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Research: Toronto Residents Care About Endangered Species

By Toronto Zoo Staff
min read

The Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy, a partner with your Toronto Zoo in Toronto, Ontario, in the fight against extinction, has released the results of a survey conducted by Common Good Strategies to better understand the Greater Toronto Area’s (GTA’s) familiarity of wildlife conservation initiatives and actions.

While eighty-five percent of respondents acknowledged that humans are at fault for wildlife extinction and admit that conservation is important to them, only half of GTA residents believe they can make a difference for endangered species living in their own backyard.

Algonquin wolf in the trees

“The results of the 2020 Wildlife Conservation Awareness Survey send a clear message that awareness is a significant factor driving conservation action,” said Beth Gilhespy, Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy executive director. “The research shows that people care about wildlife survival, but the less they knew about conservation issues impacting wildlife, the less they felt they could personally make a difference. By contrast, those with more awareness of the issues also had more awareness of the actions they could take—and do take—to protect wildlife; nevertheless even the most knowledgeable respondents are underestimating species decline in Canada.”

The survey also revealed that less than 30 percent of respondents were aware that there are more than 10 endangered or threatened animals living in the GTA.

American badger in the snow

“The results of this survey are a clear indication that the Toronto Zoo is doing important work in raising awareness around conservation and the extinction of animals,” said Mayor, John Tory. “While the Toronto Zoo is known for providing families with a fun experience, their work in conservation is making a real impact on a global level. I hope that the results of this survey encourage people to strive to be part of the solution and work with organizations like the Toronto Zoo in protecting these animals.”

“The results of this survey are a strong endorsement of your Toronto Zoo’s important role in conservation education, as well as a call to action to expand our outreach beyond our traditional audiences” said Dolf DeJong, Toronto Zoo chief executive officer.  “Your Toronto Zoo will focus on developing more targeted messaging and directives for our guests and community to take meaningful conservation actions and to make a positive difference for wildlife.”

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