The Effect of Education Programs on the Knowledge and Attitudes about Snakes in San Isidro de Upala, Costa Rica
I interviewed 30 people in San Isidro de Upala, Costa Rica, to reveal their knowledge and attitudes about snakes. I found that many people hated and feared snakes because they assumed incorrectly that many or all snakes in the area were venomous. I then administered an education program designed to improve people's knowledge and attitudes about snakes. The program included information on the biology, identification, and ecological importance of snakes. I also explained how to safely respond to snake encounters. Before-and-after comparisons of responses to questionnaires measuring knowledge and attitudes showed that education programs made people more knowledgeable about snakes. Increased knowledge has been linked to positive attitudes. If people have positive attitudes towards snakes, they will be less likely to kill them; therefore helping to preserve the biodiversity of Costa Rica.
Forest and Wildlife Ecology