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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring Public Opinion of Urban Wildlife and Effective Use of Urban Wildlife Education in Tucson, Arizona
by Baker, Tina M., M.A., Prescott College, 2017, 114; 10275017
Abstract (Summary)

I studied current educational efforts about urban wildlife in Tucson, Arizona using three main approaches: a) interviews with key informants, b) analysis of the dissemination of and reaction to informative booklets about urban wildlife, and c) a review of regionally-relevant news articles published online from 2013 to 2015. These triangulated research efforts provide a general snapshot of the relative effectiveness of urban wildlife education practices and result in suggestions for improvement with future efforts. Key informants provided insight into successful human-wildlife conflict resolution and avoidance techniques and successful education practices. An analysis of the dissemination of information on living with urban wildlife, revealed that 53% of the small participating businesses valued the effort and requested additional booklets for their clients. All 45 of the recipients of the educational booklet found them useful and 65% cited them as their only such source of information about wildlife. Thus, I recommend additional concerted dissemination of such materials towards improved education of the public about urban wildlife interactions. Analysis of online news articles revealed that 51% focused on human-wildlife conflicts and, of these, 30% contained information about conflict avoidance. By contrast, 35% of all articles reviewed were strictly educational and yet, of these, 74% addressed conflict avoidance. Thus, I recommend that future media efforts continue this focus on human-wildlife conflict avoidance and resolution strategies. The culmination of this work demonstrates that much work is being conducted towards urban wildlife education and revealed education projects and strategies that may be applied in the future to help facilitate an informed coexistence with urban wildlife.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Matlock, Deborah
Commitee: Burroughs, Wendy, Sherman, Peter M.
School: Prescott College
Department: Environmental Studies
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 56/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Management, Biology
Keywords: Coexistence, Conservation, Human-wildlife conflict, Urban wildlife, Wildlife conflict, Wildlife education
Publication Number: 10275017
ISBN: 978-1-369-77785-7
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