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.
ABSTRACT People's attitudes towards the conservation of Australian wildlife is of particular importance as the types of attitudes people hold can have a significant impact on conservation solutions. We investigated attitudes held towards Australian wildlife and conservation solutions. A sample of 312 residents participated in an online questionnaire. An ‘ecoscientistic’ attitude was the most commonly held attitude, highlighting that wildlife are appreciated for the role they play within our ecosystem. There was a significant association between age and attitude towards Koala Phascolarctos cinereus and Crownof-thorns starfish Acanthaster planci conservation and a significant association between socio-economic status and attitude towards Brush-turkey Alectura lathami conservation. Most participants agreed that action should be taken towards wildlife conservation in the future. Conservation managers and other key stakeholders need to capitalise on this information to increase public support for Australian wildlife, and encourage conservation action. Significant associations between attitude and some sociodemographic characteristics were observed, however more research between attitude and sociodemographic associations is recommended, including in other regions of Australia and internationally.