Browsing by Subject "Flagship species"

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  • Lundberg, Piia; Veríssimo, Diogo; Vainio, Annukka; Arponen, Anni (2020)
    Environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) appeal to private donors for conservation fundraising, often employing single species flagships as their fundraising strategy. Previous studies suggest that donor preferences vary, and can be divided into segments. Just as preferences towards species can vary, preferences towards different flagship types may also differ. Thus, opportunities may exist to enhance the use of other flagship types such as flagship fleets, ecosystems or biodiversity in fundraising. Although previous studies have found that aesthetic appeal, locality or threat status can explain the decision to donate, it is unclear how these attributes influence choices between flagship types. We conducted a discrete choice experiment on donor preferences towards different flagship types in the United Kingdom (n = 380) and the United States (n = 374), and explored how flagship attributes and socio-demographic variables affect potential donors' choices. Latent class modeling revealed seven donor segments in both countries that varied in their preferences of flagship types and attributes, as well as in their price-sensitivity. Some segments were similar for both countries, but the US segments were more polarized regarding price-sensitivity. Most respondents favored biodiversity targets in their choices, and ecosystems were more popular than species-based flagships. To enhance their fundraising capacity, ENGOs should extend their donation targets beyond flagship species, and develop more targeted marketing strategies for different audiences. Our research also demonstrates the need for further research to examine respondents' characteristics, such as personal values or environmental concern, which would allow more precisely targeted marketing to specific donor segments, e.g. through social media channels.
  • Lundberg, Piia Kristiina; Vainio, Satu Annukka; MacMillan, Douglas Craig; Smith, Bob; Verissimo, Diogo; Arponen, Anni Katri Ilona (2019)
    Environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) largely select flagship species for conservation marketing based on their aesthetic appeal. However, little is known about the fundraising effectiveness of this approach or how it compares to ecosystem conservation campaigns that use habitat types as flagships. By performing a willingness to donate (WTD) survey of potential online donors from Finland, we identified which motivations and donor characteristics influence their preferences for a range of different flagship species and ecosystems. Using the contingent valuation method and the payment card approach, we found the combined funding for eight mammal flagship species was 29% higher funding than for eight bird flagship species. Furthermore, the aesthetically more appealing species, as well as the species and ecosystems that are native to Finland, attracted the most funding. We then used ordinal logistic regression to identify the factors influencing a donor's WTD, finding that knowledge of biodiversity conservation and familiarity with the flagship was associated with an increased WTD to birds and ecosystems, and people with higher education levels had an increased WTD to ecosystems. Surprisingly, species aesthetic appeal was not related to an increased WTD, although "need of conservation" was, suggesting that highlighting the plight of these less appealing threatened species or ecosystems could raise money. Our results suggest that the factors driving donating to mammals, birds or ecosystems differ, and so underline the importance of considering the diverse motivations behind donation behaviour in fundraising campaigns. They also provide new evidence of the motivations of online donors, an under-studied group who are likely to become an increasingly important source of conservation funding.
  • Santangeli, Andrea; Girardello, Marco (2021)
    Stemming from a pervasive lack of knowledge on biodiversity, important areas for conservation are typically identified using a subset of well known species, commonly termed surrogate or indicator groups. Birds have been commonly used as biodiversity surrogates due to the good level of knowledge on their taxonomy, ecology and distribution. Raptors in particular have been often proposed as an effective surrogate for other biodiversity based on their dietary diversity, being at the top of the food chain, their preference for highly productive areas, their generally threatened status and high public appeal. However, so far the surrogacy effectiveness of raptors has been largely studied locally or using a narrow selection of surrogate and surrogated taxa. Here we use a spatial conservation planning tool to quantify the surrogacy performance of raptors, overall and by different raptor groups (hawks and eagles, falcons, vultures, owls) to represent important biodiversity areas (such as IUCN protected areas and key biodiversity areas), wilderness areas and the worlds ecoregions. We compared the above surrogacy performance with that of all other non-raptor avian species. We show that raptors perform marginally worse than all other avian species in representing important biodiversity areas and ecoregions. However, raptors representation for wilderness areas was similar or slightly better compared to that of using all non-raptor birds. We also report a large variation in the representation performance by the four raptor groups. Falcons had a particularly high potential in representing protected areas and wilderness areas, equaling or largely surpassing the representation potential provided by all raptors and all other non-raptor birds. Overall, the results suggest that raptors, and particularly falcons, can perform relatively well in representing some important areas for conservation, such as protected areas and wilderness areas, but are relatively poor surrogates for key biodiversity areas and ecoregions. These rather contrasting results call for caution on the use of raptors as global surrogates of wider biodiversity.