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Open AccessArticle

Love Off, Fear On? Brown Bear Acceptance by Teenagers in European Countries with Differing Population Statuses

1
Nature Research Centre, LT 08412 Vilnius, Lithuania
2
Department of Wildlife Ecology and Management Faculty of Forestry, Düzce University, 81620 Düzce, Turkey
3
Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, LV-2169 Salaspils, Latvia
4
Institute of Regional Development, Šiauliai University, LT-76352 Šiauliai, Lithuania
5
Department of Zoology and Anthropology, Faculty of Biology, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2397; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062397
Received: 19 January 2020 / Revised: 14 March 2020 / Accepted: 16 March 2020 / Published: 19 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
The acceptance of large carnivores is one of the key issues for their conservation. We analyzed the level acceptance of brown bears (Ursus arctos Linnaeus, 1758) amongst 10–18 year old school students in four European countries using anonymous questionnaires. Our aim was to characterize the drivers of species acceptance, described as a rural–urban cline, as well as fear levels and the respondents’ familiarity with bears. We found lower levels of acceptance of bears were related to fear of bears and that bear acceptance was not higher in the bear-inhabited countries, but urban inhabitants tended to better accept the species. Factor analysis revealed the importance of country-related aspects, familiarity with bears, experiences in human-wildlife conflict, gender-age differences, respondent’s relationship to nature and the origin of their knowledge of the species. We consider that bear-related education and mass media in Latvia and Lithuania could reduce fear of these animals and sustain their acceptance, while human–wildlife conflict management measures in Bulgaria and Turkey are recommended to boost the appreciation of the species. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ursus arctos; species acceptance; schoolchildren; human–carnivore conflict; fear Ursus arctos; species acceptance; schoolchildren; human–carnivore conflict; fear
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MDPI and ACS Style

Balčiauskas, L.; Ambarlı, H.; Balčiauskienė, L.; Bagrade, G.; Kazlauskas, M.; Ozoliņš, J.; Zlatanova, D.; Žunna, A. Love Off, Fear On? Brown Bear Acceptance by Teenagers in European Countries with Differing Population Statuses. Sustainability 2020, 12, 2397. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062397

AMA Style

Balčiauskas L, Ambarlı H, Balčiauskienė L, Bagrade G, Kazlauskas M, Ozoliņš J, Zlatanova D, Žunna A. Love Off, Fear On? Brown Bear Acceptance by Teenagers in European Countries with Differing Population Statuses. Sustainability. 2020; 12(6):2397. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062397

Chicago/Turabian Style

Balčiauskas, Linas; Ambarlı, Hüseyin; Balčiauskienė, Laima; Bagrade, Guna; Kazlauskas, Martynas; Ozoliņš, Jānis; Zlatanova, Diana; Žunna, Agrita. 2020. "Love Off, Fear On? Brown Bear Acceptance by Teenagers in European Countries with Differing Population Statuses" Sustainability 12, no. 6: 2397. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062397

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