Conservation Values and Risk of Handling Bats: Implications for One Health Communication
Flying-foxes provide critical ecosystem services, but their role as hosts to zoonotic pathogens may undermine conservation support. We surveyed 214 residents of Cairns, Australia, regarding their perceptions about health risks associated with flying-foxes and support for flying-fox conservation. Greater likelihood of handling a flying-fox was associated with lower knowledge about risks, greater conservation support, and environmental organization membership. Respondents less likely to seek medical attention after a minor scratch tended to be younger, unemployed and perceive lower risk. Individuals who support flying-fox conservation should be one group targeted in One Health communication integrating health and conservation messages.
KeywordsFlying-foxes Zoonoses One Health Risk perception Benefit perception Conservation values
The authors wish to acknowledge the Cairns Regional Council for its support and assistance in participant recruitment to this survey.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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