This study aimed to evaluate perceptions and attitudes of local people about wild fauna and was carried out in the Urucum settlement, in the Brazilian Pantanal. We sought to: (1) identify which species of wild animals were most frequently chosen by residents of the Urucum settlement based on their familiarity; (2) identify the values associated with this fauna and the implications for conservation; and (3) test the effect of gender, age, and level of education of the residents on their attitudes. We used a structured questionnaire with open and closed questions to interview the residents. Distributions of responses about perceptions were analyzed using the chi-square test, and differences between the values associated with each species were analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis test. The effect of gender, age, and level of education on attitudes toward the most chosen species was tested using generalized linear models (GLM). Among 61 residents interviewed, we found that the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), toucan (Ramphastos toco), monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus), rhea (Rhea Americana), and rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus) were the most frequently chosen species. These species were followed by tropical freshwater fish (a fish of the genus Astyanax sp.) and the blue morpho butterfly (Morpho sp.), both chosen with equal frequency. Most perceptions and attitudes were positive apart from those for the rattlesnake. Attitudes toward the rattlesnake were associated with the age of respondents, and the most common value associated with conserving the selected animals was “Anthropocentric.” As demonstrated by other studies, contact with environmental education activities could help to promote tolerance to rattlesnakes. Likewise, this tool can also broaden our understanding of the ecological importance of wild species, facilitating their conservation.
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