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Tactical to Practical: The Human Component of Human-Wildlife Conflict Resolution

  • Author(s): Gallagher, George R.
  • Logsdon-Conradsen, Susan
  • et al.
Abstract

Often the greatest challenge in wildlife management is not the management of the animals themselves, but rather the human component of human-wildlife conflict. Persuasive and emotional dialogue is extensively used by private organizations and groups to promote specific agendas. In contrast, a persuasive educational format is often used by science-based groups to promote an agenda. We investigated the effects and importance of word choice using surveys involving wildlife and environmental issues. While topics were identical, survey questions were written to be Persuasive Educational or Persuasive Emotional in structure and were administered to students and to faculty-staff of Berry College. Based on results of surveys completed (n=568), responses could generally be manipulated depending on textual format. However, significant direct exposure to wildlife on the Berry College campus may have influenced the degree of manipulation achieved among both groups of respondents. Results of the study demonstrate the importance of word choice in influencing perspectives. Clearly understanding the perspectives and attempting to identify likely experiences of an audience is essential in order to effectively use written and/or oral delivery of information to achieve public support.

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