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Factors influencing local attitudes towards the conservation of leopard cats Prionailurus bengalensis in rural Taiwan

Best, Ian and Pei, Kurtis Jai Chyi (2019) In ORYX
Abstract

Understanding the human dimension is critical for effective conservation management of species involved in human-carnivore conflict. There is also a need to recognize who among the local human population is supportive of wildlife conservation. We investigated how local people's attitudes and knowledge of the leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis are influenced by socio-demographic variables, encounter rates and the nature of encounters with the felid in Taiwan. During June-August 2014 we interviewed 150 residents in Miaoli County in northern Taiwan, where the leopard cat is known to occur. More than half of the participants indicated they were supportive of leopard cat conservation. The majority of those who expressed positive attitudes... (More)

Understanding the human dimension is critical for effective conservation management of species involved in human-carnivore conflict. There is also a need to recognize who among the local human population is supportive of wildlife conservation. We investigated how local people's attitudes and knowledge of the leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis are influenced by socio-demographic variables, encounter rates and the nature of encounters with the felid in Taiwan. During June-August 2014 we interviewed 150 residents in Miaoli County in northern Taiwan, where the leopard cat is known to occur. More than half of the participants indicated they were supportive of leopard cat conservation. The majority of those who expressed positive attitudes towards protection of the leopard cat belonged to younger, more educated socio-demographic groups. Negative attitudes towards leopard cat conservation were most prevalent among farmers, who also reported the highest incidence of negative experiences, mainly involving predation of poultry. We provide recommendations to mitigate human-felid conflict, including changes to animal husbandry practices. We also describe how conservation efforts for this species and wildlife in general in Taiwan could be improved, for example through incentive and awareness-raising programmes.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
Attitudes, felid conservation, human-carnivore conflict, leopard cat, socio-demographic factors, Taiwan, threatened species
in
ORYX
publisher
Cambridge University Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:85062364552
ISSN
0030-6053
DOI
10.1017/S0030605318000984
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
6a9d9e21-4e75-46af-abdd-c04aa065371c
date added to LUP
2019-03-18 14:19:43
date last changed
2019-04-10 04:21:18
@article{6a9d9e21-4e75-46af-abdd-c04aa065371c,
  abstract     = {<p>Understanding the human dimension is critical for effective conservation management of species involved in human-carnivore conflict. There is also a need to recognize who among the local human population is supportive of wildlife conservation. We investigated how local people's attitudes and knowledge of the leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis are influenced by socio-demographic variables, encounter rates and the nature of encounters with the felid in Taiwan. During June-August 2014 we interviewed 150 residents in Miaoli County in northern Taiwan, where the leopard cat is known to occur. More than half of the participants indicated they were supportive of leopard cat conservation. The majority of those who expressed positive attitudes towards protection of the leopard cat belonged to younger, more educated socio-demographic groups. Negative attitudes towards leopard cat conservation were most prevalent among farmers, who also reported the highest incidence of negative experiences, mainly involving predation of poultry. We provide recommendations to mitigate human-felid conflict, including changes to animal husbandry practices. We also describe how conservation efforts for this species and wildlife in general in Taiwan could be improved, for example through incentive and awareness-raising programmes.</p>},
  author       = {Best, Ian and Pei, Kurtis Jai Chyi},
  issn         = {0030-6053},
  keyword      = {Attitudes,felid conservation,human-carnivore conflict,leopard cat,socio-demographic factors,Taiwan,threatened species},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Cambridge University Press},
  series       = {ORYX},
  title        = {Factors influencing local attitudes towards the conservation of leopard cats Prionailurus bengalensis in rural Taiwan},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0030605318000984},
  year         = {2019},
}