Keywords: Coexistence; conservation; coupled human and natural systems; human dimensions; human-wildlife conflict
Volume/Issue: Online July 12, 2013
Year Published: 2013
In many regions around the world, wildlife impacts on people (e.g., crop raiding, attacks on people)
engender negative attitudes toward wildlife. Negative attitudes predict behaviors that undermine wildlife management and conservation efforts (e.g., by exacerbating retaliatory killing of wildlife). Our study (1) evaluated attitudes of local people toward the globally endangered tiger (Panthera tigris) in Nepal’s Chitwan National Park; and (2) modeled and mapped spatial clusters of attitudes toward tigers. Factors characterizing a person’s position in society (i.e., socioeconomic and cultural factors) inï¬‚uenced
attitudes toward tigers more than past experiences with tigers (e.g., livestock attacks). A spatial cluster of negative attitudes toward tigers was associated with concentrations of people with less formal education, people from marginalized ethnic groups, and tiger attacks on people. Our study provides insights and descriptions of techniques to improve attitudes toward wildlife in Chitwan and many regions around the world with similar conservation challenges.