Journal Article


Saloni BhatiaSteve RedpathKulbhushansingh SuryawanshiCharudutt Mishra
Download (1.23 MB)

The Relationship Between Religion and Attitudes Toward Large Carnivores in Northern India?

Evidence suggests that religion is an important driver of peoples’attitudes toward nature, but the link between religion and carnivoreconservation is poorly understood. We examined peoples’ attitudesin Buddhist (n = 83) and Muslim communities (n = 111) toward snowleopards (Panthera uncia) and wolves (Canis lupus) in Ladakh, India.We found that the effect of religion on attitudes was statisticallynonsignificant, and was tempered by gender, education, and aware-ness of wildlife laws. Even though religion by itself was not anindication of an individual’s attitude toward large carnivores, theextent to which he/she practiced it (i.e., religiosity) had a positivecorrelation with pro-carnivore attitudes in the case of Buddhist butnot Muslim communities. Our findings indicate that it may be usefulto integrate locally relevant religious philosophies into conservationpractice. However, the emphasis of conservation messaging shouldvary, stressing environmental stewardship in the case of Islam, andhuman–wildlife interdependence in the case of Buddhism.

Human Dimension of Wildlife,