Tolerance of Amphibians in Slovakian People: A Comparison of Pond Owners and Non-Owners

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Abstract:

Amphibians are vulnerable to extinction due to their need for both terrestrial and aquatic habitats to complete their life cycles. Some of them occupy urban areas, thus human tolerance of amphibians is likely to have a significant impact on their survival. Here we investigated tolerance of amphibians by interviewing a convenience sample of 201 pond owners and non-owners of various ages in Slovakia. Tolerance of tadpoles was higher than tolerance of adult amphibians. About 26% of pond owners reported that they kill adult amphibians, as did 31% of non-owners. We found that tolerance of amphibians was positively correlated with perceived importance of amphibians and negatively correlated with a disgust reaction to amphibians. Disgust and importance of amphibians negatively correlated, suggesting that people who perceived amphibians as disgusting underestimated their importance in nature. These correlations were statistically significant. Owning a pond, gender, age, education level, and mean amphibian identification scores were not significant predictors of tolerance, but older and better educated people had higher amphibian identification scores. These results highlight the role of disgust sensitivity and education in the protection of unpopular animals such as amphibians.

Keywords: AMPHIBIANS; DISGUST; IDENTIFICATION; TOLERANCE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/175303712X13403555186136

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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