Date of Submission

Spring 2021

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Arseny Khakhalin

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Animal conservation research has looked at how human perception of animals changes our willingness to protect them—more specifically, research has investigated the effects of charisma upon distribution of conservation attention. However, past research has not considered the interactions between charisma, conservation status, and ecological importance. These factors play a role that cannot be understated in large-scale conservation projects. Human perception of animals and the biases humans hold could be responsible for the life and death of any species on Earth. I conducted a survey to understand which species people believe to be charismatic and parsed out potential reasons why. I then applied a methodology geneticists used to find gene-gene interactions based on co-occurrence in published scientific literature to animals and sought high interactivity to find importance. These studies aimed to find out if charisma, conservation status, and ecological importance were correlated, and how each may impact the conservation attention a species receives. I use a novel methodology to find the network centrality of sixteen birds that can be found in New York and compare the results with a survey on perceived charisma. I found no significant correlations between the three factors contributing to conservation attention and drew conclusions on how charisma plays a role in perception of animal conservation. Potential methodological improvements and ideas for future research are discussed.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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