Action: Raise awareness amongst the general public through campaigns and public information
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
A review of programmes in the USA and Canada argues that education was not sufficient to change behaviour, although it was necessary as a catalytic factor for economic incentives and law enforcement.
This intervention involves general information and awareness campaigns in response to a range of threats. Studies describing educational campaigns in response to specific threats are described in the chapter on that threat category (e.g. ‘Threat: Biological Resource Use - Use education programmes and local engagement to help reduce persecution or exploitation of species’).
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A review of 16 case studies (six of which were directly related to birds) using before-and-after analyses in the USA and Canada (Byers 2003) found that education and awareness initiatives were necessary but insufficient in effective conservation projects. Of the six case studies concerning birds, education and awareness decreased the hunting of American black duck Anas rubripes (USA and Canada) and threatened geese through more stringent regulations; did not decrease lead poisoning of common loons Gavia immer in New England, three years after pamphlet distribution; decreased oil contamination in Colorado and Wyoming pits (USA) by 67%; increased hatching rates of snowy plovers Charadrius nivosus in California (USA) by 18% in 5 years; and doubled seabird populations in a region in Quebec (Canada). Overall, education and awareness was almost never a sufficient factor in changing behaviour, although it was necessary as a catalytic factor for economic incentives and law enforcement.