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Identifying the characteristics of conservation areas that appeal to potential flagship campaign donors

Dobson, Fiona, Fraser, Iain M, Smith, Robert J. (2022) Identifying the characteristics of conservation areas that appeal to potential flagship campaign donors. Oryx, 56 (4). pp. 555-563. ISSN 0030-6053. (doi:10.1017/S0030605321000259) (KAR id:88312)

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The conservation flagship approach is a valuable tool for raising funds and awareness, but species-based campaigns have been criticized for providing little benefit to wider biodiversity. One possible solution is to use conservation areas as flagships, but we lack data on the types of area that most appeal to potential donors. Here, we used an online choice experiment involving hypothetical overseas conservation areas to investigate how respondents value a series of conservation area attributes. We calculated the average willingness to pay for each attribute and assessed preference heterogeneity. Our results suggest that community ownership is valued the most, followed by the presence of threatened bird species, whether the conservation area is currently receiving low funding, the presence of charismatic mammals, and charity ownership. Respondents could be divided into three groups, based on their education, environmental organization membership and income. The group of less wealthy, environmental organization members were not willing to pay for this kind of conservation action, suggesting that flagship area campaigns targeted at them should encourage other types of involvement. The other two groups found community ownership particularly appealing, especially respondents who are less engaged in conservation, suggesting that many potential donors might be driven by social concerns. This is a key finding and suggests conservation area flagships could attract a new audience of donors, helping to support current global efforts to increase the management effectiveness, connectivity and extent of protected area and land under other effective area-based conservation measures (OECM) networks.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/S0030605321000259
Uncontrolled keywords: Choice experiment, conservation flagships, donor preferences, funding, marketing, protected areas
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Economics
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Iain Fraser
Date Deposited: 21 May 2021 08:04 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 10:51 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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