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Toward Human-Carnivore Coexistence: Understanding Tolerance for Tigers in Bangladesh

Inskip, Chloe, Carter, Neil, Riley, Shawn, Roberts, Thomas, MacMillan, Douglas C. (2016) Toward Human-Carnivore Coexistence: Understanding Tolerance for Tigers in Bangladesh. PloS one, 11 (1). pp. 1-20. ISSN 1932-6203. E-ISSN 1932-6203. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0145913)

Abstract

Fostering local community tolerance for endangered carnivores, such as tigers (Panthera tigris), is a core component of many conservation strategies. Identification of antecedents of tolerance will facilitate the development of effective tolerance-building conservation action and secure local community support for, and involvement in, conservation initiatives. We use a stated preference approach for measuring tolerance, based on the ‘Wildlife Stakeholder Acceptance Capacity’ concept, to explore villagers’ tolerance levels for tigers in the Bangladesh Sundarbans, an area where, at the time of the research, human-tiger conflict was severe. We apply structural equation modeling to test an a priori defined theoretical model of tolerance and identify the experiential and psychological basis of tolerance in this community. Our results indicate that beliefs about tigers and about the perceived current tiger population trend are predictors of tolerance for tigers. Positive beliefs about tigers and a belief that the tiger population is not currently increasing are both associated with greater stated tolerance for the species. Contrary to commonly-held notions, negative experiences with tigers do not directly affect tolerance levels; instead, their effect is mediated by villagers’ beliefs about tigers and risk perceptions concerning human-tiger conflict incidents. These findings highlight a need to explore and understand the socio-psychological factors that encourage tolerance towards endangered species. Our research also demonstrates the applicability of this approach to tolerance research to a wide range of socio-economic and cultural contexts and reveals its capacity to enhance carnivore conservation efforts worldwide.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145913
Uncontrolled keywords: tiger conservation, stated preference method, human-wildlife conflict
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Douglas MacMillan
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2016 11:17 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 17:04 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/54461 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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