Attention matters: a preliminary assessment of ranchers’ attitudes towards big cats in Costa Rica

Margarita Gil-Fernández*, Juan Luis Peña-Mondragón, Diego A. Gómez-Hoyos, Sergio Escobar-Lasso, Silvio Marchini, Eduardo Carrillo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Good conservation strategies that include direct attention towards the affected people can promote positive attitudes to wildlife and its conservation. We assessed how the attention from wildlife authorities and non-profit institutions affects ranchers' attitudes towards jaguars and pumas in Northern Costa Rica. Our sample was divided into ranchers with livestock predation issues who received institutional attention, ranchers with predation issues who did not receive any attention, and ranchers without livestock predation incidents. The attention received was self-reported by the respondents. We applied a 10-item Likert scaled test used previously to assess attitudes toward big felids in South Africa. We looked for spatial patterns of segregation of attitudes to determine areas that need special attention. Ranchers who receive no institutional attention had the most negative attitude score, –1.77 (IC 95%: –4.19 – 0.64). Ranchers with a positive attitude were geographically closer to each other than to the other ranchers (S = 0.32). Although preliminary, our findings suggest that institutional attention can be positively related to attitudes held by ranchers toward big cats.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100408
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalTrees, Forests and People
Early online date29 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Carnivore
  • Human-wildlife conflict
  • Livestock predation
  • Panthera onca
  • Puma concolor


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