Harming or Killing Snakes in Canada: Results of the National Survey, 2010


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Poster presented at the Human Dimensions in Natural Resource Management Conference, Revelstoke, BC, October 6-7, 2010

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Harming or Killing Snakes in Canada: Results of the National Survey, 2010

  1. 1. Harming or Killing Snakes In Canada: Results of the National Survey, 2010 Jonathan Choquette1, Kristen Campbell2, Brian Hutchinson3, R.J. Payne4 1 School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph, Guelph ON, N1G 2W1, jchoquet@uoguelph.ca ; 2 School of Environment and Management, Royal Roads University, Victoria BC, V8P 5C2, kristen.2campbell@royalroads.ca; 3 Parks Canada, Ottawa ON, K1B 3V7, Brian.Hutchinson@pc.gc.ca; 4 School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay ON, P7B 5E1, rjpayne@lakeheadu.ca Introduction The survey sought to obtain answers to questions Table 3: Response and Income Two other variables – income and education – exhibit about how people in Canada react to snakes, when marginally significant differences when examined for they encounter them on their own properties Income Harm/Kill Other (homes, cottages, farms) or elsewhere (roads, trails, responses to snakes. For income, people having lower Responses than the median Canadian income are slightly more parks). Under 31 749 likely to harm or kill snakes; for education, people with While a broad number of reactions to snakes, Median$$ high school or less education are slightly more likely to ranging from “avoid the snake” through “get someone to deal with the snake” were identified by Over 23 942 harm or kill snakes. respondents, it was the “harm/kill” response that Median $$ was the focus of the research. X2 3.641 .056 Next Steps Table 4: Response and Education Next comes two sets qualitative interviews, one with residents of southern Alberta that will focus on Education Harm/Kill Other interactions with Prairie Rattle Snakes, and the other in Responses the Windsor, Ontario area with a broader focus. Each High School 21 497 set of interviews will be guided in selecting or less interviewees by the results presented in this poster. More than 41 1403 High School Following the interviews both sources of data will Men are more likely than women to harm or kill snakes. X2 1.838 .175 contribute to the development of a social marketing Rural residents are more likely to harm or kill snakes strategy to change the behaviours of those who harm than urban. or kill snakes. Income and education may have some influence, but Methods the extent of any such influence requires further study. References Table 1: Response and Gender Data for the study were collected in the last week of Ashley, E. Paul, Kosloski, A., and Petrie, S., 2007. March and the first week of April, 2010, by means of Gender Harm/Kill Other Incidence of intentional vehicle–reptile collisions. telephone surveys conducted by Harris-Decima, Inc. Responses Human Dimensions in Wildlife, 12:137–143. Harris-Decima operates a weekly “Vox” survey during which clients can add particular questions to a standard Male 40 905 Bixler, R.D., C.L. Carlisle, W.E. Hammitt and M. F. Floyd. array of socio-demographic and socio-economic 1994. Observed fears and discomforts among urban variables. The nine questions formulated for this Female 23 1014 students on field trips to wildland areas. The Journal of research (see Appendix I for the questions) sought to Environmental Education 26(1): 24-33. gauge people's reactions to snakes on their property X2 6.522 .011 and elsewhere as well as people's awareness of snakes Matchett, G. and Davey, G. 1991. Test of a disease and their protection status in Canadian provinces. avoidance model of animal phobias. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 29, 91-94. Cited in Bixler, R.D. Table 2: Response and Urban/Rural The two weeks of telephone surveys yielded 2021 and M.F. Floyd. 1999. Hands on or hands off? Disgust interviews. These interviews were collected randomly, Location Harm/Kill Other Discussion sensitivity and preference to environmental education but selection was stratified according to populations in Responses activities. The Journal of Environmental Education 30 each Canadian province. This stratification means that, As expected, a respondent’s gender is significant in the (3): 4-11. while the total number of respondents (2021) “harm/kill” response, with men more likely than constitutes a large sample of Canadians, sample size Urban 31 1288 women to harm or kill snakes encountered on their Sissons, A. 2006. Attitudes and Values Towards becomes problematic when one leaves the more property. Similarly, respondents’ location in rural areas Reptiles. Report prepared for Parks Canada, Ontario populous provinces. Rural 32 631 versus urban areas shows a statistically significant Region. difference response, with people in rural areas more X2 8.791 ,003 likely to harm or kill a snake encountered on their property