With a continually growing human population, conservation of natural resources is an increasingly important subject. This topic has sparked debate on the ethics and effectiveness of many conservation practices. One example of this controversy is the management of elephant populations in South Africa. Although elephants are endangered in certain countries, they are overpopulated in South Africa and require management. Multiple studies have suggested culling as an efficient tool to manage elephant populations, but often efforts are ceased due to ethical opposition from the public. Because this opposition is coming from multiple countries, researchers hypothesize that it is mainly due to a lack of understanding or knowledge about these specific conservation practices in Africa. The purpose of this project is to determine whether students on the UNG Dahlonega campus are aware and/or opposed to elephant management practices in South Africa. A survey containing questions on general knowledge and opinions related to conservation practices will be given to upper and lower classmen on the Dahlonega campus during the Spring semester of 2019. Data will be analyzed to determine if a relationship exists between awareness of conservation status and opinion on management techniques. Because the general public may be unaware of high elephant population density in some areas, we expect to find that students have a significant opposition to population control measures. If these predictions are supported by our data, we would suggest an expansion of conservation education to alleviate ethical concerns.
Keywords: Conservation, wildlife management, elephants
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22 March 2019
- Date submitted
19 July 2022
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