Motivations for the use and consumption of wildlife products

Thomas-Walters, Laura and Hinsley, Amy and Bergin, Daniel and Burgess, Gayle and Doughty, Hunter and Eppel, Sara and MacFarlane, Douglas and Meijer, Wander and Lee, Tien Ming and Phelps, Jacob and Smith, Robert J. and Wan, Anita K. Y. and Verissimo, Diogo (2021) Motivations for the use and consumption of wildlife products. Conservation Biology, 35 (2). pp. 483-491. ISSN 0888-8892

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The dominant approach to combating the illegal wildlife trade has traditionally been to restrict the supply of wildlife products. Yet conservationists increasingly recognise the importance of implementing demand‐side interventions that target the end consumers in the trade chain. Their aim is to curb the consumption of wildlife or shift consumption to more sustainable alternatives. However, there are still considerable knowledge gaps in our understanding of the diversity of consumer motivations in the context of illegal wildlife trade, which includes hundreds of thousands of species, different uses, and diverse contexts. We developed a typology of common motivations held by wildlife consumers that can be used to inform conservation interventions, based upon consultation with multiple experts from a diversity of backgrounds, nationalities, and focal taxa. We identified five main motivational categories for wildlife use: experiential, social, functional, financial, and spiritual, each containing sub‐categories. This framework is intended to facilitate more nuanced approaches to demand reduction, such as the tailoring of interventions — whether behaviour change campaigns, enforcement efforts, or incentive programmes — to the specific context in which they will be used. It is an important step towards producing a more systematic approach to designing demand reduction interventions that are more likely to succeed.

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Journal Article
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Conservation Biology
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Deposited On:
26 Aug 2020 10:45
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 09:22