Perceptions of Urban Bobcats by Residents of the Tucson Area: Assessing the Effectiveness of Education and Community Outreach
AuthorCavanaugh, Catherine Colleen
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe disconnect between today's youth and their natural environment necessitates educational and outreach programs that will engage students and make them more connected to nature. This is especially needed to connect children living in urban areas with wildlife because residents of urban areas have few opportunities to encounter wildlife. Bobcats are one species that are adapted to living in close proximity to urban habitats. I used this species as educational tool to help connect children and residents of the Tucson are to wildlife within their community. Initial perceptions of students and residents towards bobcats were determined using surveys. Understanding these perceptions will facilitate in focusing education and conservation efforts within the Tucson community. Conservation education lessons in Tucson schools increased knowledge of wildlife conservation and instilled an appreciation for bobcats in Tucson's youth. These lessons along with information brochures distributed to Tucson residents strengthened preexisting positive perceptions of Tucson residents towards urban bobcats and emphasized the importance of protecting wildlife. Incorporating more wildlife education programs into schools would not only be beneficial for the field of wildlife conservation, but would produce a generation of environmentally aware students.
Degree ProgramHonors College
Natural Resources: Wildlife Conservation and Management