Acceptability factors for wildlife approach in park and protected area settings

Stephanie Freeman, B. Derrick Taff, Zachary D. Miller, Jacob A. Benfield, Peter Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Human-wildlife conflicts are a challenge in parks and protected areas around the world. Facilitating quality wildlife viewing experiences that minimize negative impacts to people and animals is often complicated by distance-related human behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine how people's distance-related norms varied as a function of proximity from wildlife, wildlife species, and physical landscape features. By using virtual reality technology and simulations, this study assessed how physical landscape features (i.e., an open field, deadfall, and a paved road) impact wildlife viewing norms and also compared norms among three different wildlife species (i.e., bison, bear, and elk). Data were analyzed with repeated measures ANOVA to explore how these factors influenced acceptability ratings of distances between people and wildlife. Results revealed a significant interaction between distance to wildlife and landscape features. Recommendations for improving the management of humanwildlife conflicts and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112276
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
StatePublished - May 15 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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