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Animals 2013, 3(4), 1002-1020;

Stakeholder Perceptions of Threatened Species and Their Management on Urban Beaches

BirdLife Australia, Suite 2-05, The Green Building, 60 Leicester Street, Carlton, VIC 3053, Australia
Barwon Coast, Ewing Blyth Drive, Barwon Heads, VIC 3227, Australia
Centre for Integrative Ecology, Faculty of Science, Engineering and the Built Environment, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 August 2013 / Revised: 21 October 2013 / Accepted: 21 October 2013 / Published: 24 October 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Wildlife Management)
Full-Text   |   PDF [242 KB, uploaded 24 October 2013]   |  

Simple Summary

Coastal urbanisation brings humans into contact with beach-dwelling wildlife. Where wildlife are disturbance prone, active management is required to promote coexistence between beach-goers and endangered wildlife. Coexistence relies on people adopting wildlife-sensitive behaviours. This study examines factors, which influence people’s awareness and perceptions of threatened species management in southern Australia, using Hooded Plover Thinornis rubricollis management as a model. The inconvenience experienced by beach goers in regard to plover management was low. Awareness and support for plover conservation were high. Frequency of beach use, whether a person was a dog walker, and awareness of the species and its plight, influenced perceptions.


We surveyed 579 recreationists regarding management of the threatened, beach-dwelling Hooded Plover Thinornis rubricollis. We postulated that: (1) lower awareness of the species and higher ‘inconvenience’ of management would engender less favourable perceptions of conservation and management; and (2) that frequency of beach use and dog ownership may mediate perceptions and levels of awareness and inconvenience. Overall, inconvenience was low while awareness and support for plover conservation were high. Education and awareness strategies were considered less effective than regulations; exclusion and regulations were considered less desirable than on-ground protective measures. Awareness, frequency of beach use and dog walking did not influence the perceived effectiveness of different managements. More frequent beach users had greater awareness of the species and their plight but reported greater inconvenience associated with management. Respondents with high awareness rated the severity of human-related threats higher; low awareness was associated with more inconvenience associated with on-ground protection, and exclusion and regulations. Dog walkers reported more inconvenience associated with exclusions and regulations than non-dog walkers. Dog walkers who used the beach infrequently rated threats significantly higher than frequent beach users. Conservation and education strategies could usefully be tailored to beach users’ level of use and pet ownership. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hooded Plover; regulation; education; recreationists; sandy shores; wildlife; dogs Hooded Plover; regulation; education; recreationists; sandy shores; wildlife; dogs

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Maguire, G.S.; Rimmer, J.M.; Weston, M.A. Stakeholder Perceptions of Threatened Species and Their Management on Urban Beaches. Animals 2013, 3, 1002-1020.

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