Understanding the role attitudes could play in conservation planning for wolves and brown bears in Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park, Italy

Glikman, Jenny Anne (2011) Understanding the role attitudes could play in conservation planning for wolves and brown bears in Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park, Italy. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Wolf and brown bear populations are expanding throughout Europe, in a human dominated landscape. Conservation of these two species will be determined by the attitudes of those who live close to them. Unlike in North America, human dimensions (HD) regarding human-wildlife issues remains a relatively new field of research in Europe, and even more so in Italy. This is the first study of HD in wolf and bear management in Italy. -- This dissertation has focused on understanding how the attitudes of those living in close proximity to both wolves and bears can play a role in achieving conservation planning. -- Attitudes are positive of negative evaluations of an object - in this case wolves or bears - and are a mental state composed by affective (feelings), cognitive (beliefs) and behavioural intention components. Each component of attitude plays a role in the conservation of wolves and brown bears. The objectives of this study were to look in detail at these three components, how they can be linked, and how they contribute to conservation. Quantitative face-to-face (n=1611) interviews were carried out to determine attitudes of residents toward wolves and bears in the Abruzzo, Lazio, and Molise National Park (PNALM) and the surrounding buffer zone. -- This dissertation demonstrated that the majority of residents in the PNALM are willing to coexist with these large carnivores. Participants expressed positive feelings toward wolves and bears, they tolerated the perceived damages caused, and they support the maintenance and protection of both species - but especially of brown bears. This dissertation showed that residents have a higher level of knowledge about bears, which results in stronger positive feelings. -- These are important messages to communicate to managers responsible for the conservation of wolves and brown bears. Emphasizing these positive findings can be the staring point for constructive dialogue on conservation. This study, therefore, sets the direction for the future public involvement processes. The next HD step would be to organize workshops with all interest groups (e.g. shepherds, hunters, non-locals), to bring them together and to work with them on their commonalities to create a management plan for wolves and bears.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10553
Item ID: 10553
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: Apennine brown bear conservation, attitudes, beliefs, human dimensions, Italy, knowledge, national park, public involvement, wildlife management, wolf conservation
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: 2011
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Wildlife conservation--Italy--Parco nazionale d'Abruzzo--Public opinion; Wolves--Italy--Parco nazionale d'Abruzzo--Public opinion; Brown bear--Italy--Parco nazionale d'Abruzzo--Public opinion.

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