Research Output

Factors influencing primary school children's knowledge of wildlife

  We examined the wildlife knowledge of primary (aged 4-12) schoolchildren. In particular, we examined the effects of children’s age and gender, and the taxonomy and origin (indigenous versus exotic) of wildlife, on the degree of knowledge about different species. We used illustrated ‘flashcards’ of mammals, birds and arthropods, drawn randomly from a species pool. Each indigenous example was paired with an exotic animal. Wildlife knowledge overall increased steadily with age, although the ability to identify species peaked at age 9 then declined slightly. Boys had significantly greater wildlife knowledge than girls, and children of both sexes identified more indigenous than exotic species. Knowledge of birds and arthropods was significantly worse than of mammals. Knowledge of some very common indigenous species, such as sparrow and earwig, was very poor. We conclude that the potential for primary school wildlife education using very common and easily accessible species of birds and arthropods is not fully realised, and that girls in particular lack knowledge of local species.

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  • Date:

    01 September 2006

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  • Library of Congress:

    L1 Education (General)

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    370 Education


Huxham, M., Welsh, A., Berry, A., & Templeton, S. (2006). Factors influencing primary school children's knowledge of wildlife. Journal of Biological Education, 41(1), 9-12. doi:10.1080/00219266.2006.9656050



Wildlife, Indigenous, Exotic, Children, Gender,

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