Report

AMBIO

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 125-137

Spatial Assessment of Attitudes Toward Tigers in Nepal

  • Neil H. CarterAffiliated withCenter for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Michigan State University Email author 
  • , Shawn J. RileyAffiliated withDepartment of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University
  • , Ashton ShortridgeAffiliated withDepartment of Geography, Michigan State University
  • , Binoj K. ShresthaAffiliated withSchool of Life Sciences, Arizona State University
  • , Jianguo LiuAffiliated withCenter for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Michigan State University

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Abstract

In many regions around the world, wildlife impacts on people (e.g., crop raiding, attacks on people) engender negative attitudes toward wildlife. Negative attitudes predict behaviors that undermine wildlife management and conservation efforts (e.g., by exacerbating retaliatory killing of wildlife). Our study (1) evaluated attitudes of local people toward the globally endangered tiger (Panthera tigris) in Nepal’s Chitwan National Park; and (2) modeled and mapped spatial clusters of attitudes toward tigers. Factors characterizing a person’s position in society (i.e., socioeconomic and cultural factors) influenced attitudes toward tigers more than past experiences with tigers (e.g., livestock attacks). A spatial cluster of negative attitudes toward tigers was associated with concentrations of people with less formal education, people from marginalized ethnic groups, and tiger attacks on people. Our study provides insights and descriptions of techniques to improve attitudes toward wildlife in Chitwan and many regions around the world with similar conservation challenges.

Keywords

Coexistence Conservation Coupled human and natural systems Human dimensions Human–wildlife conflict