Wildlife Conservation Society

Sep 24, 2019

2 min read

WCS 3-Sentence Science

Do you Really Like Wildlife?

August 8, 2019


ach year, Wildlife Conservation Society scientists publish more than 300 peer-reviewed studies and papers. “WCS 3-Sentence Science” is a regular tip-sheet — in bite sized helpings — of some of this published work.

Here we present work by WCS’s India Program looking at how to measure support for conservation among those most impacted.

  1. Having support from stakeholders is critical to achieving conservation success, but few approaches account for bias arising from reporting errors; that is, reporting a positive attitude towards conservation when the respondent actually does not have one (a false positive error), or not reporting a positive attitude when the respondent is positive towards conservation (a false negative error).
  2. Researchers used a Bayesian hierarchical model to quantify attitudes toward Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in India’s Kaziranga Karbi Anglong landscape to allow for a more accurate assessment of stakeholder attitudes.
  3. Authors say that regular and reliable assessment of stakeholder attitudes combined with an understanding of factors contributing to variation in attitudes can feed into participatory conservation monitoring programs, help assess the success of initiatives aimed at facilitating human behavioral change, and inform conservation decision-making.

Study and Journal: “A Bayesian hierarchical approach to quantifying stakeholder attitudes toward conservation in the presence of reporting error” from Conservation Biology
WCS Co-Author(s): D. Vasudev (Lead), WCS India Program; V. R. Goswami, WCS India Program

For more information, contact: Stephen Sautner, 718–220–3682, ssautner@wcs.org.