The results from our Scale of the Problem research:
As a result of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund we have completed The Scale of the Problem project. The project gathered data about public perception of amphibians and reptiles. We started the project by carrying out a literature review and analysing Google Alerts. This gave us a global perspective highlighting cross-cultural attitudes. There were some expected trends and some surprises – snakes were featured most with toads and frogs appearing in stories related to children. All of the animals featured highly in cultural stories that had nothing to do with the animals such as business names, bands, products, venues etc. The Google Alerts concluded that 36% of the message about amphibians and reptiles were ambivalent, whilst 43% had positive conservation messages and 21% hindered conservation. Snakes were the only species that scored higher in stories that hindered conservation messages. This highlights a need to work on the image of snakes and to counter the negative perceptions. It is necessary for Froglife and other conservation charities to give a much more higher priority to promoting the conservation of these species.
We developed an on-line survey to gather public opinion about amphibian and reptile species compared to other wildlife species and also about Froglife compared to other conservation organisations. We received 600 responses from the survey with only 17.1% already aware of Froglife. We also organised 12 focus group sessions and 6 vox pop sessions in London, Peterborough and Glasgow. A total of 194 people took part in the focus groups and 108 people in the vox pop sessions. From the survey responses we concluded that 15% support wildlife conservation for biodiversity/science reasons; 9% to preserve wildlife for future generations; 32% believing it is their custodial duty; 8% for enjoyment; 9% for fear extinction and 27% for economic reasons. The results also highlighted that individuals are far more likely to contribute financially towards a campaign than a general appeal, showing that people want to know what their money is being spent on. It also became evident that short-term campaigns are less successful than those that run over several years.
Following the results from the Scale of the Problem research Froglife has revamped the front covers of Just Add Water and Urban Tails making these publications more public friendly. We have also strengthened our brand across all of our publications so that they are instantly recognisable as a Froglife publication. We have produced a promotional video highlighting the work that Froglife does with disadvantaged young people. We continue to work on increasing public support for Froglife and the findings from this research is informing the way in which we do this.