In their 2004 article “Australian Tropical Reptile Species: Ecological Status, Public Valuation and Attitudes to their Conservation and Commercial Use“, Tisdell, Wilson and Nantha discuss the relationship of Australians with some of their well-known local reptiles. It turns out that even though the knowledge about these animals varies among different members of the public, most will still want to conserve even the least likable species.
Here are some exerpts from the article:
Associations between the stated likeability of each of the reptile species and respondents’ attitudes to their survival, commercial use and respondents’ willingness to allocate funds for their conservation were considered. While there is a negative relationship between support for commercial use of a species and their likeability, the relationship is a weak one. On the other hand, the probability of respondents favouring the survival of species rises with the likeability of a species, and the relationship is relatively close and significant. This is also mirrored in respondents’ proposed allocation of funding for the conservation of the various reptile species (allocations are higher for species that are more liked) but the result is confounded by the endangered status of the hawksbill turtle.
Those results are consistent with the findings of Metrick and Weitzman (1996, 1998) in a different context. However, the results suggest that likeability is not the only factor that influences the proposed financial support of humans for conserving wildlife. For example, the degree of perceived endangerment plays a role, as for instance illustrated above by support for conservation of the hawksbill turtle. Furthermore, moral sentiment is also important (cf. Kotchen and Reiling, 2000). For example, more than 85 percent of the sampled public supported the survival of the taipan snakes, even though they were the most disliked species. Respondents as a whole allocated some funds to conserve all the focal reptile species. Several respondents stated that even the most disliked species have a right to exist.
The original article can be found here:
Powered by Facebook Comments