2024 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Incorporating Public Perception with Wildlife Management

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Matt Williamson


Human impacts are becoming more evident in natural spaces, contributing to increased human-wildlife conflicts. News media’s portrayal of these conflicts may influence wildlife conservation outcomes, as media narratives can significantly shift public opinions and moral perspectives. Consequently, wildlife management and conservation objectives may diverge from public opinions and individual values toward specific species. It is crucial that wildlife managers recognize this discrepancy; however, a straightforward method for the general public to communicate their perspectives to wildlife management authorities is frequently lacking. To gauge the general public’s attitude toward wildlife management, we are conducting a qualitative analysis of articles nationwide, sourced from NewsBank. This analysis will lead to the development of a codebook, serving as a structured guide to categorize the types of conflicts, focal points, and value orientations reflected in the articles, with a scale ranging from 1 (mutualism) to 7 (domination). This analysis allows us to gain a deeper understanding of public opinions and attitudes toward wildlife, thereby contributing to future research efforts aimed at mitigating and managing these conflicts more effectively. Advancing this research could pave the way for widespread automation, granting wildlife managers and policymakers seamless access to the public’s opinions in their respective areas.

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