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Understanding motivations and attitudes among songbird‐keepers to identify best approaches to demand reduction

Marshall, Harry and Glorizky, Gracia A and Collar, Nigel J and Lees, Alexander C and Moss, Andrew and Yuda, Pramana and Marsden, Stuart J (2021) Understanding motivations and attitudes among songbird‐keepers to identify best approaches to demand reduction. Conservation Science and Practice. ISSN 2578-4854

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Abstract

Demand for cage birds is highly prevalent and increasing across Indonesia, as wild bird populations across Asia decline. To find ways to reduce demand, it is important to understand the motivations and psychographic drivers to keep (or not keep) birds, and how demographic characteristics and public attitudes influence such decisions. Based on surveys with over 3,000 people, we found few people citing health, sanitary, or welfare concerns as reasons for not keeping birds, whereas most people started keeping birds to enjoy their beauty or song, or to keep up with peers. Pet-keepers (“Hobbyists”) commonly started doing so opportunistically; song contest participants (“Contestants”) and breeders and trainers (“Breeders”) did so for financial gain. Bird-keepers and non-bird-keepers disagreed on birds' environmental importance, longevity in captivity, and endangerment by trade. Older respondents were less concerned that keeping birds endangers them and few felt birds to be an important part of the environment. Hobbyists were least likely to consider wild bird population health a major concern. Efforts to dissuade potential bird-keepers should focus on public concern for the environment and the threat bird-keeping poses to wild populations. The importance of peer pressure among bird-keepers presents an opportunity to promote sustainable bird-keeping activities among key groups.

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