Engel, M. T., Vaske, J. J., Bath, A. J., & Marchini, S. (2016). Predicting acceptability of jaguars and pumas in the Atlantic Forest, Brazil. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 21(5), 427–444.
Jaguars and pumas are threatened species in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, especially at the borders of protected areas. This article assessed the influence of emotions, attitudes, existence value, and agency credibility on acceptability of big cats among rural residents living adjacent to two protected areas in this forest. Data from self-administrated questionnaires (n = 326) indicated those with positive attitudes toward big cats (β = .28, p < .001), those who valued the existence of big cats (β = .14, p < .05), those who would feel sorrow if big cats disappeared (β = .21, p < .001), and those who considered the managing agency as credible (β = .16, p = .002) were more accepting of big cats. The model provided theoretical and practical insights into large carnivore conservation. For example, given the significance of agency credibility, a positive relationship between park authorities and residents is crucial for big cat conservation.