> Representations of wildlife in television and films have long been hypothesized to shape human-wildlife interactions. A recent example is Pixar’s film Finding Dory, which featured a blue tang fish (Paracanthurus hepatus) as the main character and was widely reported in the popular press to have increased the number of such fish in the pet trade. We use Bayesian posterior predictive counterfactual models to evaluate the movie’s effect on three metrics of societal behaviour. Although there was an increase in global online searches for the blue tang 2–3 weeks after the movie, we find no substantial evidence for an increase in imports of blue tang fish into the US, or in number of visitors to US aquaria compared to counterfactual expectations. It is vital that an evidence-based discourse is used when communicating potential impacts of popular culture on human-wildlife relationships to avoid loss of credibility and misdirection of conservation resources.
>Although there was an increase in global online searches for the blue tang 2–3 weeks after the movie, we find no substantial evidence for an increase in imports of blue tang fish into the US
It seems like after the releases and re-releases of the 101 Dalmatian movies, the demand for Dalmatians as pets went up. However, a lot of them were later abandoned to shelters because they were more work than people anticipated.
Here is an archive link to the nytimes article http://archive.is/4Cp6W
They are absolutely not for the casual dog owner that leaves their dog alone in an empty home while the family works and attends school. Never do this.
1) ...For many people all fishes are equivalent, a fish is just a fish, so what they should measure is the small bowlfish/aquarium sales. I bet that a lot of cheap goldfishes were called Dory in those years before dying after a couple months.
It's also misleading to conflate keeping members of a species as pets with damaging the wild population. This is something that is obviously related in some cases (e.g. giant pandas) and obviously unrelated in others (e.g
dogs). I don't know much about the ecosystem in which blue tang live, but I'd expect most aquarium fish to be more like dogs than pandas in this comparison.
I believe Clownfish and blue tangs are all Least Concern. There is some concern that they might be threatened by overfishing as pets, but I'd say a much more realistic threat is habitat destruction (due to coral bleaching and pollution degrading the ability of damaged reefs to bounce back). Fish takes can be essentially embassies for the reef, and can be used to educate people on how important protecting the habitat is.
Hell, even for pandas, their status as zoo animals (and a national symbol) encourages China to protect their wild habitat (it's not like China doesn't have demand for more land).
It is a balance and yes, the let's save everything mentality can play out detrimentality in society and that alas gets down to lack of knowledge upon the matter - always, which we see play out on both sides of the political spectrum.
Though another one still up in the air are Foxes, historically they used to do fox hunts to control the population - which I'd say is the other side of the fence as whilst the motives originally where good (farmers and foxes do not mix if large populations of foxes), the approach of the culling is a inhumane, barbaric and ritualised sport. So you end up with fox hunting banned, but without any other forms of control in place you end up with, and we have with foxes spreading into towns and see an increase in children and pets attacked, which has happened. But the hey they are cute patrols will overlook that aspect. It is a fine balance, one in which as a species we kinda hypocrite impose.
After all, I'm sure many animals if they could speak would say that humans need population management due to the environmental impact they have. Which in many aspects, opens up a whole new level of debate that nobody really wants to discuss. Though nobody looks at shark attacks upon people as environmental conservation oddly enough.
"Jaws: ever since this movie came out, shark-killing contests are run all over the world. On average, between 20 and 100 million sharks are murdered every year."
But that doesn’t take away from the point of this research and I don’t disagree with it. Movies like Free Willy, Rio, Balto, Fly Away Home, and so many others have definitely worked miracles for turning apathetic (or rather, directionless) children into compassionate adults that care about the plight of the animals we share this world with.