Understanding the prevalence of bear part consumption in Cambodia: A comparison of specialised questioning techniques

Elizabeth Oneita Davis*, Brian Crudge, Thona Lim, David O’Connor, Vichet Roth, Matt Hunt, Jenny Anne Glikman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
211 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The trade in bear parts for medicine and for status is a conservation challenge throughout Asia. The Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) and the sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) are endemic to this region, and populations are estimated to have declined throughout their ranges due to widespread illegal killing of bears and trade in parts, combined with loss of habitat. Previous studies have indicated that legislation alone is insufficient to prevent illegal hunting and trade, indicating instead a need to address demand for bear parts and products. We conducted mixed-method surveys in Cambodia to understand the key motivators for individuals to consume bear parts, and to understand whether specialised questioning techniques are applicable in this context. Bear part use is illegal in Cambodia and may therefore be considered a sensitive behaviour, in that individuals may be reluctant to admit to it. To counteract possible biases, four specialised questioning techniques were used in this study: randomised response technique (RRT), unmatched count technique (UCT), nominative technique (NT), and false consensus bias (FCB). All four methods serve to shield a respondent’s admittance of a sensitive behaviour from the interviewer. The results presented here show that great variability exists in anonymous methods’ efficacy in certain contexts. However, the results overall indicate that individuals in Cambodia are under-reporting their consumption of bear parts when directly asked, and that the prevalence of bear part use in Cambodia may be as high as 15% of the population, representing a significant conservation challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0211544
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2019

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding the prevalence of bear part consumption in Cambodia: A comparison of specialised questioning techniques'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this