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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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   Table of Contents - Current issue
October-December 2022
Volume 20 | Issue 4
Page Nos. 283-361

Online since Friday, October 21, 2022

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Complex Ways in Which Landscape Conditions and Risks Affect Human Attitudes Towards Wildlife p. 283
Arthur B Muneza, Bernard Amakobe, Simon Kasaine, Daniel B Kramer, Mwangi Githiru, Gary J Roloff, Matt W Hayward, Robert A Montgomery
Negative interactions between humans and wildlife (i.e. those presenting risks to human security or private property) can trigger retaliation and potential human-wildlife conflict (HWC). The nature and strength of these human responses may depend on previous interactions with wildlife and can be shaped by landscape conditions. However, the ways in which previous experiences and landscape conditions interact to shape peoples' attitudes towards wildlife are not well-understood. We conducted our study in Tsavo Conservation Area, Kenya, which experiences some of the highest rates of HWC documented in East Africa. We explored how previous experiences with wildlife and landscape conditions interact to inform the attitudes of people towards wildlife. We conducted semi-structured surveys among 331 households and fit an ordinal mixed-effects regression model to predict human attitudes to wildlife as a function of landscape conditions and previous interactions. Respondents indicated that baboons, elephants, and lions posed the greatest risks to human security and private property. Households experiencing risks from wildlife wanted wildlife populations to decrease, whereas households depending on grazing lands outside the study area wished to see wildlife increase. Our study demonstrates that human-wildlife interactions have important social and spatial contexts, and are not uniform across households in the same area owing to location of private property. Correspondingly, for interventions to be effective, we recommend considerations of local contexts and landscape conditions of communities.
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Conservation, Human-Wildlife Conflict, and Decentralised Governance: Complexities Beyond Incomplete Devolution p. 293
Rhianna R Hohbein, Jesse B Abrams
Decentralisation of environmental governance (DEG) proliferated around the world in the 1990s, inspired, in part, by theories of common-pool resource governance that argued that local communities could sustainably manage valuable but non-excludable resources given a set of proper institutional design principles. However, many species of wildlife, such as predators that consume livestock or herbivores that destroy crops, are considered undesirable by local communities; this challenges the applicability of DEG models for managing wildlife in these contexts. Numerous scholars have proposed methods to generate economic value from locally undesired wildlife species to incentivise their conservation, but the overall success of these approaches has been mixed. We explore the intersection of DEG and the management of wildlife entangled in human-wildlife conflict and challenge the assumption that simple models of devolution and decentralisation will lead to the successful governance of wildlife in such circumstances. We argue that conflict species governance is potentially compatible with DEG but requires a fuller consideration of institutions at multiple scales than is typically included in common-pool resource theory or decentralisation. Multiple mechanisms of accountability may be especially important in securing the conservation of wildlife in conflict scenarios.
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Local Attitudes Toward Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) Conservation in the Russian Far East p. 304
Anna S Mukhacheva, Eugenia V Bragina, Dale G Miquelle, Heidi E Kretser, Vasilissa V Derugina
Public support is a necessary component of large carnivore conservation. We analysed public opinion on Amur tigers, Panthera tigris altaica, in Russia's Far East, the northernmost stronghold of the world's rarest big cat. We surveyed 1035 people in 5 settlements at increasing distances to tiger habitat. Overall support for tiger conservation was high (95.4%), although lower in more rural communities—especially among hunters—with limited socio-economic opportunities, and where tigers pose a higher perceived threat to livelihoods. Nearly 20% of respondents supported lethal removal of individual problem tigers that posed a threat to humans. Non-hunters, higher-income earners, and people who rated their communities' pre-college education positively showed less support for even such restricted killing of tigers. Hunters were more likely to support the idea of legalising tiger hunting (hunting tigers is a felony in Russia), and less likely to attribute tiger decline primarily to poaching. Despite strong support for tiger conservation in both urban and rural settings, a subset of the local populace is still engaged in poaching and trading of tigers, making improved situational crime prevention a needed focus of future efforts, alongside behaviour change campaigns promoting active resistance to poaching among tiger supporters. Abstract in Russian: https://bit.ly/3KBDU1A Supplementary material: https://bit.ly/37B3cPj
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Are Threats the Connection? Linking Cultural and Natural Resource Conservation p. 313
Madeline Brown, Whittaker Schroder, Timothy Murtha
Despite the recent values placed on integrating cultural resources into natural resource landscape conservation design, cultural resources are difficult to define, challenging to manage, are not integrated into analysis and planning until natural resource priorities are established, and face complex threats which are not fully understood. In this paper, we focus on how practitioners define threats to cultural resources through successive freelists, outlining eight categories in order to better align cultural resources with landscape-scale conservation design in North America. Identifying and understanding threat perceptions to cultural resources will improve their management and conservation. We find that although some practitioners recognise both direct and indirect threats, many clearly focus management decisions on direct threats such as the physical degradation of cultural resources. Indirect threats, including climate change or lack of funding, are also identified, but transcend daily management practice. While integrating cultural and natural resource conservation is critical, we need core studies to establish preservation priorities and shared definitions and identify key threats facing resources. We conclude that one potential path toward integrated conservation could be established by defining the shared threats facing both natural and cultural resources and explicitly developing a foundational model of threats for cultural resource conservation.
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Exploring a Comprehensive Behavioural Model to Investigate Illegal Sea Turtle Trade in Cabo Verde p. 325
Morgan Casal Ribeiro, Juan Patino-Martinez, Janete Agues, Alexandra Marçal-Correia, Ana Nuno
Successful conservation outcomes often depend on changing human behaviours that negatively impact biodiversity, such as unsustainable wildlife harvesting or illegal wildlife trade (IWT). However, inclusive psychology models that examine motivations of those behaviours have been underutilised in IWT contexts. This research examines the drivers of illegal harvesting and consumption of sea turtles on Maio, Cabo Verde (West Africa), by adapting data from interviews (n=20) and questionnaires (n=325) into the Comprehensive Action Determination Model, an environmental psychology theoretical framework. Initial findings suggest local behavioural motivations have changed over time, but key beliefs remained intact. Structural equation modelling showed intention to consume turtles is influenced by positive attitudes towards consumption, but interviews suggest normative personal and social beliefs are becoming relevant to consumptive behaviour mitigation. The same seems true of harvesting, reportedly performed mostly by young men looking to sell turtle by-products. Overall, results indicate the beliefs underlying harvest and consumption behaviours are distinct, such that outreach initiatives must be designed to address each. Results demonstrate how conceptual models developed in underutilised disciplines can be adapted to expand the transdisciplinary tools available to conservation practitioners. Embracing behaviour-focused approaches is crucial to address the intricate cultural and contextual factors of IWT. Abstract in Portuguese: https://bit.ly/3Aj9xuu
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Linking Farmers' Perception of Biodiversity, Subjective Well-being and Conservation in the Tandilia System in the Southern Pampas of Argentina p. 336
Mara De Rito, Alejandra Auer, Claudia Mikkelsen, Lorena Herrera
Much research has focused on the study of society-nature relations, guided by people's perception of nature, well-being and environmental behaviour in relation to this interplay. The perception of farmers on these topics has been less explored, but it is fundamental to enquire into this issue in order to understand the decisions they make in their production units and how these decisions influence their environment. This research explored the link between farmers' perception of biodiversity, their subjective well-being, and conservation practices in the Tandilia System in the Southern Pampas of Argentina. The information obtained from semi-structured interviews with farmers was analysed through Thematic Analysis. Potential associations between farmers' perceptions of biodiversity, subjective well-being and land management practices were investigated. Although most farmers were aware that agricultural practices negatively affect biodiversity and that contact with nature generates well-being, inconsistent narratives were noted when they talked about their own practices. Their awareness of biodiversity and well-being does not necessarily translate into more sustainable practices. Abstract in Spanish: https://bit.ly/3zy5pq8
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Environmentalities of Coexistence with Wolves in the Cantabrian Mountains of Spain p. 345
Agnese Marino, Juan Carlos Blanco, Jose A Cortes-Vazquez, José Vicente López-Bao, Anna Planella Bosch, Sarah M Durant
Coexistence between humans and large carnivores is mediated by diverse values and interactions. We focus on four sites in the Cantabrian Mountains of Spain with a history of continuous wolf presence to examine how perceptions of coexistence vary across contexts. We conducted semi-structured and informal interviews with livestock farmers (n = 271), hunters (n = 157), and local community members (n = 60) to collect quantitative and qualitative data on people's experiences of coexistence with wolves. We use an environmentality framework to analyse approaches to wolf governance across sites and explore how local resource users perceive, negotiate, and respond to different governance approaches. Our analysis is firstly structured around coexistence subjectivities associated with pastoralist and hunter cultures. These encompass ambivalent and multi-layered relations founded on notions of reciprocity with nature and on resource users' roles as producers and land stewards. Secondly, we explore encounters between local cultures, interests, and environmental regulations in the context of different site-based environmentalities. The framework we adopt enables coexistence to be conceived as a space of competing knowledges and practices, arising from everyday embodied interactions with wolves and the cultural politics through which local communities negotiate different ways of governing, knowing, and relating to nature.
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Coastal Lives: Nature, Capital, and the Struggle for Artisanal Fisheries in Peru p. 358
Alejandro Garcia Lozano
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Crooked Cats: Beastly Encounters in the Anthropocene p. 360
Radhika Govindrajan
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