Environmental Management

, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 60–68 | Cite as

Predictors of Participation in Invasive Species Control Activities Depend on Prior Experience with the Species

  • Emily A. Kalnicky
  • Mark W. BrunsonEmail author
  • Karen H. Beard


The increasing worldwide spread of non-native species is both a component and a consequence of environmental change, and islands are especially vulnerable to negative effects. Efforts to control non-native species often include public education intended to promote behaviors designed to reduce or reverse their spread. To inform the use of information strategies to control the invasive, non-native frog Eleutherodactylus coqui in Hawaii, USA, we surveyed over 700 property owners about their attitudes and behaviors regarding the species. Included were residents of the island of Hawaii, where the species is common and management emphasizes prevention of further spread, and three other islands where the species is largely absent and management emphasizes detection and eradication. Where frogs are present, 61% of respondents reported taking actions to reduce their population, typically clearing vegetation or hand-capturing individual frogs. For these individuals, intentions to engage in future control activities were not significantly related to reports of past behavior. Intentions to participate in future control efforts on the island of Hawaii were best predicted by attitudes toward practices. On the other islands, behavioral intentions were best predicted by subjective norms (i.e., beliefs about others’ expectations that they should manage frogs). Thus, intentions to engage in non-native species management behaviors appear to be influenced by prior exposure to, and experience with, that species. Understanding the predictors of behavioral intentions at different stages of invasion have implications for the design of information strategies that can promote participation in control activities.


Behavior change Biological invasions Eleutherodactylus coqui Pro-environmental behavior Public education 



The lead author was supported during this research by a Quinney Foundation research fellowship at Utah State University. Research also was supported by a Utah State University Research Catalyst grant and by the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station (UAES) and is approved as journal paper number 9049. Irina Chobanyan provided survey administration assistance.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards, and was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Utah State University, protocol number 2427

Supplementary material

267_2018_1126_MOESM1_ESM.docx (134 kb)
Appendix A and B


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Minnesota Zoological GardensApple ValleyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Environment and SocietyUtah State UniversityLoganUSA
  3. 3.Department of Wildland ResourcesUtah State UniversityLoganUSA

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