Shattering negative stigmas and creating empathy and willingness to advocate for unpopular endangered species: evidence from shark watching in Israel

Nurit Carmi, Nir Becker, Salay Cohen, Ziv Zemah-Shamir, Shiri Zemah-Shamir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There are many endangered species that are not popular, but whose conservation is, nonetheless, important. The present study deals with sharks who suffer from demonization and, accordingly, from public indifference to the deteriorating state of their conservation. We used the seasonal appearance of sharks in the Israeli coastal zone to study public perceptions and attitudes towards sharks prior to (‘control group’) and after (‘visitors’) shark watching during a visit in an information centre. We found that the shark’s image was significantly more positive among the visitors compared to the control group. We also found that visiting the information centre was strongly related to a more positive shark image and more positive attitudes toward shark conservation and willingness to act to preserve them.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Leisure Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Australia and New Zealand Association of Leisure Studies.

Keywords

  • Smith’s salience index
  • Wildlife tourism
  • attitudes toward animals
  • human-animal relationships
  • shark conservation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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