Web Data Collection to Assess Bias in Conservation Attention

This research aims to detect and assess potential bias in the amount of attention different threatened species receive in the context of their conservation, and how this correlates to the species overall popularity and extinction risk, using data collected from the web. This bias was both examined in research and society in general. Extinction rates have increased significantly in the past decade due to human activity. This affects all ecosystems and is morally questionable. Using an API and the method of web scraping, data was collected from Twitter and Google Scholar respectively. The popularity of a species is defined by the number of occurrences the species have on these platforms. The conservation attention is determined by the number of occurrences in a conservation context. The data of the species conservation attention was compared to the extinction risk of the species, and the strength of the relationship between conservation attention and popularity was calculated. The results show that overall popularity seems to be more important for a species likelihood of receiving conservation attention, than its risk of extinction. Understanding that popularity is key for conservation attention is useful for successfully protecting threatened species. By either keeping this information in mind to counteract it or by taking advantage of it and reallocate resources to less popular species.

Publish DateSeptember 4, 2023
Last UpdatedSeptember 4, 2023