Searches for conservation increase online

Biologists aren’t the only ones using computers for conservation. A study by Princeton researchers found Google searches on conservation topics were rising. ©USFWS

An analysis of Google searches suggests public interest in conservation is on the rise. Using an adapted version of Google Trends, Princeton University researchers found online interest in conservation topics, like “biodiversity” and “environmental protection,” was similar to interest in poverty. Overall, they found, the number of Google searches for conservation-related topics has increased since 2004 and continues to rise, and interest in conservation isn’t being displaced by interest in climate change. “The public pays attention to both topics at the same time,” researchers wrote. “Conservation scientists should nurture this growing interest and transform it into actual support for conservation by redoubling efforts to present objective, evidence‐based findings about conservation in an accessible, engaging, and relatable way. Such efforts are crucial in a time of increasing political polarization, reduced funding, and deliberate misinformation campaigns.”

Read more on Mongabay here, and read the study in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment here.