Wildlife and nature can provide a significant contribution to the spirit, imagination and well-being of Australians through socio-psychological values. These can be recreational; consumptive (eg. hunting) and non-consumptive (watching and enjoying in the wild or through various media); intellectual and scientific (including educational); aesthetic, artistic and cultural; and religious and symbolic.
These values have both a quantitative aspect that can be measured (eg. wildlife tourism) and a qualitative aspect that cannot (eg beauty). Of the approximately 1200 known bird species in Australia over 100 species and subspecies are currently identified as threatened and substantial funds are spent keeping them from becoming extinct.
Gill Ainsworth's PhD research, 'Social Values of Australian Threatened Birds', will examine relevant social values to identify and measure the importance or worth placed by people and society on threatened species of birds in Australia and through a series of case studies will identify the most effective conservation messages for their preservation.
This PhD is associated with the ARC Linkage project: Increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of Australian threatened bird conservation
Gill's PhD is supervised by: Dr Heather Aslin, RIEL; Prof Stephen Garnett, RIEL and Dr Mike Weston, Deakin University
Gill's candidature runs from Jan 2010 to Jan 2013 and her research is supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) scholarship.