Taking a novel approach to conservation, this project will test whether changing social norms in few key individuals can deliver high-impact elephant conservation education and enact change. Good conservation education leads to increased knowledge and changes in behavior but it takes time, potentially generations. Recent data have highlighted the importance of social norms in shaping pro-conservation behavior, therefore targeting influential individuals can induce changes in group social norms effectively and quickly. “Key influencers” will be taught elephant conservation programming, and the impact on changing attitudes in local communities will be monitored to test the hypothesis that a few, “key” people can change conservation norms and behavior in their schools and communities, faster than traditional conservation education.
This project is supported in part by The Berry Family Trust.