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The Public's Knowledge of and Support for Conservation of Australia's Tree-Kangaroos

By Clement A. Tisdell and Clevo Wilson


After providing some brief background on Dendrolagus species in Australia, two consecutive surveys of Brisbane’s residents are used to assess public knowledge of tree-kangaroos and the stated degree of support for their conservation in Australia. The responses of participants in Survey I are based on their pre-survey knowledge of wildlife. The same additional set of participants completed Survey II after being provided with information on all the wildlife species mentioned in Survey I. Changes in the attitudes of respondents and their degree of support for the protection and conservation of Australia’s tree-kangaroos are measured, including changes in their contingent valuations and stated willingness to provide financial support for such conservation. Reasons for wanting to protect tree-kangaroos are specified and analyzed. Furthermore, changes that occur in the relative importance of these reasons with increased knowledge are also examined. Support for the conservation of tree-kangaroos is found to increase with the additional knowledge supplied. Furthermore, support for the conservation of Australia’s less well-known tropical mammals is shown to increase relative to better known mammals (icons) present in temperate areas, such as koalas and red kangaroos with this increased knowledge. Possible implications of the results for government conservation policies in Australia are examined.Australia’s tropical wildlife, conservation policy, contingent valuation, Dendrolagus bennettianus, Dendrolagus lumholtzi, knowledge and conservation, tree-kangaroos., Environmental Economics and Policy,

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