College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Patrick Belanger Publishes Article on California Condors, Source Credibility, and Wildlife Conservation Messaging

August 2, 2022

Patrick Belanger, Associate Professor of Communication Studies in the School of Humanities and Communication recently published an article to the MDPI Journalism and Media Journal titled, "California Condors, Source Credibility, and Wildlife Conservation Messaging."  

This article examines the role of source credibility in the sphere of wildlife conservation campaigns. Specifically, it explores how particular messengers can motivate hunters, ranchers, and wildlife managers in California, Utah, and Arizona to voluntarily adopt non-lead ammunition. I analyze two partner websites, each designed to provide the hunting community with accurate information about non-lead ammunition. I then identify key principles regarding source credibility that arose from semi-structured interviews with four individuals closely involved in North American vulture and raptor conservation: representatives of the Ventana Wildlife Society, the Institute for Wildlife Studies, The Peregrine Fund, and Pinnacles National Park. The conclusion identifies lessons about the role of source credibility in wildlife conservation campaigns and situates the findings in the context of existing research on environmental communication and education.