Journal Cover Ethnobiology and Conservation
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 2238-4782 - ISSN (Online) 2238-4782
   Published by Universidade Estadual da Paraíba Homepage  [2 journals]
  • People’s perception on animal welfare: why does it matter'

    • Authors: María Fernanda De la Fuente, Antonio Souto, Christini Caselli, Nicola Schiel
      Abstract: Understanding people’s perception on animal welfare is vital to promote people awareness and changes in attitudes towards this subject. Here we present a short review on public perception of animal welfare in different instances and the factors influencing each one of them. While the great public concern towards farm and laboratory animals resulted in increased efforts to assess animal welfare in these instances, less attention has been given to pets, captive wild animals and their use for entertainment purposes. Irrespective of the instance under consideration, public perception on animal welfare depends on a myriad of biological and sociocultural factors, ranging from people’s gender and age to their own experiences and values. The knowledge on people’s perception will help to refine the message to different audiences, which in turn may increase the pressure on decision­makers to promote positive welfare in animals.
      PubDate: 2017-10-10
      Issue No: Vol. 6 (2017)
  • Loss of Seed-Dispersing Animals and Its Impacts on Humanity

    • Authors: Gilney Charll Santos, Leonardo Silva Chaves, Ulysses Paulino Albuquerque
      Abstract: Seed dispersal is a key ecological process for the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and is undoubtedly critical to the provision of valuable ecosystem benefits to humanity. However, the loss or population reduction of seed-dispersing animals, especially the medium and large ones, has increasingly compromised important ecological processes and associated ecosystem benefits. Thus, we aimed to review researches that examined how the loss or reduction of seed-dispersing fauna affects the functioning of ecosystems and, consequently, humanity. We believe that this review provides new directions for future research in the field of conservation science that may contribute to policy initiatives and management and conservation plans.
      PubDate: 2017-09-30
      Issue No: Vol. 6 (2017)
  • Pitheciid vocal communication: what can we say about what they are

    • Authors: Bruna Bezerra, Cristiane Casar, Leandro Jerusalinsky, Adrian Barnett, Monique Bastos, Antonio Souto, Gareth Jones
      Abstract: The variation in ecological traits in pitheciids allows investigation of vocal communication over a range of social and acoustic circumstances. In this review paper we present a summary of the history of pitheciid vocal studies and review i) the status of our current knowledge of the vocal repertoire sizes of pitheciid primates, ii) how much do we understand about the context of different acoustic signals and iii) how can we potentially use our knowledge of vocalisations in animal welfare practices. We show trends across taxa and identify gaps in our knowledge. For instance, the repertoires described for Titi monkeys and Sakis have the expected sizes for these genera, considering their relatively small social group sizes. However, Uacari groups can contain over 100 individuals, and a larger vocal repertoire than the ones described would be expected, which could be a consequence of the fission-fusion social system where the large group divides into smaller subgroups. Nevertheless, vocal repertoires exist for only about 12% of the pitheciid species and nothing is known, for example, on call ontogeny. We hope that this review will serve as a reference point for researchers interested in investigating vocal behaviour in this primate group, thus, optimising both funding focus and, researcher’s time and effort. Also, we hope to help defining methodologies and strategies for the conservation and management of pitheciid monkeys.
      PubDate: 2017-09-16
      Issue No: Vol. 6 (2017)
  • What do we know about Cassis tuberosa (Mollusca: Cassidae), a heavily
           exploited marine gastropod'

    • Authors: Thelma Lúcia Pereira Dias, Ellori Laíse Silva Mota, Rafaela Cristina de Souza Duarte, Rômulo Romeu da Nóbrega Alves
      Abstract: Cassis tuberosa is a key species in reefs and sandy beaches, where it plays an essential role as a predator of echinoderms (sea urchins and sand dollars). Due to the beauty of its shell, it is one of the most exploited species for trade as marine souvenirs throughout its distribution in the Western Atlantic. Despite its ecological importance, there is little available information about population and biological data or the impacts of its removal from its natural habitats. Considering the economic and ecological importance of this species, this study provides a short review of existing studies and highlights research and conservation needs for this highly exploited marine gastropod.
      PubDate: 2017-08-27
      Issue No: Vol. 6 (2017)
  • The Other Side of Ecology: thinking about the human bias in our ecological
           analyses for biodiversity conservation

    • Authors: Sergio de Faria Lopes
      Abstract: Ecology as a science emerged within a classic Cartesian positivist context, in which relationships should be understood by the division of knowledge and its subsequent generalization. Over­time, ecology has addressed many questions, from the processes that lead to the origin and maintenance of life to modern theories of trophic webs and non­ equilibrium. However, the ecological models and ecosystem theories used in the field of ecology have had difficulty integrating man into analysis, although humans have emerged as a global force that is transforming the entirety of planet. In this sense, currently, advances in the field of the ecology that develop outside of research centers is under the spotlight for social, political, economic and environmental goals, mainly due the environmental crisis resulting from overexploitation of natural resources and habitat fragmentation. Herein a brief historical review of ecology as science and humankind’s relationship with nature is presented, with the objective of assessing the impartiality and neutrality of scientific research and new possibilities of understanding and consolidating knowledge, specifically local ecological knowledge. Moreover, and in a contemporary way, the human being presence in environmental relationships, both as a study object, as well as an observer, proposer of interpretation routes and discussion, requires new possibilities. Among these proposals, the human bias in studies of the biodiversity conservation emerges as the other side of ecology, integrating scientific knowledge with local ecological knowledge and converging with the idea of complexity in the relationships of humans with the environment.
      PubDate: 2017-08-18
      Issue No: Vol. 6 (2017)
  • Mexican birds use according to environmental officers

    • Authors: Blanca Roldán-Clarà, Xavier López-Medellín, Nelly Calderón de la Barca, Claudia Leyva, Ileana Espejel
      Abstract: Birds are used in México for subsistence income and have traditionally been part of local cultural heritage. A group of people called pajareros are required by law to apply for permits for harvesting and selling birds, which are authorized by Mexican environmental and wildlife government officers mostly for subsistence use. While environmental manager officers interact with stakeholders as part of their work, how they actually interrelate with pajareros and make final decisions remains unclear. Therefore, we describe regulation of bird use in Mexico, analyze criteria applied, and provide the opinions of the four key officers involved in natural resource management obtained in open interviews held during 2012. Officers have a stereotyped view about pajareros and a close, sometimes conflicting relation with them, express good knowledge of social-environmental conflict related with songbirds, and decide songbird harvest rates based on the three pillars of sustainability, but prioritizing environmental laws over social needs.
      PubDate: 2017-08-14
      Issue No: Vol. 6 (2017)
  • A biocultural and intercultural response to firewood scarcity in rural
           communities inhabiting arid environments in Patagonia (Argentina)

    • Authors: Daniela Morales, Soledad Molares, Ana H. Ladio
      Abstract: From an ecological perspective, the use of firewood species implies constant disturbance of the vegetation, but from a biocultural point of view the implications are more systemic and complex. The objective of this work was to make a comprehensive analysis of the biocultural characteristics of firewood plants used by two rural communities in arid Patagonia, with special emphasis on their tolerance of continuous extraction, recovery of the environment and cultural value. The study was carried out with 33 participants, and ethnobotanical information was collected on the use, preferences and attributes of species used, together with botanical-ecological information obtained from a bibliographical review. Of the 28 firewood species registered, 12 stood out as being preferred for firewood use. Native plants (66.6%) were generally preferred to exotic species (33.3%).  Several ecological features of the preferred plants were noted, such as vegetative regeneration (42.9%), high levels of plasticity in relation to varying edaphic conditions (35.7%) and nitrogen fixation (14.3%). Most of these species also present a high level of utilitarian versatility, and are therefore multipurpose resources. These characteristics, of ecological and cultural importance, should be key criteria for the selection of species for forestry programmes related to the development of firewood plantations.
      PubDate: 2017-08-09
      Issue No: Vol. 6 (2017)
  • Ethnobiology and research on Global Environmental Change: what distinctive
           contribution can we make'

    • Authors: Ana H. Ladio
      Abstract: Several reports have shown that communities of small farmers are the most vulnerable to global environmental change (GEC). Others have revealed that societies which can count on a rich body of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) are more resilient in facing this challenge, since their behaviour is already adaptive in character. Within this scenario, the IPCC establishes the need for “cross fertilisation” between TEK and scientific knowledge (SK). But how can we arrive at interpretative agreements when these two knowledge systems are so different' In this review I analyse the substantial role ethnobiology can play in providing empirical evidence on this subject in Latin America. The characteristics of our discipline offer differential advantages: 1) because we are actually there, our interpretation of vulnerability and adaptation arise from experiences shared with people who have a long term interconnection with their environment, and not from abstract indices created in offices; 2) because we work on a community scale, at a local level, and the most appropriate approach in search of solutions should be bottom-up and not top-down; 3) because we are academically trained as interlocutors,  and 4) because our approach is rooted in a vision of the landscape as a cultural construction. Ethnobiologists must come to operational agreements on how to deal with GEC, and set down guidelines for a reconciliatory dialogue between SK and TEK, a process which should not be considered something easy or quick, but a long-term process which is just in its infancy.
      PubDate: 2017-07-14
      Issue No: Vol. 6 (2017)
  • The researches on the hunting in Brazil: a brief overview

    • Authors: Hugo Fernandes-Ferreira, Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega Alves
      Abstract: This article aims to realize a brief overview regarding researches involving hunting of wildlife in Brazil. The Amazon is the most studied biome and holds the largest number of date on Ecology, one of the main research tendencies in this field; the second being Ethnozoology, which is most applied in the Caatinga biome. The development of research in the other Brazilian biomes is most urgent. In addition, it is necessary to have more analyses in both number and complexity involving biomass consumption, defaunation impacts, wildlife management and hunting sustainability.
      PubDate: 2017-07-14
      Issue No: Vol. 6 (2017)
  • Dynamics of social-ecological systems: gender influence in local medical

    • Authors: Wendy Marisol Torres­-Avilez, Ulysses Paulino Albuquerque
      Abstract: Studies have reported that gender influences the variation of knowledge of local medical systems. However, most of the ethnobiological studies that analyze the variation of knowledge have focused on analyzing only the richness of known resources. Therefore, in this review we discuss the importance of analyzing the variation of knowledge between genders with a multifactorial and non-unidirectional perspective. It also presents proposals for future studies that analyze the influence of gender on local medical systems, considering the dynamics of social-ecological systems.
      PubDate: 2017-07-14
      Issue No: Vol. 6 (2017)
  • Human mnesic performance in a survival scenario: the application of the
           adaptive memory concept in ethnobiology

    • Authors: Risoneide Henriques da Silva, Patrícia Muniz de Medeiros, Washington Soares Ferreira Júnior, Ulysses Paulino Albuquerque
      Abstract: Evolutionary psychologists suggest that the human brain has evolved to retain information of greater adaptive value in a differentiated manner, being this information relevant for survival. These premises are part of a research field defined as adaptive memory. This article reviews the main studies related to adaptive memory, indicating its recent findings, as well as discussing the possible applications of the theme to studies in evolutionary ethnobiology.
      PubDate: 2017-07-14
      Issue No: Vol. 6 (2017)
  • Competition analysis using neighborhood models: implications for plant
           community assembly rules

    • Authors: Sergio de Faria Lopes
      Abstract: Contemporary studies in plant ecology have investigated the processes and patterns underlying plant community of structure and dynamics, mainly in tropical forests. In this context, the effects of competitive interactions between trees and their neighbors on tree growth and survival in plant communities have been addressed using neighborhood models. The purpose of these efforts has been to better understand the processes that drive patterns of species abundance, which has the potential to change our understanding of the ecological and evolutionary factors involved in ecosystem dynamics. Therefore, studies concerning the competitive mechanisms that explain neighborhood interactions of plants are the subject of this short review. Two main ecological theories have received strong support in this regard: 1) environmental filtering and 2) niche complementarity. These theories are mutually compatible and act simultaneously, however, their relative importance may change depending on resource availability, type of plant community and successional stage.
      PubDate: 2017-07-12
      Issue No: Vol. 6 (2017)
  • Landscapes preferences in the human species: insights for ethnobiology
           from evolutionary psychology

    • Authors: Joelson Moreno Brito Moura, Washington Soares Ferreira Junior, Taline Cristina Silva, Ulysses Paulino Albuquerque
      Abstract: According to evolutionary psychology, landscapes preferences by the human species are influenced by their evolutionary past. A set of psychological processes may have been selected to guide the selection of landscapes that offered advantages for the survival and reproduction of human groups in the past. In addition, these psychological mechanisms may also influence the current human behavior in landscapes preference. Based on this, Gordon Orians postulated the savanna hypothesis, which predicts that the human being prefers these environments, since in the past, African savanna environments had a set of important characteristics for survival. If this is true, there are important implications for ethnobiological studies that seek to understand the factors that can influence the selection and management of landscapes by human groups.
      PubDate: 2017-07-12
      Issue No: Vol. 6 (2017)
  • Ethnoagroforestry management and soil fertility in the semiarid
           Tehuacán Valley, México

    • Authors: José Bernardo García-Licona, Ranferi Maldonado-Torres, Ana Isabel Moreno-Calles, María Edna Alvaréz-Sanchéz, Juan García-Chávez, Alejandro Casas Fernandez
      Abstract: Ethnoagroforestry practices and their relationship with soil fertility were studied in the semiarid Tehuacán Valley. Such practices involve management of manure, vegetation patches, wild and cultivated plants, soil, and water. This study aimed to: i) describe agroforestry management practices that influence soil fertility in maize multicultural system (milpa)-cacti forest (chichipera) AFS; ii) analyze the status of soil fertility in cultivated areas of these AFS; and iii) analyze the influence of agroforestry practices on soil nutrimental parameters of cultivated areas.In depth interviews were conducted, along with participatory tours with peasants and soil sampling in the agroforestry plots. Ethnoagroforestry practices favor adequate levels of macronutrients and organic matter in the milpa-chichipera AFS, despite Fe, Cu, and Zn deficiencies. The supply of organic matter is fundamental because it preserves soil fertility and moisture in all the plots studied. Smallholders (43%) use manure, but in irregular and insufficient way. Only 27% of interviewed people leave the land fallow for 1-2 after periods of 2-4 years of use, which does not allow the soil to reestablish fertility. Smallholders practice wild vegetation management, enabling 90% of plots to reach a high level of vegetation cover (>25%), furthermore 33% of agroforestry plots depend exclusively on this management to reestablish soil fertility. Labor force, economic conditions and plots characteristics influence agroforestry management. The amount of manure and the interaction between the agroforestry practices (vegetation cover, type of agroforestry practices, amount of manure, and fallow years) are related to the presence of N, K, Cu and B in the soil. To maintain and improve soil fertility in the milpa-chichipera AFS is important to consider local practices, biophysical conditions, and socio-economic factors.
      PubDate: 2017-06-26
      Issue No: Vol. 6 (2017)
  • Assessing local conservation priorities of useful woody species within
           agroforestry systems along Ouémé catchment in Benin (West Africa)

    • Authors: Bruno Enagnon Lokonon, Essomanda Tchandao Mangamana, Romain Glèlè Kakaï, Brice Sinsin
      Abstract: Ouémé catchment experiences increasing degradation of its natural resources due to anthropogenic pressure. Consequently, most of the agroforestry species as well as the cultural and Indigenous knowledge related to them are facing a very high risk of extinction. The present research aimed to assess the biodiversity of the useful woody species in this area and their cultural importance and then prioritize these woody species for conservation purpose. An ethnobotanical survey was carried out among 411 randomly selected households followed by an ecological survey conducted in 69 random plots of 0.15 ha. Ecological and ethnobotanical parameters were calculated and then analyzed. To determine the local priorities species for conservation, a local conservation priority index (LCPI) was computed for each species. The high value of LCPI for a given species indicates the need for a greater level of attention for conservation and management. Forty-five useful woody species belonging to 21 families dominated by Leguminosae (24.44%) and Anacardiaceae (8.88%) were reported. The forty-five species were categorized in six use categories by the informants: food, medicinal, construction, fuel, veterinary and technology. The most useful species were Elaeis guineensis (UV=0.24), followed by Parkia biglobosa (UV=0.19) and Vitellaria paradoxa (UV=0.18). The prioritization method yielded top ten ranked species: Adansonia digitata, Parkia biglobosa, Pterocarpus erinaceus, Irvingia gabonensis, Milicia excelsa, Tamarindus indica, Vitex doniana, Prosopis africana, Diospyros mespiliformis and Pterocarpus santalinoides.  With the aim of establishing the sustainable management in the catchment, we suggest that more attention be paid to the aforementioned species as part of rehabilitation activities.
      PubDate: 2017-05-09
      Issue No: Vol. 6 (2017)
  • Bushmeat and human health: Assessing the Evidence in tropical and
           sub-tropical forests

    • Authors: Nathalie van Vliet, Jessica Moreno, Juanita Gomez, Wen Zhou, John Emmanuel Fa, Christopher Golden, Romulo Romulo Nobrega Alves, Robert Nasi
      Abstract:  The importance of bushmeat as source of food and medicine for forest peoples calls for an appropriate benefit/risk analysis in terms of human health. In this systematic review, we compiled information on the linkages between bushmeat and health, with a particular focus on the nutritional content, the zoo-therapeutic uses and the zoonotic pool of bushmeat species in tropical and sub-tropical forest regions. Despite the scarcity of data on the nutritional content of most common bushmeat species, the available studies demonstrate that bushmeat is an important source of fats, micro and macro-nutrients and has a diversity of medicinal uses. However, bushmeat may have detrimental health impacts where hunting, transportation, handling and cooking practices do not follow food safety practices. There is evidence that some bushmeat carcasses may be contaminated by toxic metals or by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Moreover, several pathogens carried by bushmeat are found to be zoonotic and potentially transmissible to humans through consumption or through exposure to body fluids and feces. We stress the need for more in-depth studies on the complex links between bushmeat and human health. The development of innovative handling, conservation and cooking practices should help reduce the negative impacts of bushmeat consumption on human health.
      PubDate: 2017-04-20
      Issue No: Vol. 6 (2017)
  • Using Environmental Perception and Local Knowledge to improve the
           effectiveness of an Urban Park in Northeast Brazil

    • Authors: Valdecir da Silva Junior, Bráulio Almeida Santos
      Abstract:  The Xem-Xem Forest State Park (Parque Estadual da Mata do Xém-Xém) is a 182-ha Atlantic forest remnant located in the metropolitan region of João Pessoa, Paraíba, Northeast Brazil. Since its legal creation in 2000, it has been facing several management problems and social conflicts that jointly has reduced its effectiveness. In this study we examined the environmental perception of residents surrounding the Park and the staff of the Paraíba state environmental agency (SUDEMA) in order to clearly identify those problems and conflicts and provide possible solutions. Semi structured interviews with both residents (n = 29) and staff members (n = 4) revealed that the Park is clearly valuable as a repository of biodiversity and a place for leisure and recreation, highlighting its great socioecological function. These benefits, however, were impaired or hindered mainly by fear of violence, lack of infrastructure, extremely limited staff and virtual absence of administrative structure. Furthermore, the protective measures of the Park were considered incipient and did not match the expectations and needs of local communities. We urgently recommend (1) the creation of the Park's management council, (2) the development of its management plan, (3) the implementation of public policies surrounding the area to ameliorate conditions for public use and improve biodiversity protection and (4) the continuity of ethnographic researches focusing on the relationship between local communities and the Park.
      PubDate: 2017-04-03
      Issue No: Vol. 6 (2017)
  • Plant species and products of the Traditional Chinese Phytotherapy in the
           Ciudade Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina

    • Authors: Julio Alberto Hurrell, Jeremías P. Puentes
      Abstract: This paper is focused in medicinal plant species belonging to the Traditional Chinese Phytotherapy whose products are commercialized in the pluricultural context of the Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Chinese immigrants segment, like other recent immigrants groups in the study area, introduce their own plant products into the local urban scenario. In this framework, not only enter the new products but also their knowledge and beliefs associated, that become part of the mosaic of the knowledge in the local pluricultural system. Thus, the urban botanical knowledge constitutes a complex that includes the knowledge linked to the origin traditions of the immigrants segments, and the nontraditional one: the knowledge taught and learned, and the transmitted by the media, including scientific knowledge. The plant products incorporated by Chinese immigrants to their own restricted commercial circuit (linked to their traditions) are invisible for the majority of the local inhabitants. However, some of these products enter the general commercial circuit (nontraditional) and become visible for all local population. This visualization of the plant products implies the transmission of its associated knowledge, a process enhanced by the mass media, mainly the Internet. The results are interpreted within this theoretical framework. Also, the main features of the Traditional Chinese Phytotherapy are summarized, due to its differences with our Western medicine. For the species considered the scientific names, botanical families, distribution, Chinese name and Latin denomination of the plant products, and the reference samples are indicated. For each species are included a list of its uses linked to traditions, and a revision work of the biological activity and effects evaluated (the validation context in terms of Western science). In the context of Urban Ethnobotany, the presence alone of invisible species is a significant issue because increases the local biocultural diversity (of useful plants, products, and its associated knowledge). Likewise, the species that become visible make evident the dynamics of changes in their visualization process, an adaptive phenomenon that allow the understanding of the local biocultural system complexity. 
      PubDate: 2017-02-20
      Issue No: Vol. 6 (2017)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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