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Based on your exploration of the data and using suitable descriptive and inferential tests

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As part of ensuring environmental sustainability, successful governmental and international initiatives to conserve endangered species rely in part on awareness and co-operation of the general public in such endeavours.

A study was undertaken to investigate what differences exist between expert and public perception of the conservation values of various animals and what underlying factors might explain any differences.

  The study data

You have been provided with data from this study in a Minitab worksheet and an excel version of the same data. Each variable is explained below:

C1: “Species” - Represents a species identifier code. For the purpose of this exercise the actual species is not shown.

C2: “Experts” – Experts conservation score ranking. A panel of conservation experts were asked to score the conservation value of each animal according to their own criteria and judgement. The animals were then ranked according to the score to give the final value. A score of 1 is the animal with the lowest conservation value, and 24 the highest.

C3: “Public” – Public conservation score ranking. A panel of the general public that expressed an interest in animal conservation was shown a brief video and photographs of each species. The panel were then asked to score the conservation value of each animal according to their own criteria and judgement. The animals were then ranked according to the score to give the final value. A score of 1 is the animal with the lowest conservation value, and 24 the highest.

  C4: “Status” – Represents the IUCN Red List designation of each species:

Critically endangered (CR) – Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild Endangered (EN) – High risk of extinction in the wild

Vulnerable (VU) – High risk of endangerment in the wild

Near threatened (NT) – Likely to become endangered in the near future

 C5: “Land/sea” Identifies the main habitat of the animal.

C6: “Weight” – The approximate mean weight of an adult of each species.

C7: “SKULL:BODY” – The approximate ratio of the skull to the body mass of an adult of each species.

C8: “Conservation Projects” – The number of worldwide major conservation projects for each species.

 

 Your task

 Based on your exploration of the data and using suitable descriptive and inferential tests, what conclusions do you draw from the results obtained? How do the assessments of conservation value compare between experts and public? Do the public assess conservation value well in relation to the animal status? What factors appear important in making their decisions? Based on your analysis, what lessons/recommendations would you make with respect to public knowledge of conservation issues?

To answer this question well, you will need to think carefully about formulating your initial hypotheses and which statistical approaches you need to test them.

Note: Variables C4,C5,C6,C7, C8 were not provided to either panel when they considered their scoring system (although variable C5 is obvious). However, they are given to you to enable you the gauge the underlying factors that may have influenced

 the scoring of both the experts and public panel as well as the contrasts, if any, between them.

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