Analysis of Urban Humans and Their Spatial Allowance for Predators


  • Theodore Darnell


This research addresses varying degrees of social tolerance to wildlife within the urban environment. Rapid growth of the urban environment is thought to create new interactions between humans and wildlife. These new interactions are made unique by the modern urbanite’s perspective of wildlife. In the summer of 2013, the occurrence of a mountain lion (Puma concolor) in a Butte, Montana neighborhood incited a variety of comments regarding
public opinion of urban-wildlife. Research and wildlife managers suggest that to develop a strong, effective urban wildlife management strategy we must first have a comprehensive
understanding of the local urbanites’ disposition towards urban wildlife (Patterson, Montag, & Williams, 2003). A survey was developed using the tripartite model of attitude assessment
to measure Butte residents’ attitude towards urban –wildlife. The tripartite model assumes that an attitude is equally influenced by three factors, cognitive, behavioral, and affective. The survey asked respondents questions alluding to their wildlife-education, experiences, and past behaviors. Respondents were then scored according to the amount of influential factors involved in developing their attitude towards urban-wildlife. Respondents were also asked to rank wildlife based on the amount of tolerance afforded to an individual species within an urban setting. The respondents’ attitude score was compared with their urban-wildlife
tolerance ratings. This research suggests that the cognitive and behavioral attitude influences have the largest bearing on a Butte resident’s attitude toward urban-wildlife.






Montana Academy of Sciences [Abstracts]