Assessing public comitment to endangered species protection: a Canadian case study

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McCune, Jenny L.
Carlsson, Anja M.
Colla, Sheila
Davy, Christina
Favaro, Brett
Ford, Adam T.
Fraser, Kevin C.
Martins, Eduardo G.
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Canadian Science Publishing
Preventing the extinction of species will require limiting human activities in key areas, but it is unclear to what extent the public is committed to these limits and the associated costs. We commissioned an online survey of 1000 Canadians and asked them if it is important to prevent the extinction of wild species in Canada. We used specific scenarios illustrating the need for limits to personal activities, private property rights, and industrial development to further test their support. The respondents were strongly committed to species conservation in principle (89% agree), including the need to limit industrial development (80% agree). There was less support for limiting private property rights (63% agree), and more uncertainty when scenarios suggested potential loss of property rights and industry-based jobs. This highlights the high level of public concern regarding the economic impacts of preventing extinctions, and the need for more programs to encourage voluntary stewardship of endangered species on private land. Opinion polls that measure public support for conservation without acknowledging the concessions required may result in overly optimistic estimates of the level of support. Most Canadians in our sample supported endangered species conservation even when the necessity of limiting human activities was explicitly stated.
Open access article. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0) applies
Canada , Conservation , Endangered species , Opinion poll , Public opinion , Online survey
McCune, J. L., Carlsson, A. M., Colla, S., Davy, C., Favaro, B., Ford, A. T., Fraser, K. C., & Martins, E. G. (2017). Assessing public comitment to endangered species protection: A Canadian case study. FACETS, 2(1), 178-194.