Katherine Allen's Graduate Exit Seminar
Katherine will present her graduate exit seminar, Wildlife Value Orientations in Context: Using Experimental Design to Predict Acceptability of Lethal Removal at 2PM on May 2nd, 2019 in Kottman 245.
Wildlife value orientations (WVOs) reflect sets of beliefs about preferred modes of treating wildlife and have been found to predict attitudes toward wildlife management interventions. Much research in the academic discipline of “human dimensions of wildlife" has examined the effects of WVOs on attitudes towards particular management strategies, or a handful of species pertinent to a specific locality (e.g., state, region, nation). Consequentially, past research has not isolated the effects of species attributes on attitudes. In the current work, I test whether the effects of WVOs on acceptability of lethal removal and risk perceptions about wildlife-related threats differ as a function of the following species attributes: endangered status, diet (i.e., carnivore or herbivore), and whether the species poses a threat. I distributed a self-administered online survey to a panel of 987 individuals using Prolific Academic to measure acceptability of lethal removal and risk perceptions of a species, WVOs (domination and mutualism), and experience with negative human-wildlife interactions in the past year. Moderated linear regression analyses revealed that the effects of the WVOs on acceptability of lethal removal and risk perceptions differed significantly between the experimental treatments. The results indicate that contextual cues about a species can dampen or strengthen the influence of WVOs when people make wildlife-related decisions. When predicting acceptability of lethal removal, domination increased acceptability of lethal removal to a greater extent when a species was described as posing a threat or was a carnivore, and to a lesser extent when a species was labeled as endangered. Together, these findings provide a more detailed understanding of how WVOs influence cognitions about wildlife-related decisions in relation to different types of species attributes, which can potentially inform efforts of wildlife agencies to garner support for wildlife conservation initiatives and foster more productive communication between diverse stakeholder groups.