Effects of Outreach on the Prevention of Aquatic Invasive Species Spread among Organism-in-Trade Hobbyists

Erin Seekamp, Jessica E. Mayer, Patrice Charlebois, Greg Hitzroth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Releases of aquatic organisms-in-trade by aquarists, water gardeners, and outdoor pond owners have been identified as aquatic invasive species vectors within the Laurentian Great Lakes region. The trademarked U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitattitude campaign was developed in 2004 to encourage self-regulation by these groups, but little is known about its effects. We surveyed organisms-in-trade hobbyists in the eight Great Lakes states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, USA) to assess their recognition of the Habitattitude campaign and their compliance with the campaign’s recommended behaviors for organism purchase and disposal. Awareness of the Habitattitude campaign was low, but hobbyists that identified as both water gardeners and aquarium hobbyists were more aware of the campaign than individuals who participated in one of those hobbies. Engaged hobbyists (high aquatic invasive species awareness, concern, and knowledge) were significantly more likely than passive hobbyists (low aquatic invasive species awareness, concern, and knowledge) to make decisions about disposal of live organisms with the intention of preventing aquatic invasive species spread, were more likely to contact other hobbyists for disposal and handling advice, and were less likely to contact professionals, such as retailers. On the basis of our results, we suggest that compliance with recommended behaviors may be increased by fostering hobbyist networks; creating materials that both explain tangible, negative environmental impacts and list specific prevention behaviors; and disseminating these materials through trusted information sources and venues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-809
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Management
Volume58
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

Keywords

  • INHS
  • Environmental concern
  • Environmental awareness
  • Environmental behavior
  • Environmental education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of Outreach on the Prevention of Aquatic Invasive Species Spread among Organism-in-Trade Hobbyists'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this