Community attitudes towards crocodiles in northern Queensland: a case study of the role of socio-cultural factors in the management of dangerous wildlife

Benzaken, Dominique (1992) Community attitudes towards crocodiles in northern Queensland: a case study of the role of socio-cultural factors in the management of dangerous wildlife. Masters (Research) thesis, James Cook University of North Queensland.

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A survey of attitudes towards the estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) was conducted in northern Queensland (Australia) in communities chosen for their distinct cultural background (Aboriginal / non Aboriginal), community structure (mining town, farming community, tourist destination and urban centre), residence status (local resident/visitor), proximity to crocodile habitats, and remoteness. Attitudes were a mix of emotional responses (empathy and/or fear of crocodiles primarily) and crocodile management expectations (various levels of crocodile population control), with a dominance of risk management expectations in resident communities as opposed to the visitors in those communities. Empathy towards crocodiles and risk perception were investigated in relation to knowledge, experience, communication networks, social background and gender. The distribution of knowledge and experience was closely related to residence near crocodile habitats, predominantly vicarious and lacking in ecological understanding. Risk perception was primarily affected by residence near crocodile habitats and the cultural background or residents (Aboriginal / non Aboriginal) while the distribution of empathy was indicative of broader cultural values. The were interpreted in relation to attitudes towards the non-human world (discrimination between Aboriginal and non Aboriginal attitudes) and the regional historical and cultural context of the Frontier and its importance in the construction of the national identity (discriminating between northern Queensland residents and visitors). A brief discussion of management implications is presented focusing on the importance of equitable distribution of social benefits and costs of management policies, the relevance of public participation and management issues arising from a diverse social and cultural environment.

Item ID: 71423
Item Type: Thesis (Masters (Research))
Keywords: crocodiles, Crocodylus porosus, wildlife management, attitudes, perceptions, north Queensland, Aboriginal Australian perspectives, risk, Weipa, Hopevale, Napranum, Daintree, Cape Tribulation, Townsville, residents, visitors
Copyright Information: Copyright © 1992 Dominique Benzaken.
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2022 05:13
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410407 Wildlife and habitat management @ 70%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4401 Anthropology > 440104 Environmental anthropology @ 30%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1802 Coastal and estuarine systems and management > 180201 Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems @ 100%
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