Education and awareness is a necessary but insufficient factor in changing behaviour to produce conservation success

  • Published source details Byers B.A. (2003) Education, Communication and Outreach (ECO) success stories: Solving conservation problems by changing behavior. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center Division of Education Outreach report.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Raise awareness amongst the general public through campaigns and public information

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Raise awareness amongst the general public through campaigns and public information

    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.

Output references

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