ABSTRACT

People's behaviour towards the conservation of Australian wildlife is important, because people's actions are the main causative factor associated with the demise and future recovery of wildlife conservation. We investigated the type and prevalence of behaviour performed by NSW residents towards wildlife conservation, investigate participants’ willingness to perform conservation behaviours in the future, and identify the barriers preventing people from engaging in conservation action. New South Wales (NSW) residents (n=312) participated in an online questionnaire in a cross-sectional study. Overall, participants’ intention to engage, and rates of actual participation, in conservation behaviours was low. The latter was mostly due to lack of time, money, knowledge, and the impact of health and fitness levels. The knowledge gained from this study can be harnessed to inform future policy and management decisions, design interventions to change conservation behaviours, and provides a foundation for further enquiry into the ‘human dimensions of wildlife’. There remains a wildlife conservation ‘attitude-intention-action gap’, where we are limited with our knowledge on how to transform pro-conservation attitudes into conservation action, which warrants further research.

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