Experience in local urban wildlife research enhances a conservation education programme with school children

Monica Awasthy*, Ana Z. Popovic, Wayne L. Linklater

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The "extinction of [ecological] experience" is a concern for children in urban centres. Urban environments, traditionally the refuge of exotic human-commensal species, are being increasingly colonised by native species. We used a native bird as a focal species for integrating urban biological research and environmental education (EE) in conservation. We tested whether incorporating biological researchers into classroom teaching and hands-on experiences with radio-telemetry of wild birds increased wildlife knowledge, environmental awareness and intentions to act amongst children from local schools. We found no significant increases in knowledge after our EE programme. However, those children who participated in exercises with researchers in local green space demonstrated a greater level of nature awareness than groups who participated in the schoolyard, and retained this level three months after the programme completion. We illustrate the importance of incorporating biological research in conservation education in urban centres.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalPacific Conservation Biology
Volume18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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