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Ecología en Bolivia

Print version ISSN 1605-2528On-line version ISSN 2075-5023


TORRICO-PAZ, Stephanie  and  GALARZA, M. Isabel. Knowledge, perceptions and attitudes toward bats in La Paz city, La Paz, Bolivia. Ecología en Bolivia [online]. 2021, vol.56, n.2, pp.91-101. ISSN 1605-2528.

Knowing the importance of citizen support to wildlife conservation, and the detrimental perception and attitudes humans have towards bats, this study aims to analyze knowledge, perceptions and attitudes La Paz citizens have towards these animals. We analyzed 296 semi-structured interviews to people above 18 years old. We compared knowledge to demographic variables, and also compared perceptions and attitudes with the level of knowledge people have about bats with Generalized Linear Models (GLM) and used a Chi-square test to compare attitudes towards bats in four different scenarios. Knowledge about these animals is positively related with age and is higher within people working in health (t=2.024, gl=8, p=0.04) or environmental areas (t=4.125, gl=8, p<0.001). Knowledge is also related to people who know the Bolivian Bat Conservation Program (t=3.153, gl=4 p<0.01). Both perceptions and attitudes where related to knowledge about bats (5.034, gl=1 p<0.001), emotions (4.662 gl=295 p<0.001), actions (3.656 gl=295 p<0.001), respectively (Chi-square = 128.47, gl= 12 p<0.001). People show more fear and negative emotions when they think about encountering an animal inside their homes. On the contrary, when they think about encountering a vulnerable animal, they show positive emotions and are want to bring aid. These results could help introduce new strategies to encourage bat conservation within La Paz city.

Keywords : Chiroptera; Conservation Biology; Human behavior; Human-wildlife relationship; Urban area.

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