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Book Chapter

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The study of attitudes in a society provides insight into variables that may be pertinent to people’s everyday decisions and practices involving animals. This essay addresses the relationship between attitudes, knowledge, and behavior in the context of the protection of wild animals in the Neotropics and ventures to draw some conclusions about the state of wild animals from this perspective. The Neotropics, a biogeographical region that extends from the Yucatan peninsula to the southern tip of South America, includes some of the most biodiverse countries of the world. Its nations share a common history of Iberian colonization but are nonetheless comparatively heterogeneous in their cultures and social arrangements. Contrary to the number of sources available with information about social attitudes toward animals in the United States (see Herzog, Rowan, and Kossow 2001), surveys based on extensive samples are scant for the Neotropics.