Human-wildlife coexistence: understanding attitudes towards wildlife in urban environments

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Hill, Joshua Louis
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Psychology
Existing attempts to elucidate one's level of engagement with and attitude towards urban wildlife are primarily focused on a single species of flora or fauna and multiple species data are lacking. To achieve a more comprehensive understanding of perceptions of wildlife, I built and tested a measurement tool adopting both quantitative and qualitative methods: The Urban Wildlife Coexistence and Attitudes Scale (UWCAS). Two versions of the survey were administered to residents of the cities of Lethbridge, Calgary, and Red Deer (N= 1362). The results indicated that UWCAS (Version 2) is a psychometrically valid tool that elucidates the attitudes that residents hold toward wildlife. Overall, urban residents scored high on their willingness to coexist with and tolerate wild urban plants and animals. Further research could involve the collaboration with city planners and wildlife management groups to highlight species and habitats that could increase the health, happiness and well-being of residents.
social sciences , human-wildlife coexistence , survey data analysis , perceptions of urban wildlife , Urban animals--Ecology--Alberta , Urban animals--Public opinion--Research--Alberta , Urban plants--Ecology--Alberta , Urban plants--Public opinion--Research--Alberta , Suburban animals--Ecology--Alberta , Suburban animals--Public opinion--Research--Alberta , Suburban plants--Ecology--Alberta , Suburban plants--Public opinion--Research--Alberta , Urban ecology , Human-animal relationships , Coexistence of species , Dissertations, Academic