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Slovenian Students’ Knowledge and Opinions about Wild Boar (Sus Scrofa L.)

By Nataša Siard, Dušanka Jordan

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

Wild boar are present almost throughout Slovenia, causing similar problems as in many other countries, mainly damage to agriculture. Dealing with these problems also involves children. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of age, gender, and farm residence on knowledge, attitudes, and opinions about wild boar management in 11- and 15-year-olds (n = 478) attending schools in/near areas of high wild boar densities, via an anonymous closed-ended questionnaire. Only 52.4% of the questions on factual knowledge were answered correctly, although a relatively high proportion of students (38.3%) reported having seen wild boar in their natural environment. The majority of students (81.4%) expressed affection toward animals in general, while only 11.3% stated that they liked wild boar. The main source of information about these animals was home (40.0%), followed by school (26.1%). Logistic regression analysis revealed that students’ age and gender usually predicted their response (p < 0.05), while living on a farm influenced only the source of information and one attitude question: farm residents were more likely to express affection toward wild boar. The older students were more likely to know more about wild boar, but they also were more likely to be indifferent toward the species. Boys and girls did not differ in their knowledge, but girls were more likely to express fear/dislike of wild boar. In general, older students and girls were more likely to be undecided in their responses. Since we found almost no effect of farm residence on students’ knowledge and opinions, it can be concluded that wild boar problems are recognized generally, not only in agriculture. Because information from home can be biased, we propose that teachers be encouraged to include wild boar topics in their teaching, educating young people properly about wild boar problems and consequently influencing their adult behavior concerning management issues.

Publication Title Anthrozoös
Volume 31
Issue 6
Pages 741-760
ISBN/ISSN 0892-7936
DOI 10.1080/08927936.2018.1529357
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Tags
  1. Attitudes
  2. Boars
  3. Human-animal interactions
  4. Knowledge
  5. students