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Wildlife consumption and conservation awareness in China: a long way to go


An attitudinal survey on wildlife consumption and conservation awareness was conducted in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kunming and Nanning of China recently. Comparison with the results from a similar survey we did in 2004, after 8 years, the proportion of respondents who had consumed wildlife was dropped slightly from 31.3 % down to 29.6 %. It showed that the rates of wildlife consumed as food and as ingredients for traditional medicines in Guangzhou and Nanning ranked in the top. The consumptions in these two cities were mostly driven by utilitarian motivation, and mainly for food. Meanwhile, the rate of consumers taking wildlife as food was declining significantly in Beijing after 8 years. The results also showed that 52.7 % agreed that wildlife should not be consumed, which was significantly increased comparison with the survey result of 42.7 % in 2004. In addition, respondents agreed that wildlife could be used significantly decline from 42.8 to 34.8 %. It’s indicated that wildlife conservation awareness was raised in China in the past years. We also founded that consumers with higher income and higher educational background were having higher wildlife consumption rate. It suggested that to strengthen the law enforcement and to promote the public awareness were keys to reduce wildlife consumption in China.

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We greatly appreciated the financial support from Freeland Foundation to Conservation International, which was a sub-grant from USAID funded Asia Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking (ARREST) program. We thanked to the Horizon Key Research and its staff who took the field survey in five cities. We were grateful to Miss Jia Qi, Miss Siwaporn Tee, Mr. Kun Tian and Miss Rachel Lee for their comments on the survey report and this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Li Zhang.

Additional information

Communicated by David Hawksworth.



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Zhang, L., Yin, F. Wildlife consumption and conservation awareness in China: a long way to go. Biodivers Conserv 23, 2371–2381 (2014).

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  • Wildlife consumption
  • Conservation awareness
  • Attitude changes
  • China