, transcend
situations and are tied to one’s identity (Schwartz, 2006), they are extremely resistant
to change and are unlikely to explain much of the variability in specific behaviours
within cultures. For example, two persons may both find the value ‘freedom’ impor-
tant. In the context of wildlife, one person may project this value onto humans only
and find hunting acceptable, while another person may project freedom onto both
humans and wildlife and find hunting unacceptable. The fundamental value, then,
does not directly explain specific thought and behaviour. Manfredo and Teel (Man-
fredo et al., 2009; Teel & Manfredo, 2009) have proposed that ideologies (e.g. egali-
tarianism) give direction and meaning to values in a given context. The resulting
value orientations are reflected in a schematic network of basic beliefs that organise
around fundamental values and provide contextual meaning to them within a given
domain such as wildlife. Wildlife value orientations thus relate more directly to wild-
life than general values and are therefore more useful in explaining individual varia-
Figure 8.1 The cognitive hierarchy framework.
Reprinted from Vaske, J. J. & Donnely, M. P. (1999). A value–attitude–behavior model predicting wildland 
preservation voting intentions. Society and Natural Resources, 12, 523–537, with permission of Taylor & Francis 
Ltd (
Behavioural intentions
Attitudes and norms
Value orientations
(basic belief patterns)
Values Few in number
Slow to change
Central to beliefs
Transcend situations
Quick to change
Specific to situations
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Steg—Environmental Psychology: An Introduction
tion in wildlife-related attitudes and behaviours. Wildlife value orientations mediate
the relationship between general values and attitudes or norms in specific situations
involving wildlife (Manfredo et al., 2009).
Two predominant wildlife value orientations have been identified: domination
(previously referred to as utilitarianism) and mutualism (e.g. Fulton et al., 1996; Man-
fredo, 2008; Manfredo et al., 2009; Teel & Manfredo, 2009). People with a domination
wildlife value orientation believe that wildlife should be used and managed for
human benefit and are more likely to prioritise human well-being over wildlife.
Those with a mutualism wildlife value orientation see wildlife as part of an extended
family, deserving of care and rights like humans. Teel and Manfredo (2009) argue
that mutualism entails the belief that wildlife is capable of relationships of trust with
humans, reflecting an egalitarian ideology, in which all living things are treated as
having equal worth. A measurement instrument consisting of 19 survey items (Box
8.2) has been developed to assess these orientations. The domination value orienta-
tion is based on two basic belief dimensions: appropriate use beliefs and hunting
beliefs. The mutualism value orientation is also based on two basic belief dimensions:
social affiliation beliefs and caring beliefs. Composite indices are constructed from
the basic belief items to reflect the extent to which a respondent holds a domination
and/or mutualism orientation towards wildlife.
Research in the United States (Manfredo et al., 2009; Teel & Manfredo, 2009) and
the Netherlands (Vaske, Jacobs, & Sijtsma, 2011) has demonstrated the reliability of
this measurement instrument. Conclusive evidence for the cross-cultural existence
of domination and mutualism is largely absent, although qualitative studies in the
Netherlands ( Jacobs, 2007), China (Zinn & Shen, 2007), Estonia (Raadik & Cottrell,
2007), Mongolia (Kaczensky, 2007) and Thailand (Tanakanjana & Saranet, 2007), as
well as an exploratory quantitative study (that included a subset of the 19 items) in
10 European countries (Teel et al., 2010), suggest that these orientations may exist
in various cultures.
According to Inglehart (1997), modern societies are undergoing a shift from mate-
rialist values (focus on economic well-being and safety) to post-materialist values
(focus on quality of life, belonging and self-actualisation), associated with increasing
urbanisation, income and education levels. Research suggests that these societal-level
trends are contributing to an intergenerational shift from domination to mutualism
wildlife value orientations in the United States (Manfredo et al., 2009; Teel & Man-
fredo, 2009). Data collected in 19 Western states revealed that the percentage of those
with a mutualism orientation was higher in states with a higher average state-level
income, education and urbanisation, suggesting that ongoing demographic changes
could contribute to a shift in wildlife value orientations from domination to mutual-
ism. Because the findings also revealed a strong relationship between wildlife value
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Steg—Environmental Psychology: An Introduction
Research has identified  two predominant wild-
life value  orientations:domination and mutual-
ism  (Manfredo  et  al.,  2009;  Teel  &  Manfredo,
2009). To  measure  these  value  orientations,  an 
instrument has been  developed  that measures 
the  degree  to  which  individuals  agree  with 
the beliefs that are  typical  for the orientations.
For  each  wildlife  value  orientation,  two  belief 
domains  are  distinguished.  The  items  for  each 
value  orientation  and  belief  domain  are  listed 
below. Response options range from 1 = strongly 
disagree to 7 = strongly agree.
Domination: Appropriate use beliefs
  Humans should manage fish and wildlife 
populations so that humans benefit.
  The needs of  humans should take 
priority over fish and wildlife protection.
  It is acceptable for people to kill wildlife 
if they think it poses a threat to their life.
  It is acceptable for people to kill wildlife 
if they think it poses a threat to their 
  It is acceptable to use fish and wildlife in 
research even if it may harm or  kill some 
  Fish and wildlife are on earth primarily 
for people to use.
Domination: Hunting beliefs
  We should strive for a world where there 
is an abundance of fish and wildlife for 
hunting and fishing.
  Hunting is cruel and inhumane to the 
animals (reverse-coded).
  Hunting does not respect the lives of 
animals (reverse-coded).
  People who want to hunt should be 
provided the opportunity to do so.
Mutualism: Social affiliation beliefs
  We should strive for a world where 
humans and fish and wildlife can live 
side by side  without fear.
  I view all living things as part of one  big 
  Animals should have rights similar to the 
rights of humans.
  Wildlife are like my family and I want to 
protect them.
Mutualism: Caring beliefs
  I care about animals as much as I do 
other people.
  It would be more rewarding to me to 
help animals rather than people.
  I take great comfort in the relationships I 
have with animals.
  I feel a strong emotional bond with 
  I value the sense of companionship I 
receive from animals.
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Steg—Environmental Psychology: An Introduction
orientations and wildlife-related attitudes and behaviours (Teel & Manfredo, 2009),
these changes may additionally result in continued declines in public acceptance of
traditional forms of wildlife management that are typically acceptable for those with
a domination orientation (e.g. hunting, lethal control of wildlife).
The usefulness of studying wildlife value orientations depends on the concept’s
predictive validity. Wildlife value orientations should predict people’s attitudes,
norms and behaviours towards wildlife in specific situations. Research has shown that
wildlife value orientations are effective in predicting reported behaviours such as
participation in wildlife-related recreation activities (e.g. hunting, wildlife viewing)
and support for wildlife management interventions across various issues and situa-
tions (e.g. Bright, Manfredo, & Fulton, 2000; Dougherty, Fulton, & Anderson, 2003;
Fulton et al., 1996; Teel & Manfredo, 2009; Whittaker et al., 2006). These studies
have consistently revealed that mutualists are more likely to participate in wildlife
viewing, whereas those with a domination orientation are more likely to be hunters
and anglers. Those with a mutualism value orientation are less likely than individuals
with a domination orientation to support management interventions that harm
wildlife or favour human interests over wildlife protection (e.g. Teel & Manfredo,
2009). Overall, the two wildlife value orientations have been shown across studies to
explain approximately half of the variability in attitudes, norms and behaviours (e.g.
Fulton et al., 1996; Jacobs et al., 2011; Whittaker et al., 2006).
The cognitive approach described above does not explicitly consider emotions. The
concepts and measurements may reflect emotional content (e.g. attitudes and values
are often emotion-laden), but they are not intended to directly capture emotional
dispositions or responses. While fear towards wildlife has occasionally been empiri-
cally addressed (Johansson & Karlsson, 2011; Kaltenborn, Bjerke, & Nyahongo,
2006; Öhman & Mineka, 2003), research on emotions towards wildlife is far less
extensive than research on cognitions. Yet emotions can play a key role in our
experiences with, and responses to wildlife and reflect basic reactions to wildlife and
the natural environment (Herzog & Burghardt, 1986; Manfredo, 2008; see also
Chapter 7). Emotions influence other mental phenomena, such as perception and
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memories. Most people can easily recall intense positive and negative emotional
wildlife experiences (e.g. being delighted to see a deer in the wild, being afraid of
Emotional responses are characterised by valence (e.g. positive or negative, good
or bad) and may comprise: (a) expressive reactions (e.g. smiling), (b) physiological
reactions (e.g. increased heartbeat), (c) behavioural tendencies or coping (e.g.
approaching, avoiding), (d) thoughts (e.g. interpreting the situation, identifying a
supposed cause of the emotion), and (e) emotional experiences (e.g. feeling happy)
(Cornelius, 1996). These components of emotional responses can be influenced by
biological factors as well as by cultural and individual learning (Jacobs, 2009). In
the course of biological evolution, emotional bodily reactions emerged as automatic
adaptive responses to situations of life-importance, and facilitated the survival and
well-being of animals and humans (Damasio, 2001; LeDoux, 1996). For example,
an increased heartbeat as part of a fear reaction to a predator prepares a human
for optimal fight or flight reactions (see also Chapter 3). Many bodily reactions are
automatic; if the person had to think about increasing the heartbeat the optimal
bodily condition for an immediate adequate reaction would set in too late. How
people interpret feedback from bodily reactions into an emotional experience is
influenced by past experience and knowledge. The knowledge that a bear behind
bars in a zoo cannot attack, for example, might block out an automatic fear response.
Thus, knowledge can influence emotional experiences via feedback from the cogni-
tive to the emotional system and can even suppress an initial emotional bodily fear
Different psychological mechanisms can cause emotional responses to wildlife
(Jacobs, 2009). First, humans have innate preferences for watching biological move-
ment over non-biological movement, as demonstrated by experiments with newborn
babies (Simion, Regolin, & Bulf, 2008). Consequently, people are genetically inclined
to attend to and respond to animals. Second, some emotional responses towards
wildlife species relevant for survival (e.g. fear responses to snakes) are learned
quickly and unlearned slowly because of innate quick learning programs (Öhman
& Mineka, 2003; see also Chapter 7). Third, people have mental dispositions to
respond emotionally to wildlife that result from conditioning. Through condition-
ing, a previously neutral stimulus is associated with an emotional stimulus and then
becomes an emotional stimulus as well. For example, scavengers such as crows and
ravens tend to be seen in places associated with death and might thus become fear
triggers for some people (Marzluff & Angell, 2005). Fourth, we tend to react emo-
tionally to the emotional expressions of wildlife; for example, animals that behave
calmly tend to make us feel calm ( Jacobs, 2009). Fifth, knowledge about animals
may reinforce or transform the way a bodily emotional reaction to an animal is
interpreted into a conscious experience (Lazarus & Alfert, 1964). For example, as
pointed out before, seeing a bear in the zoo and knowing that it can do no harm
may convert an initial fear reaction into a positive fascination. Sixth, acquired knowl-
edge about wildlife can prompt emotional reactions. For instance, birdwatchers
enjoy encountering a bird that is rarely seen because they know it is a special event
(McFarlane, 1994). Different emotional responses to wildlife may be caused by
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Steg—Environmental Psychology: An Introduction
various combinations of these mechanisms ( Jacobs, 2009). For example, many
ancient and contemporary myths depict spiders and snakes as symbols of danger
and evil (e.g. Shelob the spider in Lord of the Rings and Voldemort’s snake Nagini
in Harry Potter). Cultural learning thus reinforces our biologically constituted ten-
dency to fear spiders and snakes.
Wildlife can evoke strong positive and negative thoughts, feelings and actions in
people. In this chapter, we reviewed theories and corresponding empirical evidence
on these human dimensions of wildlife. In particular, the cognitive hierarchy frame-
work stresses that human cognitions exist on different levels of abstraction and
comprise the concepts of values, value orientations, attitudes and norms, and behav-
ioural intentions (values being the most abstract and behavioural intentions the most
specific cognitions in the continuum). Wildlife value orientations are patterns of basic
beliefs that give direction and meaning to fundamental values in the domain of
wildlife. Research has revealed two primary wildlife value orientations: domination
and mutualism. People with a domination wildlife value orientation believe that
wildlife should be used and managed for human benefit and are more likely to pri-
oritise human well-being over wildlife. Those with a mutualism wildlife value orien-
tation see wildlife as part of an extended family, deserving of rights and care. These
value orientations predict attitudes and norms towards wildlife-related activities and
management issues, as well as wildlife-related behaviours. Along with cognitions,
emotions are important components of human behaviour towards wildlife. Emo-
tional responses to wildlife can be caused by general (e.g. conditioning) and specific
(e.g. innate quick learning programmes) psychological mechanisms. In general,
future research on human dimensions of wildlife may benefit from the combined
study of both cognitive and emotional responses to wildlife.
attitudes mental dispositions to evaluate an attitude object (i.e. a person, place, thing, or event)
with some degree of favour or disfavour.
basic beliefs thoughts about general classes of objects or issues within a given domain (e.g.
cognitions mental dispositions that are used in perceiving, remembering, thinking and
cognitive hierarchy theoretical framework that stresses that cognitions exist on different levels
of abstraction that are causally related, including values (most abstract), value orientations,
attitudes, norms and behavioural intentions (most specific).
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Steg—Environmental Psychology: An Introduction
1. Which core concepts are included in the cognitive hierarchy framework? How are they defined
and differentiated?
2. Name and describe the two primary wildlife value orientations.
3. What are the components of emotional responses and can you give examples pertaining to
responses to wildlife?
4. Some emotional dispositions towards wildlife are shared by all humans while other emotional
dispositions vary across humans. Give examples of both kinds of dispositions.
domination a wildlife value orientation that comprises beliefs that wildlife should be used and
managed for human benefit and that human well-being is more important than wildlife.
emotional response positive or negative response that is characterised by expressive reactions,
physiological reactions, behavioural tendencies or coping, specific emotion-related thoughts
and emotional experiences.
ideologies consensually held beliefs that enable people who share them to understand meaning,
to know who they are, and to relate to one another.
mutualism a wildlife value orientation that comprises the beliefs that wildlife is part of an
extended family, deserving of care and rights like humans.
norms what is commonly done or (dis)approved.
value orientations schematic networks of basic beliefs, reflective of cultural ideologies, that
give direction and meaning to fundamental values in a particular domain (e.g. wildlife).
values desirable trans-situational goals varying in importance, which serve as guiding principles
in the life of a person or other social entity.
wildlife non-domesticated fauna.
Jacobs, M. H. (2009). Why do we like or dislike animals? Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 14(1),
Manfredo, M. J. (2008). Who cares about wildlife? New York: Springer.
Teel, T. L., & Manfredo, M. J. (2009). Understanding the diversity of public interests in wildlife
conservation. Conservation Biology, 24(1), 128–139.
Vaske, J. J. & Manfredo, M. J. (in press). Social-psychological aspects of wildlife management. In
D. J. Decker, S. Riley, & W. F. Siemer (Eds.), Human dimensions of wildlife management. Baltimore,
MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
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... In general, human attitudes towards wildlife are composed of nine factors ranging from utilitarian to naturalistic, from moralistic to negativistic values (see Jacobs et al., 2019). Utilitarian values are often associated with beneficial characteristics like provision of meat while naturalistic values are based on direct experiences with animals. ...
... These are, however, in many cases linked to economic losses due to crop feeding or depredation of livestock (Dickman, 2012). Negativistic values like fear or aversion are sometimes based on real threats towards people (Campbell-Smith et al. 2010;Okello et al., 2014;Packer et al., 2005), but more often on misconceptions and a lack of knowledge (Dickman, 2012;Jacobs et al., 2019;Lee & Priston, 2005). Finally, moralistic values are usually founded in spiritual reverence, myths and beliefs with varying consequences for the respective species. ...
... The Endangered Aye-aye is a species of conservation concern due to habitat loss and the prosecution by local communities . Although reports on negative attitudes towards Aye-ayes are fairly consistent in the literature, our localized study revealed a much more diversified image-while negative perceptions were attributed to vague and unspecific stories, positive attitudes were connected to observable and beneficial behaviours illustrating a utilitarian value of the Aye-aye (Jacobs et al., 2019). Similar to that, neutral attitudes were represented by naturalistic values, experiences when encountering an Aye-aye in the forest or curiosity about certain observed behaviours. ...
Full-text available
Human–wildlife interactions are usually centred on the conflict between local populations and species that are perceived as problematic. To better understand the human dimension, social science approaches are increasingly incorporated to delimit opportunities for coexistence and species conservation. Here we explore local attitudes and beliefs about one of these ‘problematic’ species, the Endangered Aye‐aye Daubentonia madagascariensis, the largest nocturnal primate on earth. We conducted a literature review on published beliefs and narratives about the Aye‐aye followed by 83 semi‐structured interviews in 11 villages in northeastern Madagascar. The Aye‐aye is generally perceived as a bad omen throughout its range. In many places it has to be killed on sight, while in others it is forbidden to be killed. We did not find any positive attitudes towards this species in the literature. However, this was not reflected by our interviews: although 47.0% of respondents held a negative attitude, more than half had a neutral or even positive attitude towards the Aye‐aye (36.1 and 18.1% respectively). Positive attitudes were linked to perceived pest control services on major cash crops. Negative attitudes are mostly related to the perception that when an Aye‐aye comes to a village, catastrophic things (e.g. deaths of community members) will happen, or that it destroys a village. These major narratives were mostly consistent within villages (79.5 ± 20.7% SD of respondents; range 50–100%) but considerably differed between villages. Negative attitudes towards the Aye‐aye were solely based on vague and generic narratives that are not reflected by its (true) ecology. Positive and neutral attitudes instead were related to observable behaviours benefitting people (i.e. pest control services) or curiosity about the species. This case study illustrates how even firm narratives can vary locally offering valuable starting points for targeted conservation or education programs. We therefore identified the Makira region of northeastern Madagascar as a potential stronghold for Aye‐aye conservation if specific actions highlighting its beneficial value could be initiated. In general, conservation practitioners should feel encouraged to look beyond the often told stories about ‘their’ target species and listen to local voices more often.
... While often investigated in relation to wildlife [65,66] or on environmentally friendly behavior in general [67], emotions can also be relevant for the examination of forest patches [17]. Emotions manifest themselves in different aspects, such as reactions of the physical body, expressions, patterns of behavior or experiences [66,68]. The diversity of emotions can be summarized in the dimensional and discrete perspective [69]. ...
Full-text available
In an era of urbanization, forests are a key component of the urban green infrastructure, providing multiple benefits to urban residents. While emerging forests on urban wasteland could increase the urban forest area, it is unclear how residents view such novel forest types. In a comparative self-administered online survey, we assessed attitudes and emotions of residents (n = 299) from the Berlin region, Germany, towards forest types that represent transformation stages from natural to novel forests: (1) natural remnants, (2) silvicultural plantings, (3) park forests and (4) novel wild forests in wastelands. Respondents expressed positive attitudes and emotions towards all forest types, including the novel wild forest. Ratings were most positive towards natural remnants and least positive towards the novel wild forest. The indicated prevalence of non-native trees (Ailanthus altissima, Robinia pseudoacacia) did not evoke negative responses. Women and younger people were more positive towards the novel wild forest compared to other respondents, and men were most positive towards natural remnants. Place attachment was positively related to the park forest. Results indicate support for a wide range of forest types, including novel wild forests and non-native tree species, which can be used to expand urban forest areas and enhance opportunities for nature experience in cities.
... The use of lethal control to protect livestock remains popular, even though many studies have shown that it can be less efficient and more expensive than non-lethal methods (e.g., guard dogs, fences, protective collars, visual or acoustic repellents; Berger, 2006;McManus et al., 2015;Moreira-Arce et al., 2018). Moreover, research has shown that even when damage to livestock is reduced, killing of carnivores might persist (e.g., Marker et al., 2010), suggesting that the support for lethal control and the persistence of conflict with carnivores might be driven by underlying, deeper-rooted factors (e.g., cultural and social factors) beyond the visible problem of livestock predation (Dickman, 2010;Frank & Glikman, 2019;Jacobs et al., 2018;Zimmermann et al., 2020). ...
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Human-carnivore conflicts threaten the survival of large carnivore populations and impose high costs for humans. Knowledge co-building approaches can be successful in tackling these problems. We examined conflicts between the puma (Puma concolor) and pastoralists from an Argentine Puna village through semi-structured interviews and a focus group discussion. According to data from the community, 6% of livestock were killed by pumas in 2017, causing an estimated US $14,340 loss. Interviewees perceived pumas as dangerous and hunted them to protect livestock. Predation and diseases were identified as major causes of livestock losses, and infrequent checks on livestock, livestock being free-ranging, and an increase in the puma population were underlying causes of predation. Interviewees mentioned direct economic costs and indirect and hidden costs as consequences of livestock loss. Given that social factors are important drivers in human-wildlife conflicts, we highlight the importance of engaging the community during conflict research and management.
... The attitudes that ultimately govern public opinion in these cases often form early in life and are typically maintained through adolescence and into adulthood (Ballantyne et al., 2018;Bjerke et al., 1998;Eagles & Muffit, 1990;Jacobs et al., 2018). Hence, it is important to understand how young people discern species of conservation concern (e.g. the wolverine). ...
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This study explores the perception of wolverines, a carnivore in decline, by youths in northern Canada, the future generation of stakeholders. To accomplish this, we analysed 165 drawings from children and 22 interviews with Indigenous adults in the Northwest Territories and Quebec. Overall, children primarily drew wolverines in healthy environments, with only a minority depicting the wolverine’s environment negatively. All children demonstrated a basic understanding of the wolverine’s physical appearance and biology/ecology, with few differences in how the wolverine was depicted among the different research areas. Among interviewed adults, the ecological role played by wolverines was less prominent among the themes explored by Naskapi participants than was their role as a thief or pest, when contrasted to Dene participants. These results indicate that information about wolverine habitat or biology is still being acquired by children in areas where wolverines are extirpated, but that a lack of exposure to this species may negatively influence children’s understanding of its ecological role. These results suggest that informing the public about this carnivore’s ecological role may improve public support and, therefore, the likelihood of successful conservation programmes.
... Due to constraints imposed by field administration, we did not explore them in this research, but considering their role over visitor's behavior it will be important to gain a deeper understanding of human-wildlife interactions and to use such understanding to better manage encounters between visitors and large mammals. For example, value orientations are a major antecedent of human attitudes and behavior towards wildlife (Jacobs, Vaske, Teel, & Manfredo, 2018). The whole wildlife value orientation (WVO) scale includes 19 items (Manfredo, Teel, & Henry, 2009). ...
Approaching large ungulates at protected areas is dangerous both for visitors and the animals. To promote the use of safe distances, conservationists need to be sure about which factors influence the acceptability of human- wildlife encounters. In summer 2018, we recruited a sample of 202 visitors at the Gran Paradiso National Park (Italy). They evaluated the acceptability of nine digitally modified pictures, depicting a group of visitors ob serving an alpine ibex (Capra ibex) close to a trail. Pictures were characterized in terms of group size and distance from the ibex. Observing ibexes was deemed to be acceptable if visitors were further than 25 m from animals and when groups included less than three people. Approaching ibexes at 5 m was always unacceptable. The Potential for Conflict Index (PCI) was constant across distance classes and it was generally low. Our findings indicate that visitors share normative beliefs about the optimal distance and group size that visitors should maintain when observing large ungulates in the park. These normative beliefs are crystallized, because previous encounters with ibexes did not affect the evaluation of each scenario and because the PCI was constant and low. We believe that behavioral interventions aimed at promoting respectful and safe human-ibex interactions can be enforced in areas where this interaction is critical, mostly in the form of panels on hiking trails introducing normative pressures on visitors and motivating them to comply with rules
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Understanding differences in the way people think about wildlife across countries is important as many conservation challenges transcend jurisdictions. We explored differences in wildlife value orientations in seven countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Serbia. Standard scales assessed domination (prioritizing human well-being) and mutualism (striving for egalitarian relationships with wildlife). We used student samples (total n = 2176) for cross-cultural comparisons. Reliabilities of the wildlife value orientations scales were adequate in all countries. Relationships between demographics and wildlife value orientations were different across countries. Men were generally more oriented towards domination and less towards mutualism than women, except in Serbia, where it was the other way around. Estimated at the level of the individual (using ANOVA), wildlife value orientations varied across countries, with nationality explaining a larger portion of the variation in mutualism (21%) than domination (6%). Estimated at the level of countries (using multilevel modelling), effect sizes were comparable. Thought about wildlife has previously only been examined within single countries. This paper makes a new contribution to the conservation literature suggesting that wildlife value orientations vary by country, and are associated with demographic factors. For conservation practices, understanding national differences in the way people think about wildlife is crucial to understanding sources of conflict among practitioners. Such knowledge is also important to gain public support for conservation.
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There is a growing consensus that current conservation strategies are unable to cope with the acceleration of human-caused environmental degradation. The philosophies that underpin and shape traditional conservation initiatives have begun to shift toward a “people and nature” approach, based on a new and deeper understanding of relational values. With this shift, there is increasing concern about the social impacts of conservation and a need to consider not only the environmental aspects of conservation, but also issues of equity and social justice. This is especially important for marine conservation to avoid repeating the exclusionary and unjust protective measures sometimes seen in traditional terrestrial conservation. Additionally, lack of compliance with management schemes, and failure to consider the social dimensions and realities of local communities have hindered the success of conservation initiatives. Therefore, increasing engagement with social science and a better understanding of human-wildlife and human-nature connections are necessary. Community-based conservation approaches and payment for ecosystem service schemes can provide important insights and lessons for such improved participatory management. Furthermore, the use of social science offers a range of methods and approaches that can be used to improve the consideration of those social dimensions. These include different theoretical frameworks for understanding the relationships between people, society, and nature, innovative participatory methods and more flexible, adaptive systems-based approaches for understanding complex socio-ecological systems. Increasing and mainstreaming the inclusion of the social dimensions of conservation will also depend on overcoming current institutional barriers such as lack of capacity, time, and funding opportunities especially in the context of marine social science.
Anthropomorphism is a natural tendency in humans, but it is also influenced by many characteristics of the observer (the human) and the observed entity (here, the animal species). This study asked participants to complete an online questionnaire about three videos showing epimeletic behaviours in three animal species. In the videos, an individual (a sparrow, an elephant and a macaque, respectively) displayed behaviours towards an inanimate conspecific that suddenly regained consciousness at the end of the footage. A fourth video showed a robot dog being kicked by an engineer to demonstrate its stability. Each video was followed by a series of questions designed to evaluate the degree of anthropomorphism of participants, from mentaphobia (no attribution of intentions and beliefs, whatever the animal species) to full anthropomorphism (full attribution of intentions and beliefs by animals, to the same extent as in humans) and to measure how far the participants had correctly assessed each situation in terms of biological reality (current scientific knowledge of each species). There is a negative correlation (about 61%) between the mental states attributed to animals by humans to animals and the real capability of animals. The heterogeneity of responses proved that humans display different forms of anthropomorphism, from rejecting all emotional or intentional states in animals to considering animals to show the same intentions as humans. However, the scores participants attributed to animals differed according to the species shown in the video and to human sociodemographic characteristics. Understanding the potential usefulness of these factors can lead to better relationships with animals and encourage a positive view of human-robot interactions. Indeed, reflective or critical anthropomorphism can increase our humanity.
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As nature-based recreational activities keep increasing, so does human pressure on wildlife. Several recent reviews provide a comprehensive overview of the impact of recreation on wildlife, but there is no comprehensive study of how humans perceive their own impact while participating in those activities. We fill this gap by summarizing the current state of research with a systematic review of 47 articles published between 1992 and 2018. It unveiled the current lack of research on sporting activities and on terrestrial mammals (in contrast to marine animals). In 43% of the surveys, most respondents were not aware of their impact on wildlife. The variables that were most often explored to explain the perception of disturbance was the experience and knowledge of the respondents. Some interesting results arose, such as the negative correlation between the level of knowledge of wildlife disturbance and awareness, or the transfer of the responsibility of disturbance on other user groups. Although several explanations are provided to explain these counterintuitive results, drawing general patterns stemming from the range of articles we reviewed was limited by the wide heterogeneity in researches aims, protocols and survey designs. In the conclusion we make recommendations to improve the comparability of future research.
In this study, we asked participants to answer an online questionnaire about videos showing animal epimeletic behaviours: an individual (a sparrow, an elephant and a macaque) displayed behaviours towards an inanimate conspecific who suddenly got back to conscious at the end of the footage. A fourth video showed a dog-robot kicked by an engineer to demonstrate its stability. After each video, questions were asked to score the degree of anthropomorphism of participants, from mentophobia (no attribution whatever the species) to full anthropomorphism and to measure how close participants are to biological reality (actual scientific knowledge). A first important result is that there is a negative correlation (about 61%) between the anthropomorphism score (AS) and the biological reality one (BRS) showing a wrong statement. The heterogeneity of responses proved that all levels of anthropomorphism are covered from mentaphobia to full anthropomorphism. However, the scores participants attributed to animals differ according to the species shown in the video and to human characteristics. Understanding how one can play with these factors can conduct to better relationships with animals as encourage human-robot interactions. Finally, such reflective anthropomorphism can lead to an increase of human empathy and sociality, finally increasing our humanity.
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Animals are strong emotional triggers for us. The goal of this article is to identify causes and mechanisms that constitute liking or disliking animals. By combining deductions from emotion theory with empirical findings, six categories of causes can be distinguished: (1) an innate sensitivity for biological movement, (2) inherited quick learning programs to respond emotionally to some animals, (3) mental dispositions to respond emotionally to animals that result from conditioning, (4) an innate tendency to react emotionally to the emotional expressions of animals, (5) acquired knowledge about animals that influences the way we interpret an automatic bodily emotional reaction to an animal into a conscious experience, and (6) acquired knowledge about animals that can turn on emotional reactions to animals. Because emotions play a central role in the economy of the individual, the study of emotional responses may greatly enhance our understanding of the human dimensions of wildlife in general
Wildlife holds a special place in the human consciousness. It is a source of attraction and fear, material value and symbolic meaning, religious or spiritual significance, and it is a barometer of peoples concern for environmental sustainability. Why do humans care so much about wildlife? In Who Cares About Wildlife?, author Michael J. Manfredo explores that question through multiple social science perspectives. How has evolution prepared human responses to wildlife? How can we better understand the nature of our cognitive and emotional responses to wildlife? And how can we place those responses in a broad cultural context? A theoretical perspective is advanced that draws upon these multiple perspectives and that proposes the rise of caring and mutualism values in post-industrial society. Directions for future research and managerial implications are interwoven into this theoretical overview. "This ambitious book concerning the human dimensions of wildlife management comes at an opportune time as global warming threatens extinction of large numbers of species. After considering the biological bases of human-wildlife interaction, Manfredo reviews and applies major social science theories and research to wildlife management. Chapter by chapter, the author introduces the reader to a central construct or theoretical approach and considers its implications for wildlife management. In this manner, the book ranges widely, from emotions, attitudes and social norms, to values and culture. Though necessarily brief, the literature reviews are informative and up-to-date, and their relevance for wildlife management is made clear by numerous examples and illustrative case studies. This engaging book is essential reading for students and professionals interested in research on the human dimensions of wildlife management." - Icek Aizen, Professor and Head, Division of Social Psychology, University of Massachusetts- Amherst. © 2008 Springer ScienceBusiness Media, LLC. All rights reserved.
North American state wildlife agencies are increasingly faced with the challenge of effectively representing a diverse public. With increasing social conflict over wildlife issues, the future of wildlife conservation hinges on preparedness of the profession to respond to this challenge. In the interest of finding ways to improve response, 19 agencies in the western U.S. joined forces to initiate an investigation that would provide a better understanding of the diversity of wildlife-related interests in the region. Specific objectives, accomplished through use of a mail survey administered in 2004, were to categorize people on the basis of their value orientations toward wildlife and explore how different groups were distributed across states and to examine differences on sociodemographic characteristics and attitudes toward wildlife-related topics among groups. The focus was on two orientations: domination (view of wildlife that prioritizes human well-being over wildlife and treats wildlife in utilitarian terms); and mutualism (view of wildlife as capable of relationships of trust with humans and defined by a desire for companionship with wildlife). Four types of people were identified on the basis of these orientations. Types differed in their geographic distribution and wildlife-related attitudes and behaviors, revealing how value orientations can form the foundation for conflict on wildlife issues. Our characterizations of stakeholder groups offer a framework that can be applied over time and across geographic scales to improve conservation planning efforts and inform broader thinking about the social aspects of wildlife conservation.
Why do we like or dislike animals? Human Dimensions of Wildlife
  • M H Jacobs
Jacobs, M. H. (2009). Why do we like or dislike animals? Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 14(1), 1-11.