If you are one of the 5 million people living in the Phoenix metropolitan area its likely you’ve encountered a scaly friend at some point. But what happens when you find one in your yard? Our recent study partnered with local partners to look at 2,300 snake removals from 2018-2019 in the Valley to think about the ways people currently interact, and can better coexist, with snakes and other wildlife as residential housing continues to expand into the surrounding desert.
You can check out a recent news article on our research at azcentral.com: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-environment/2021/07/12/snake-removal-research-hopes-to-stop-snake-killings-in-phoenix/7815127002/
Or access the paper at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2351989421001517
How can an inclusive conservation approach represent different visions for protected area management to achieve socially relevant and environmentally sustainable outcomes?
We looked at the likability of bees in a recent collaboration led by Kelli Larson from ASU. With over 1,000 species, the Sonoran Desert is one of the most biodiverse areas in the world for bees. Human development is a major challenge for bee conservation. However, urban areas can also support bee populations with local actions such as habitat provisioning.
The majority of people surveyed in Phoenix metropolitan area didn’t see bees around their home as a major problem. But they were fairly neutral in liking bees, especially compared to other pollinators such as hummingbird or butterfly species. Both likability and being viewed as problematic were related to yard management activities that support bee populations, such as planting native desert vegetation or the use of pesticides. People who liked bees were more likely to add desert plants to their yard and use less chemicals to control for weeds or pests.
Larson, K.L., Fleeger, M., Lerman, S.B., Wheeler, M.M., Andrade, R., Brown, J.A., Hall, S.J. and Narango, D.L., Who is abuzz about bees? Explaining residents’ attitudes in Phoenix, Arizona. Urban Ecosystems, pp.1-14. Link to paper.