Explaining Emotional Attachment to a Protected Area by Visitors' Perceived Importance of Seeing Wildlife, Behavioral Connections with Nature and Sociodemographics

Akke Folmer, Tialda Haartsen, Paulus P.P. Huigen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recently, the interest in understanding emotional bonds with protected nature areas has been growing. The role of wildlife in emotional bonds with places has until now not been the focus of many studies. The aim of our paper is to explore relations between the perceived importance of seeing wildlife and emotional attachment to a protected nature area, the Dutch Wadden Sea Area. We investigate to what extent this relation is driven by visitors’ behavioral connections with nature and sociodemographic characteristics. Results of our survey (N = 211) reveal that the perceived importance of seeing birds matters directly in emotional attachment, while the contributions of the perceived importance of seeing seals and small marine wildlife are driven by behavioral connections with nature. Furthermore, behavioral connections with nature contribute strongly to emotional attachment and steer relations between the perceived importance of seeing wildlife and emotional attachment to the Wadden Sea Area.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)435-449
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Dimensions of Wildlife
Volume18
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24-Oct-2013

Keywords

  • ): place attachment, natural environment, animals, outdoor recreation

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