The Rules of Attraction: The Necessary Role of Animal Cognition in Explaining Conservation Failures and Successes

Alison L. Greggor, Oded Berger-Tal, Daniel T. Blumstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Integrating knowledge and principles of animal behavior into wildlife conservation and management has led to some concrete successes but has failed to improve conservation outcomes in other cases. Many conservation interventions involve attempts to either attract or repel animals, which we refer to as approach/avoidance issues. These attempts can be reframed as issues of manipulating the decisions animals make, which are driven by their perceptual abilities and attentional biases, as well as the value animals attribute to current stimuli and past learned experiences. These processes all fall under the umbrella of animal cognition. Here, we highlight rules that emerge when considering approach/avoidance conservation issues through the lens of cognitive-based management. For each rule, we review relevant conservation successes and failures to better predict the conditions in which behavior can be manipulated, and we suggest how to avoid future failures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-503
Number of pages21
JournalAnnual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics
Volume51
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Nov 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

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