The wildlife attitude-acceptability framework’s potential to inform human dimensions of wildlife science and practice

Alexander L. Metcalf, Elizabeth Covelli Metcalf, Lara J. Brenner, Holly K. Nesbitt, Conor N. Phelan, Michael S. Lewis, Justin A. Gude

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite years of research, concepts such as human tolerance and acceptability of wildlife remain inconsistently defined and measured, creating confusion, undermining comparative and longitudinal research, and limiting utility to practitioners. To address these shortcomings, the wildlife attitude-acceptability framework proposed intersecting attitudes toward wildlife species with acceptability of impacts from that species to reveal four archetypes of human cognitions toward wildlife. Here, we use data from western US household surveys to populate the conceptual space of the wildlife attitude-acceptability framework with human cognitions toward three carnivore species: gray wolf (Canis lupis), cougar (Puma concolor), and grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis). This empirical application of the wildlife attitude-acceptability framework demonstrates its potential to inform management and conservation efforts, promote consistent measurement across species and studies, and extend theoretical understanding of concepts like tolerance, which are necessary for human–wildlife coexistence. We discuss these opportunities and remaining needs for improvement before wider adoption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Dimensions of Wildlife
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Carnivores
  • coexistence
  • cognitions
  • conservation
  • methods
  • quantitative survey
  • tolerance

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