“The internet is gaining importance in global wildlife trade and changing perceptions of threatened species.
Focussing on a group of threatened and globally protected primates, slow lorises, we quantify public attitudes towards wildlife conservation by analysing comments and associated data posted on a viral YouTube video ‘tickling slow loris’ over a 33-months period.
In the initial months a quarter of commentators indicated wanting a loris as a pet, but as facts about their conservation and ecology became more prevalent this dropped significantly.
Endorsements, where people were directed to the site by celebrities, resulted mostly in numerous neutral responses with few links to conservation or awareness. Two conservation-related events, linked to Wikipedia and the airing of a television documentary, led to an increase in awareness, and ultimately to the removal of the analysed video.”
Source: PLOS One
Authors: K. Anne-Isola Nekaris, Nicola Campbell, Tim G. Coggins, E. Johanna Rode and Vincent Nijman.
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