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Data from: A Bayesian hierarchical approach to quantifying stakeholder attitudes toward conservation in the presence of reporting error

Citation

Vasudev, Divya; Goswami, Varun R. (2019), Data from: A Bayesian hierarchical approach to quantifying stakeholder attitudes toward conservation in the presence of reporting error, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.03g98h6

Abstract

Stakeholder support is vital for achieving conservation success, yet there are few reliable mechanisms to monitor stakeholder attitudes towards conservation. Importantly, few approaches account for bias arising from reporting errors; that is, reporting a positive attitude towards conservation when the respondent actually does not have one (a false positive error), or not reporting a positive attitude when the respondent is positive towards conservation (a false negative error). We borrow from developments in applied conservation science to use a Bayesian hierarchical model to quantify stakeholder attitudes as the probability of having a positive attitude towards wildlife, notionally (or in abstract terms) and at localized scales. The model allows us to assess stakeholder attitudes, and factors influencing these attitudes, while accounting for false negative and false positive reporting errors. We show through simulations that this method has lower bias than naïve estimates of the proportion of respondents who are positive towards wildlife, or Likert‐scores. We demonstrate the utility of the model by applying it to questionnaire surveys on Asian elephants Elephas maximus in the Kaziranga–Karbi Anglong landscape, Northeast India. After accounting for reporting errors, we estimated the probability of being positive towards elephants notionally as 0.85; at a localized scale, however, the proportion of respondents that were positive towards elephants was 50%. In comparison, without accounting for reporting errors, the proportion of respondents professing positive attitudes towards elephants in at least one of the certain questions, was 0.69 and 0.23, notionally and at local scales, respectively. False (positive and negative) reporting probabilities were consistently non‐zero (0.22–0.68). We submit that regular and reliable assessment of stakeholder attitudes––combined with an understanding of factors contributing to variation in attitudes––can feed into participatory conservation monitoring programs, help assess the success of initiatives aimed at facilitating human behavioral change, and inform conservation decision‐making.

Usage Notes

Location

Northeast India
Assam