Positive Public Communication Tools for Enhancing Wildlife-Road Safety in the Chebucto Peninsula Region, Halifax, Canada
Blackmore, Holly K.
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Wildlife-vehicle collisions occur frequently and are hazardous for both humans and animals involved (Huijser, et al., 2016; Fudge, Freedman, Crowell, Nette & Power, 2007; Ramp, Wilson & Croft, 2016). Urban (and other) developments are leading to habitat fragmentation, which results in the displacement of many animal species (Beazley, Snaith, MacKinnon & Colville, 2004; Fudge, et al., 2007; Perkl, et al., 2018). Fragmentation can also lead to more wildlife-road interactions, increasing the potential for collisions to occur (Fudge, et al., 2007). Human-wildlife conflict can also be related to issues regarding wildlife protection around roads and can result in negative attitudes and behaviors toward wildlife (Frank, 2015; Ramp, et al., 2016). It is important to engage the public about issues related to wildlife and roads to increase awareness and encourage human-wildlife coexistence. Futerra Sustainability Communications (2010) has determined that the best way to engage public audiences in support of biodiversity is by incorporating a “love” component and an “action” component to public communication strategies, for audiences not already invested in the issue. By employing a “Love + Action” framework (Futerra Sustainability Communications, 2010), this study develops guidelines and appropriate messages for good practices for positive public communication on the topic of wildlife protection around roads. Application of the guidelines and important messages are demonstrated through the creation of a visual communication tool (i.e., infographic) for wildlife protection around roads in the Chebucto Peninsula, which is an important area for wildlife connectivity (Halifax Regional Municipality & O2 Planning & Design, 2018). The guidelines, important messages and infographic are intended for wildlife protection around roads, but could be transferable to producing positive public communication tools for other wildlife/environmental issues.