Event Title

Attitudes towards harbor seal presence in downtown Bellingham, WA

Research Mentor(s)

Alejandro Acevedo-Gutierrez

Description

Wildlife is often impacted by construction and human development just as wildlife itself impacts human activities. These mutual impacts influence human opinions on where wildlife should occur. Downtown Bellingham, WA, is located on the waterfront of Bellingham Bay; currently under industrial development, it boasts dozens of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) that apparently prey on salmonids in the local Whatcom Creek. Given their mutual use of the area, interactions between humans and harbor seals are common and likely to increase. To determine the attitudes of humans towards the presence of harbor seals in downtown Bellingham, I am conducting door-to-door interview surveys of two neighborhoods near the waterfront. Thirty blocks have been randomly selected in the neighborhoods and three housing units have been randomly selected from each block. The survey contains two ranking, four multiple choice, and one open-ended question to collect both unambiguous answers and comments from participants. The results from this survey will help understand factors influencing the attitudes of humans towards harbor seals. They may also help guide potential accommodations for the continuing presence of seals in downtown Bellingham.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

15-5-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

15-5-2019 5:00 PM

Location

Carver Gym (Bellingham, Wash.)

Department

Biology

Genre/Form

student projects, posters

Type

Image

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 15th, 9:00 AM May 15th, 5:00 PM

Attitudes towards harbor seal presence in downtown Bellingham, WA

Carver Gym (Bellingham, Wash.)

Wildlife is often impacted by construction and human development just as wildlife itself impacts human activities. These mutual impacts influence human opinions on where wildlife should occur. Downtown Bellingham, WA, is located on the waterfront of Bellingham Bay; currently under industrial development, it boasts dozens of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) that apparently prey on salmonids in the local Whatcom Creek. Given their mutual use of the area, interactions between humans and harbor seals are common and likely to increase. To determine the attitudes of humans towards the presence of harbor seals in downtown Bellingham, I am conducting door-to-door interview surveys of two neighborhoods near the waterfront. Thirty blocks have been randomly selected in the neighborhoods and three housing units have been randomly selected from each block. The survey contains two ranking, four multiple choice, and one open-ended question to collect both unambiguous answers and comments from participants. The results from this survey will help understand factors influencing the attitudes of humans towards harbor seals. They may also help guide potential accommodations for the continuing presence of seals in downtown Bellingham.