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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Use campaigns and public information to improve behaviour towards mammals and reduce threats Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Key messages

Read our guidance on Key messages before continuing

  • Two studies evaluated the effects of using campaigns and public information to improve behaviour towards mammals and reduce threats. One study was in the USA and one was in Lao People's Democratic Republic.





Supporting evidence from individual studies


A randomized, replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 2007 in a residential area in Colorado, USA (Baruch-Mordo et al. 2011) found that displaying education signs about the danger of garbage to black bears Ursus americanus did not reduce the percentage of garbage containers that were not wildlife-resistant or wildlife-proof. The overall proportion of households using garbage containers that were not wildlife-resistant or wildlife-proof declined during the study. However, where signage was used, the trend in households not using wildlife-resistant garbage containers (after: 0–31%; before: 11–52%) did not differ from where signage was not used (after: 7–27%; before: 9–45%). Dumpsters were surveyed at 68 communal housing complexes. Thirty-four were randomly selected for placement of signs on dumpsters, warning of dangers of unsecured garbage to bears. Similarly, 42 construction sites were surveyed, with signage used at 22 of these. Dumpsters were surveyed in July –September 2007, for three weeks before and three weeks after installing signage. Violations were use of unsecured containers, unsecure dumpster storage outside kerbside collection times, garbage outside dumpsters and, on building sites, food waste in open dumpsters.


A controlled, before-and-after study in 2009–2010 in 57 villages in and around a protected area in Lao People's Democratic Republic (Saypanya et al. 2013) found that a social marketing campaign to promote a newly created telephone hotline increased reporting of illegal hunting. Villagers exposed to the social marketing campaign were significantly more likely to report illegal hunting after the campaign. The reporting rate of the villages not exposed to the campaign did not change significantly (data not reported). In 2009, a telephone hotline was set up for villagers to report illegal hunting. In 36 villages, a social marketing campaign was used to promote the hotline. Twenty-one similar villages did not receive the campaign. Surveys of both groups were conducted before and after the social marketing campaign took place.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Littlewood, N.A., Rocha, R., Smith, R.K., Martin, P.A., Lockhart, S.L., Schoonover, R.F., Wilman, E., Bladon, A.J., Sainsbury, K.A., Pimm S. and Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Terrestrial Mammal Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for terrestrial mammals excluding bats and primates. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.