Assessing the effects of information on the level of support toward charismatic and inconspicuous wildlife species in a highly threatened wetland by the urban population of Valdivia, Chile


Martín Espinosa-Molina
Volker Beckmann


The inclusion of human communities into practical conservation of threatened species has received increasing recognition. One way to achieve this is to understand the current (actual) relation between people and wildlife in a specific territory (1,2,3). The advantage of such understanding is to predict public support towards wildlife species, and therefore develop accurate environmental management strategies (2). The willingness to pay method has been used for this purpose (3). Based on surveys, this method elicits the level of support of people by identifying the amount of money that a person would be willing to give to support conservation activities (3). In the present study it will be used not to obtain a monetary value but to compare the level of support towards different species, as an alternative to the Likert scale method. Besides, it is possible within the survey, to classify people's values towards wildlife and nature (1).

The Centro de Humedales Río Cruces (CHRC) is a pro environmental institution in Valdivia, Chile. In accordance with what is described above, it is necessary to understand the relation between the residents of Valdivia and the wildlife. Doing this will help the CHRC to develop activities for the residents of Valdivia, to conserve not only charismatic species but also inconspicuous.

The aim of the study is to understand how additional information could affect public preferences towards native wildlife species and it´s conservation, present in the river "Cruces" wetland, by the residents of the city of Valdivia, Chile. The specific objectives are to determine: i) the support towards charismatic and inconspicuous wildlife species, ii) the influence of knowledge (e.i. threatened category and endemism) in the support of species, iii) and determine the underlying values of the support towards wildlife species.

The study will be conducted in Valdivia, Chile, which is situated in the middle of the river "Cruces" wetland. This wetland have a high percentage of threatened and endemic species and is located in one of the 36 biodiversity hotspot.

A questionnaire will be conducted by in-person interviews (March - April 2018). It will be similar to similar previous studies (2), compose by sections. The sections will be: i) demographic characteristics, ii) naturalistic activities, iii) worldview´s iv) aesthetic and negativistic attitudes, v) the support towards wildlife species, and vi) the influence of information in the support towards wildlife species.

1 Kellert, S R (1997). The value of life: Biological diversity and human society. Island Press.

2 Liordos V et al. (2017). Effects of attitudes and demography on public support for endangered species conservation. Science of The Total Environment, 595, 25-34.

3 Tisdell H S et al. (2005). Association of public support for survival of wildlife species with their likeability. Anthrozoös, 18(2), 160-174