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Attitudes and Behaviors of Rural Residents Toward Different Motivations for Hunting and Deforestation in Protected Areas of the Northeastern Atlantic Forest, Brazil

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Protected areas have become a vital conservation strategy to protect wildlife; however, illegal activities performed by local people within and around protected areas may undermine their conservation goals. We used information from 169 direct interviews with rural residents in order to understand the factors affecting illegal behaviors related to hunting and deforestation in three protected areas and a buffer zone of the Southern Bahian Atlantic Forest. We explored correlations between background factors, attitudes, norms, perceived behavioral control and behaviors toward different motivations for hunting (hunting for consumption, killing animals in retaliation for damage to crops or livestock, and keeping wildlife in captivity as pets), and deforestation based on insights from the Theory of Planned Behavior. Our results suggest that a combination of demographic factors, values held for protected areas and location influenced respondents’ attitudes, descriptive norms, and perceived behavioral control in the study region. We also found that components of the Theory of Planned Behavior such as attitudes and descriptive norms may be good predictors of the studied behaviors. Increasing local support for and compliance with policies of the protected areas is necessary for the long-term efficacy of these areas and for
protection of species. Our findings suggest that to change behaviors of residents toward conservation in the study area, management actions should consider people’s attitudes and norms and the combination of background factors that influence these variables.
Journal: Tropical Conservation Science
Volume: 11
Pages: 1-14
Number of pages: 14
Publication year:2018