Emotions as Drivers of Wildlife Stewardship Behavior: Examining Citizen Science Nest Monitors’ Responses to Invasive House Sparrows

Lincoln R. Larson, Caren B. Cooper, Mark E. Hauber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Growing evidence suggests wildlife stewardship behaviors might be affected by emotional dispositions toward particular species. To test this hypothesis, we studied wildlife management choices made by backyard citizen scientists (N = 448) involved in two North American bird nest monitoring projects. Our exploratory study characterized nest monitors’ efforts to manage invasive house sparrows, which compete with native songbirds for nesting sites, and examined the relative influence of cognitive and affective factors on management orientations. Results revealed that nearly all respondents engaged in some form of house sparrow management, and most respondents favored a combination of lethal and non-lethal management approaches. Core affect, emotional dispositions, and experiential variables were the primary drivers of citizen scientists’ management decisions, with anger toward house sparrows and firsthand contact with house sparrow damage as the strongest positive correlates of lethal management orientations. Findings highlight the potentially powerful influence of affect and emotions on wildlife stewardship actions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-33
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Dimensions of Wildlife
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Citizen science
  • core affect
  • emotional dispositions
  • human–wildlife conflict
  • invasive species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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