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Elephant conservation: Reviewing the need and potential impact of cognition-based education

  • Author(s): Makecha, Radhika Narendra
  • Ghosal, Ratna
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License
Abstract

Conservation education programs centered on animal cognition seem to be effective in bringing humans closer to non-human species and thereby, influencing their conservation attitudes. Systematic evaluation of the impact of cognition-based education programs on the attitudes of participants has revealed positive feedback and an appreciation towards the species of interest. However, such evaluations are rare for species like elephants, who suffer severe conservation challenges such as high degrees of conflict with the local community. In this paper, we review the need for cognition-based education programs in elephant conservation as well as the need to evaluate these programs to assess their impact on conservation attitudes. In particular, we emphasize the need for such programs in the native ranges of elephants, which are more prone to human-elephant conflict, and argue that exposure to such programs may potentially increase the collaboration of the local community towards conservation efforts.

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