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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 592-618

Attitudes and Knowledge of Natural Resources Agency Personnel towards Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus)

1 Denver Zoological Foundation, 2900 East, 23rd Avenue, Denver, CO 80205, USA
2 University of Denver, Daniels College of Business, 2101 S. University, Denver, CO 80208, USA
3 Forest Guardians, 1536 Wynkoop St., Suite 300, Denver, CO 80202, USA

Correspondence Address:
Richard P Reading
Denver Zoological Foundation, 2900 East, 23rd Avenue, Denver, CO 80205
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and their man­agement represent a conflict-laden, polarised issue. Until this study, we knew little about the attitudes and knowledge of agency personnel who work with this species. We used semi-structured interviews to develop a mail survey to sample 500 natural resources agency personnel who study, manage or other­wise work with prairie dogs. Within professional fields, land managers gener­ally displayed the most positive attitudes towards prairie dogs, followed by wildlife biologists/managers, and then personnel from agricultural fields. With respect to the geographic scope of their work, respondents working re­gionally or nationally displayed the most positive attitudes towards prairie dogs, followed by people working within states, and then people working lo­cally. Our results provide possible reasons for these differences, which can serve as a basis for reducing and better managing conflict. In addition, differ­ences between sample groups for many questions were small and not signifi­cant, suggesting room exists for finding common ground.

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