Attitudes toward jaguars and pumas and the acceptability of killing big cats in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest: An application of the Potential for Conflict Index2
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We explored the overall acceptability of killing jaguars and pumas in different scenarios of people–big cat interactions, the influence of attitudes toward big cats on acceptability, and the level of consensus on the responses. Data were obtained from 326 self-administered questionnaires in areas adjacent to Intervales State Park and Alto Ribeira State Park. Overall, people held slightly positive attitudes toward jaguars and pumas and viewed the killing of big cats as unacceptable. However, individuals that held negative attitudes were more accepting of killing. As the severity of people–big cat interactions increased, the level of consensus decreased. Knowing whether killing a big cat is acceptable or unacceptable in specific situations allows managers to anticipate conflict and avoid illegal killing of big cats.
KeywordsEcological corridors Human–wildlife conflict Panthera onca Protected areas Puma concolor Wildlife
We thank B. Beisiegel and R. Bergamaschi for field assistance. We thank Chester Zoo’s Act for Wildlife for financial support of this research. We are also grateful to all the residents of Iporanga and Ribeirao Grande who shared with us their insights and time.
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