What inspires people to support conservation? As concerns grow about the sustainability of our modern society, this question becomes more important. A new study by researchers at Cornell University provides one simple answer: bird watching and hunting.
This survey of conservation activity among rural landowners in Upstate New York considered a range of possible predictors such as gender, age, education, political ideology, and beliefs about the environment. All other factors being equal, bird watchers are about five times as likely, and hunters about four times as likely, as non-recreationists to engage in wildlife and habitat conservation. Both bird watchers and hunters were more likely than non-recreationists to enhance land for wildlife, donate to conservation organizations, and advocate for wildlife-all actions that significantly impact conservation success.
The contributions of individuals who identified as both bird watchers and hunters were even more pronounced. On average, this group was about eight times more likely than non-recreationists to engage in conservation.
"We set out to study two groups--bird watchers and hunters--and didn't anticipate the importance of those who do both, and wildlife managers probably didn't either," said Dr. Caren Cooper, the study's lead author, now at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. "We don't even have a proper name for these conservation superstars, other than hunter/bird watchers."
"Managers often discuss direct and indirect links between wildlife recreation and conservation," said study co-author Dr. Lincoln Larson, now at Clemson University. "Our findings not only validate this connection, but reveal the unexpected strength of the conservation-recreation relationship."
The study, published in the Journal of Wildlife Management, speaks to wildlife agency managers. Findings could assuage concerns about diminishing support for conservation in the United States and its historic ties (both socially and economically) to hunting, an activity that has been declining for decades.
"Our results provide hope for wildlife agencies, organizations, and citizens concerned about conservation," offers study co-author Dr. Ashley Dayer of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. "Bird watchers, a group not traditionally thought of as a constituency by many wildlife management agencies, have real potential to be conservation supporters, if appropriate mechanisms for them to contribute are available."
As agencies and conservation organizations ponder how to better work with bird watchers, hunters, and hunter/bird watchers on conservation, one take-home message is clear: The more time we spend in nature, the more likely we are to protect it.
Are wildlife recreationists conservationists? Linking hunting, birdwatching, and pro-environmental behavior. Caren Cooper, Lincoln Larson, Ashley Dayer, Richard Stedman, and Daniel Decker. Journal of Wildlife Management. 2015. DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.855
Pat Leonard | EurekAlert!
Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School
Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier
Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.
Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
19.11.2018 | Event News
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy