Action: Educate the public to improve perception of bats to improve behaviour towards bats
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects of educating the public to improve the perception of bats to improve behaviour towards bats.
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this action during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore we have been unable to assess whether or not the action is effective or has any harmful impacts. Please get in touch if you know of such a study for this action.
Bats have long been the victims of negative public opinion due to mythology involving vampires and witchcraft, and associations with disease, such as rabies and the Ebola virus. Education programmes and events to dispel myths and to educate the public about the importance of bats and bat conservation are in place in some countries and may benefit bat populations by improving human behaviour towards bats. Three studies in the USA (Rule & Zhbanova 2012, Hoffmaster et al. 2016, Lu et al. 2017) and two in the UK (Kaninsky et al. 2018) found that providing education to the public resulted in more positive perceptions and beliefs about bats.
Hoffmaster E., Vonk J. & Mies R. (2016) Education to action: improving public perception of bats. Animals, 6, 6.
Kaninsky M., Gallacher S. & Rogers Y. (2018) Confronting people's fears about bats: combining multi-modal and environmentally sensed data to promote curiosity and discovery. Proceedings - Designing Interactive Systems Conference, Hong Kong, China, 9–13 June 2018, 931–943.
Lu H., McComas K.A., Buttke D.E., Roh S., Wild M.A. & Decker D.J. (2017) One Health messaging about bats and rabies: how framing of risks, benefits and attributions can support public health and wildlife conservation goals. Wildlife Research, 44, 200–206.
Rule A. & Zhbanova K. (2012) Changing perceptions of unpopular animals through facts, poetry, crafts, and puppet plays. Early Childhood Education Journal, 40, 223–230.