Factors Affecting Intention to Volunteer: Conserving the Ural Saiga Population - Katie Mabbutt, MSc Thesis
Understanding human behaviour is central to implementing effective conservation strategies. Conservation should work in an integrated way with other disciplines to utilise their expertise on behaviour change. However, a review of the literature shows that there is a lack of inter-disciplinary work between conservation and the social sciences. Previous research has failed to utilise theoretical frameworks developed by social science in order to understand human behaviour change. To address this problem this thesis applies the Theory of Planned Behaviour to understand what drives intentions to volunteer for conservation programmes.
A survey of two villages in West Kazakhstan was conducted to assess respondent's attitudes, knowledge and willingness to volunteer to conserve saiga. The impact of attending saiga awareness and education events was also assessed. The Theory of Planned Behaviour was found to be an effective framework for ascertaining the drivers of behavioural intention. From this, recommendations were made for future conservation interventions in the region, as well as recommendations for future research which may be of interest to the wider field of conservation.