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Wildlife and Exotics

 

Concentrations of Trace Elements in American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from Florida, USA

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This study measured trace minerals in the livers of adult and juvenile alligators from three areas in central Florida, including a wildlife refuge adjacent to the NASA Kennedy Space Center. The levels of 7 elements in juveniles and 4 in adults were higher in the alligators from the NASA site. In addition, the concentration of some elements increased with age only at the NASA location. Additional research is needed to determine whether NASA activities pose a toxic threat to wildlife habitat.



The Effect of Land Based Seal Watching Tourism on the Haul-Out Behaviour of Harbour Seals (Phoca vitulina) in Iceland

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This study describes the reactions of Harbour Seals to tourists during a 3-year period in Iceland. Onshore tourists observed seals on rocky islets. Seals were more vigilant when there were more tourists (or fewer seals), when tourists behaved more actively, and when it rained. They retreated to the farther islet during mating/moulting season, which was also peak tourist season. However, they continued to use the site, and did not leave the islets unless humans entered the water. The authors suggest training tourists to behave calming and quietly would minimize stress on seals.


The Economics of Roadside Bear Viewing

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This study analyzes the economic benefit to the park and the local economy of continued roadside bear-viewing in Yellowstone National Park, where staffing levels are insufficient to safely oversee frequent "bear jams." Visitors were surveyed on their trip expenditures, the importance of wildlife viewing, and whether a change in the bear-viewing policy would impact their choice of destinations. Most visitors said roadside bear-viewing was important, and they would pay higher admission fees to support additional park personnel. Impact on the bears was not discussed.

What Makes a “Successful” Marine Protected Area? The Unique Context of Hawaii′s Fish Replenishment Areas

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This paper reviews 21st century literature on marine protected areas (MPAs) worldwide to identify key factors of MPA success. A successful fish replenishment area (FRA) in west Hawai'i was then analyzed in the context of those factors. The identified factors played a partial role in the FRA's success, but factors specific to the location, such as targeting only one species of fish that reproduced quickly and didn't travel far, unpopularity of commercial fishers, and economic shifts, also played an important role.


After Animal Exploitation – Imagining A Post-Advocacy World

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Animal exploitation is embedded in present-day human lifestyles in too many ways to easily imagine a world without it, but advocates need a vision. How would human behaviors that threaten animals today be different in a future where animals matter, and how do we get there from here?




Zoo Visitor Effect on Mammal Behaviour: Does Noise Matter?

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This study was conducted at a Brazilian zoo to measure visitor noise and its impact on zoo animals. Mammal species housed in 12 separate enclosures were studied, including primates, wild dogs, large cats, deer, giraffes and elephants. Noise levels varied substantially between enclosures. Popularity of the species was found to be predictive of higher noise levels. However, animal behaviors were not found to vary significantly at the group level based on noise.


A Mismatch of Community Attitudes and Actions: A Study of Koalas

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This study interviewed residents of suburban and semi-rural areas outside of a rapidly growing Australian city. Respondents were surveyed about their attitudes towards koalas and koala-conservation measures. Residents of lower population density areas, and women (compared to men) were more positive about the presence of koalas than suburbanites, and more willing to take actions to improve koala safety, such as keeping dogs indoors at night and driving slowly after dark.


Cats vs. Birds: Researching the Research

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In this reblogged post from his Vox Felina blog, feral cat advocate Peter J. Wolf demonstrates how to evaluate the validity of research with his in-depth critique of a study on bird predation. Policy decisions to promote the well-being of all animals should be based on sound research, not regurgitated assumptions. Animal advocates should be on the lookout for poorly documented assertions about animals in the press.


Consumer Beliefs Regarding Farmed versus Wild Fish

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This marketing study used focus groups and surveys across Spain to identify why consumers prefer wild-caught fish to farmed fish. Consumers preferred wild fish on quality measures, but did not perceive a difference between the safety of wild and farmed fish, a change from previous research. They also perceived farmed fish as cheaper and more available. Environmental or animal welfare buying considerations were not included in the study.



Volunteering to Help Conserve Endangered Species: An Identity Approach to Human–Animal Relationships

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This study surveyed animal conservation project volunteers to analyze their motives for participating. Volunteers wanted contact with animals, wanted to offset their guilt about mistreatment of animals and differentiate themselves from humans responsible for it, and wanted to associate with a group identity they found affirming. The author called for further research with populations who live more closely with animals and have more diverse cultural outlooks, as well as on emergency rescue volunteers.



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