Deakin University

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Backyard bandicoots: community attitudes towards conservation planning in residential developments

journal contribution
posted on 2016-07-02, 00:00 authored by Sera Blair, Geoffrey WescottGeoffrey Wescott, Kelly MillerKelly Miller
As global populations grow, cities are stretching their urban boundaries into rural areas and bringing the challenges of biodiversity conservation into the backyards of homeowners. Planning controls can attempt to regulate residents’ behaviours to support conservation actions for threatened species but need to consider whether community attitudes align with conservation objectives. This study investigated community attitudes towards planned management interventions in a new conservation strategy designed to protect endangered Southern Brown Bandicoots in new residential estates around Cranbourne, Australia. A survey (n = 318, response rate 15.2 per cent) investigated current resident attitudes towards bandicoot conservation, cat ownership and effectiveness of current planning controls. Results indicate community support for a range of bandicoot conservation actions including confinement of domestic cats and non-lethal cat controls and for new developments being cat-free with bandicoot habitat corridors. Awareness of bandicoots correlated with higher support for conservation actions while cat owners were less supportive overall, particularly to limitations on cat ownership. Potential barriers to management interventions include inadequate knowledge, perceived associated risks and housing turnover. This information is valuable for conservation planning for new developments and to improve implementation of planning controls in existing residential areas for delivery of long-term protection for threatened species like Southern Brown Bandicoots.



Australasian Journal of Environmental Management






227 - 244



Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand