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Rural and Urban Attitudes to the Conservation of Asian Elephants in Sri Lanka: Empirical Evidence


  • Bandara, Ranjith
  • Tisdell, Clement A.


There has been little study of economic and general attitudes towards the conservation of the Asian elephant. This paper reports and analyses results from surveys conducted in Sri Lanka of attitudes of urban dwellers and farmers towards nature conservation in general and the elephant conservation in particular. The analyses are based on urban and a rural sample. Contingent valuation techniques are used as survey instruments. Multivariate logit regression analysis is used to analyze the respondents’ attitudes towards conservation of elephants. It is found that, although some variations occurred between the samples, the majority of the respondents (both rural and urban) have positive attitudes towards nature conservation in general. However, marked differences in attitudes toward elephant conservation are evident between these two samples: the majority of urban respondents were in favour of elephant conservation; rural respondents expressed a mixture of positive and negative attitudes. Overall, considerable unrecorded and as yet unutilised economic support for conservation of wild elephants exists in Sri Lanka.

Suggested Citation

  • Bandara, Ranjith & Tisdell, Clement A., 2002. "Rural and Urban Attitudes to the Conservation of Asian Elephants in Sri Lanka: Empirical Evidence," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 48736, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uqseee:48736

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard T. Carson & Nicholas E. Flores & Kerry M. Martin & Jennifer L. Wright, 1996. "Contingent Valuation and Revealed Preference Methodologies: Comparing the Estimates for Quasi-Public Goods," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(1), pages 80-99.
    2. Loomis, John B. & White, Douglas S., 1996. "Economic benefits of rare and endangered species: summary and meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 197-206, September.
    3. Ian Bateman & Ian Langford, 1997. "Non-users' Willingness to Pay for a National Park: An Application and Critique of the Contingent Valuation Method," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(6), pages 571-582.
    4. Hadker, Nandini & Sharma, Sudhir & David, Ashish & Muraleedharan, T. R., 1997. "Willingness-to-pay for Borivli National Park: evidence from a Contingent Valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 105-122, May.
    5. Bandara, Ranjith & Tisdell, Clement A., 2002. "Asian Elephants as Agricultural Pests: Damages, Economics of Control and Compensation in Sri Lanka," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 48735, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    6. Sellar, Christine & Chavas, Jean-Paul & Stoll, John R., 1986. "Specification of the logit model: The case of valuation of nonmarket goods," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 382-390, December.
    7. Barbara J. Kanninen & M. Sami Khawaja, 1999. "Measuring Goodness of Fit for the Double-Bounded Logit Model: Reply," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(1), pages 238-240.
    8. Pate, Jennifer & Loomis, John, 1997. "The effect of distance on willingness to pay values: a case study of wetlands and salmon in California," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 199-207, March.
    9. Skonhoft, Anders & Solstad, Jan Tore, 1996. "Wildlife management, illegal hunting and conflicts. A bioeconomic analysis," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 165-181, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mailu, Stephen & Kuloba, Bernard & Ruto, Eric & Nyangena, Wilfred, 2010. "Effect of cropping policy on landowner reactions towards wildlife: a case of Naivasha area, Kenya," MPRA Paper 21308, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Bandara, Ranjith & Tisdell, Clement A., 2002. "Willingness to Pay for Conservation of the Asian Elephant in Sri Lanka: A Contingent Valuation Study," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 48738, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    3. Bostedt, Göran & Grahn, Pontus, 2008. "Estimating cost functions for the four large carnivores in Sweden," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 517-524, December.


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