such as "Introduction", "Conclusion"..etc
August 12, 2008 — Volunteers who take part in
conservation efforts may do it more for themselves than the wildlife
they are trying to protect, a University of Alberta case study shows.
A study of purple martin landlords—those who keep and monitor
special birdhouses on their land—revealed that they were more motivated
to take part in the conservation project for egoistic rather than
"Though there were areas of overlap, we found that common
motivations for self-benefit included interaction with the birds, a
sense of achievement, social interaction, personal stimulation and
enjoyment," said Glen Hvenegaard, a co-author on the qualitative study
and a professor of geography and environmental studies at the
University of Alberta's Augustana campus in Canada.
The study, which compared self-motivated volunteers with recruited
ones, was launched to find out what compelled people to donate their
time. Understanding why they take part in conservation projects is
important, says Hvenegaard. "Past research shows that people take part
in wildlife activities for many reasons and so require a sophisticated
level of management. Our findings reinforce that.
"Though self-satisfaction motivations were mentioned most often,
people also had many unselfish reasons for taking part in conservation,
including helping this vulnerable species, preserving nature for future
generations and serving the community," Hvenegaard noted.
The results may help organizers of other conservation movements
recruit and, more importantly, keep satisfied volunteers. "With
declining budgets, most wildlife agencies are not well-equipped to
manage the growing number of species at risk, so they are depending
more on volunteers to help with wildlife management operations,"
This applies especially to purple martins, a member of the swallow
family that is almost completely dependent on nest boxes and subsequent
management provided by volunteers.
The study, which will be presented this fall at the Conference on
Integrating Human Dimensions into Fisheries and Wildlife Management in
Colorado, recommends that project organizers offer opportunities for
social interaction through meetings, mentoring and phone lists,
encourage landlords to record nesting results for their birds, and
provide a broader understanding about the conservation of purple
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