• Dolphin shows and interaction programs: Benefits for conservation education?

      Miller, Lance J.; Zeigler-Hill, V.; Mellen, J.; Koeppel, J.; Greer, T.; Kuczaj, S. (2013)
      Dolphin shows and dolphin interaction programs are two types of education programs within zoological institutions used to educate visitors about dolphins and the marine environment. The current study examined the short‐ and long‐term effects of these programs on visitors' conservation‐related knowledge, attitude, and behavior....
    • Fostering “Little Green Guards ” through a collaborative partnership to create an effective conservation education program for rural children in Guizhou, China

      Tan, Chia L.; Yang, Y.; Niu, Kefeng; Lei, Shi; Weiyong, Zhang; Riondato, Isidoro; Giacoma, Cristina; Balletto, Emilio; Gamba, Marco; John, A. Phillips (2013)
      San Diego Zoo Global (USA), Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve Administration (China), and the University of Torino (Italy) have partnered in a collaborative effort to promote environmental sustainability and biodiversity conservation in Guizhou, China. The objectives of the partnership are twofold: (i) train researchers and wildlife professionals using a multidisciplinary program that employs the latest methods and tools in order to deepen their understanding of wildlife and the environment, and (ii) foster positive attitudes and behaviour toward wildlife in rural children through a creative education program called the Little Green Guards. A recent development of the education program is the Little Green Guards Club for children whose houses border nature reserves. During club meetings, staff of the three cooperating institutions and volunteers participated in teaching English and natural history lessons. Club activities included animal themed art projects, games, movies, and field trips designed to cultivate empathy for animals and appreciation for nature in these children. Evaluations conducted before and after implementation of the education program showed a significant increase in children’s knowledge of and affection for wildlife, and sometimes coincided with positive behavioural changes toward native species. Here we feature our collaborative effort in China as a model which can be adopted in other geographic regions where species and habitat conservation must become a top priority. We will discuss the role of Universities in critical assessment of previous experiences in order to enhance the effectiveness of cooperation with other development stakeholders (e.g. governmental and local authorities, civil society and NGOs, foundations and private companies, and local associations).
    • Groundwork for effective conservation education: an example of in situ and ex situ collaboration in South East Asia

      Crudge, B.; O'Connor, David; Hunt, M.; Davis, Elizabeth Oneita; Browne-Nuñez, Christine (2016)
      ...Here, we present the collaborative efforts of San Diego Zoo Global, USA, and Free the Bears to design innovative surveys aimed at improving our understanding of public knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards bears and bear-part consumption in South East Asia. Over 1500 surveys were completed in Cambodia and Lao PDR.....
    • Large carnivores and zoos as catalysts for engaging the public in the protection of biodiversity

      Consorte-McCrea, Adriana; Fernandez, Ana; Bainbridge, Alan; Moss, Andrew; Prévot, Anne-Caroline; Clayton, Susan; Glikman, Jenny A.; Johansson, Maria; López-Bao, José Vicente; Bath, Alistair J.; et al. (2019)
      Addressing the biodiversity crisis requires renewed collaborative approaches. Large carnivores are ambassador species, and as such they can aid the protection of a wide range of species, including evolutionarily distinct and threatened ones, while being popular for conservation marketing. However, conflicts between carnivores and people present a considerable challenge to biodiversity conservation. Our cross disciplinary essay brings together original research to discuss key issues in the conservation of large carnivores as keystone species for biodiversity rich, healthy ecosystems. Our findings suggest the need to promote coexistence through challenging ‘wilderness’ myths; to consider coexistence/conflict as a continuum; to include varied interest groups in decision making; to address fear through positive mediated experiences, and to explore further partnerships with zoos. As wide-reaching institutions visited by over 700 million people/year worldwide, zoos combine knowledge, emotion and social context creating ideal conditions for the development of care towards nature, pro-environmental behaviors and long-term connections between visitors and carnivores. Based on current research, we provide evidence that large carnivores and zoos are both powerful catalysts for public engagement with biodiversity conservation, recognizing barriers and suggesting future ways to collaborate to address biodiversity loss.
    • Measuring behavior change in Bangladesh

      LaCombe, Corrin; Danoff-Burg, James A. (2013)
      Behavioral change via environmental education is a fundamental cornerstone of conservation (Jacobson and McDuff, 1998) as the majority of environmental threats are the result of human activities. Changes in human behavior can be challenging to accurately capture and measure. Using a case study from Bangladesh, we share an example of one way that behavioral change (reduction in littering) was successfully measured as part of a larger hoolock gibbon-focused conservation education program.