Exploring cultural differences in wildlife value orientations using student samples in seven nations

Maarten H. Jacobs*, Sara Dubois, Tetsuro Hosaka, Vukan Ladanović, Huda Farhana Mohamad Muslim, Kelly K. Miller, Shinya Numata, E. Ranaweerage, Tanja M. Straka, Michael A. Weston, Zulkhairi Azizi Zainal Abidin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding differences in the way people think about wildlife across countries is important as many conservation challenges transcend jurisdictions. We explored differences in wildlife value orientations in seven countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Serbia. Standard scales assessed domination (prioritizing human well-being) and mutualism (striving for egalitarian relationships with wildlife). We used student samples (total n = 2176) for cross-cultural comparisons. Reliabilities of the wildlife value orientations scales were adequate in all countries. Relationships between demographics and wildlife value orientations were different across countries. Men were generally more oriented towards domination and less towards mutualism than women, except in Serbia, where it was the other way around. Estimated at the level of the individual (using ANOVA), wildlife value orientations varied across countries, with nationality explaining a larger portion of the variation in mutualism (21%) than domination (6%). Estimated at the level of countries (using multilevel modelling), effect sizes were comparable. Thought about wildlife has previously only been examined within single countries. This paper makes a new contribution to the conservation literature suggesting that wildlife value orientations vary by country, and are associated with demographic factors. For conservation practices, understanding national differences in the way people think about wildlife is crucial to understanding sources of conflict among practitioners. Such knowledge is also important to gain public support for conservation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-777
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Issue number3
Early online date12 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Cross-national research
  • Demographics
  • Domination
  • Human-wildlife relationships
  • Mutualism


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