Large carnivores and zoos as catalysts for engaging the public in the protection of biodiversity

Journal article


Consorte-McCrea, A., Fernandez, A., Bainbridge, A., Moss, A., Prévot, A-C., Clayton, S., Glikman, J.A., Johansson, M., López-Bao, J.V., Bath, A., Frank, B. and Marchini, S. 2019. Large carnivores and zoos as catalysts for engaging the public in the protection of biodiversity. Nature Conservation. 37, pp. 133-150. https://doi.org/10.3897/natureconservation.37.39501
AuthorsConsorte-McCrea, A., Fernandez, A., Bainbridge, A., Moss, A., Prévot, A-C., Clayton, S., Glikman, J.A., Johansson, M., López-Bao, J.V., Bath, A., Frank, B. and Marchini, S.
Abstract

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.

Keywordsconservation biology, human-wildlife conflict, large carnivores, ambassador species, zoos, biodiversity conservation
Year2019
JournalNature Conservation
Journal citation37, pp. 133-150
PublisherPensoft
ISSN1314-6947
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3897/natureconservation.37.39501
Official URLhttp://doi.org/10.3897/natureconservation.37.39501
FunderFutures Initiative, Sustainability Office, CCCU
Publication dates
Print16 Dec 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted19 Sep 2019
Deposited19 Dec 2019
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
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