Species Literacy : the perception and cultural portrayal of animals
At a time when biodiversity is under pressure worldwide and we are at an increasing risk of losing our connection with nature, understanding people’s perception of biodiversity has become increasingly important. In particular, people’s awareness of animal species deserves our attention, as animals are accessible and effective agents for people to connect with biodiversity. The studies discussed in this dissertation are set in the Netherlands, one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Through six research projects I have investigated which animals Dutch citizens do or do not know, I have studied cultural sources that may impact children’s perceptions of animal diversity, and, from the perspective of biodiversity communicators, I have explored the potential to connect people with biodiversity in places that are becoming increasingly urbanized. Moreover, I introduce and discuss a new concept that highlights species as an accessible way to learn about biodiversity: species literacy. The research discussed in this thesis can be regarded as a step towards broadening people’s perception of animal diversity, which can ultimately help expand the role of biodiversity in people’s lives.
Hooykaas, M.J.D. (2022, June 30). Species Literacy : the perception and cultural portrayal of animals.