Human Dimensions I

Contributed Paper
ROOM: HCCC, Room 16

8:10AM Application of Heritage-Centered Conservation Solutions for Wildlife Conservation and Human Livelihood Improvement
Tutilo Mudumba
In the 21st century, conservation practice conducted without consideration of the perspectives of the local people that share their landscapes with wildlife is proving to be ineffective. Community-based conservation has become a predominant conservation paradigm over the last 25 years. Typically, community-based conservation includes moves that bargain for employment of locals in wildlife protection forces, inclusion of local leaders in conservation decision-making positions, sharing of benefits, among others. Most of these strategies address some aspects of the symptoms of human-wildlife conflicts or are derived from outside these communities which undermines their success. In contrast, progressive conservation philosophy recognizes that people are integral to landscapes with wildlife and that mechanisms which enable people to engage in conservation activities are most sustainable. We present a heritage-centered conservation solution for wildlife conservation and human livelihood improvement. Our focus expands upon the foundation of community-based conservation in that it articulates that conservation solutions must be consistent with- and derive from- the heritage of the local people. An example of the heritage-centered design is the Snares to Wares Initiative, a comprehensive youth livelihood project that was borne out of a community need to sustain wildlife populations inside of Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda. The initiative is focused on repurposing wire snares, used in subsistence poaching, as pieces of art for sale both locally and internationally. The Snares to Wares Initiative demonstrably decreases the use of otherwise destructive wire snares and provides stable incomes for at least 250 youths. The Snares to Wares Initiative can be customized and scaled to other areas experiencing similar conservation and human livelihood challenges. This initiative has evolved from a conservation tool into a philosophy for wildlife conservation where local knowledge generates revenue and conserves wildlife. The Snares to Wares Initiative is but one example of heritage-centered conservation.
8:10AM Suppression, Oppression, Exclusion, and Illusion: Policy Problems and Prejudices in Wildlife Conservation
Mordecai Ogada
This presentation will explore the origins of ‘community based conservation’ in East Africa and it’s ambivalent, if not exploitative relationship with local African communities. This presentation will also examine how Government agencies are being co-opted into the ‘community conservancy’ movement and abdicating their role to NGOs, including the operation of armed security forces. Millions of dollars have been granted to private NGOs established by foreigners to run ‘anti-poaching’ or ‘wildlife security’ operations. As a result, Kenya has seen the increasing militarization of conservation practice outside the remit of statutory authorities operating in the country, often under the command of foreign civilians. This presentation will also include issues around the exclusion of local communities from their lands in the name of conservation and the tourist market’s desire for the paradigm of ‘wilderness Africa’ devoid of human presence. This desire, in turn is driven by the narrative in wildlife films, which are almost devoid of (black) human presence. It will also explore the other interests that may be concealed by the community conservation ‘cloak’ and why the threat of armed conflict grows with the spread of this model, fueled by remarkable levels of foreign governmental and private interest funding. This is illustrated by the close collaboration between energy development interests and conservation NGOs, particularly in Northern Kenya. The net effect of this has been the disenfranchisement of the local pastoralist communities, resulting in the violent resource conflict witnessed in Northern Kenya in 2017.
8:30AM Establishing Measureable Quality Objectives for Assessing Wildlife and Habitat Monitoring Variables
Craig Palmer
Have you ever questioned the reliability of your data when monitoring wildlife or their habitats? (Be honest!) The collection of ecological data for monitoring presents many challenges. In particular, many variables require data collection based on observations and best professional judgment by field personnel. These can be difficult to obtain in an accurate and reproducible manner. In collaboration with the U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office and an interagency committee, we have developed guidance on the application of quality assurance principles applicable to short- and long-term monitoring programs. Our goal is to assist individuals with strategies for maximizing the quality of data generated for their monitoring programs. A critical planning component is to establish quality objectives for indicators of data quality relating to precision, bias and accuracy – and which can be represented by a measurement error tolerance and frequency of compliance. These quality objectives are useful to train and certify field crews, conduct quality control during data collection efforts, and provide a standard necessary for data quality assessment and reporting. Examples will be provided to demonstrate a five-step process for establishing quality objectives that are achievable and meaningful. It is hoped that these simple steps will be considered for including in future wildlife education, citizen-monitoring, or other training and certification efforts.
8:50AM When Worlds Collide: Continent-Wide Variation in Bird-Window Collision Mortality
April A. Conkey; Stephen B. Hager; Bradley J. Cosentino
An estimated 1 billion birds are killed in window collision events per year in North America. Building characteristics and surrounding land cover influence bird-window collisions at a local level; however, little is known about collisions at large spatial scales. Researchers at 40 university campuses across North America used standardized protocols to document bird-window collision (BWC) mortality during the fall 2014 bird migration season. We surveyed 281 buildings of different sizes with varying degrees of local land-cover and urbanization. Buildings were categorized (small, medium, and large) according to window area, number of floors, and floor space area; in addition, land-cover within 50 m of each building was classified. Carcass surveys were conducted around each building’s perimeter for an average of 21 consecutive days from late August – late October in 2014. Bird mortalities (n = 324) ranged from 0 – 34 per site (mean =8.1) with 71 species documented. Migratory passerines had the highest mortality (91%) compared to resident species (9%). Bird-window collision mortality was positively related to building size, but urbanization also had an effect. Large buildings with low levels of regional urbanization had higher mortality than large buildings in areas of high urbanization, while small buildings had low bird mortality regardless of the degree of urbanization. On a local, longer-term scale (5 consecutive years), 58% of BWC mortalities at the Texas site (low urbanization) were resident species (compared to 42% migratory bird mortalities), and 65% of all mortalities occurred at one 2-story medium sized building. Thus, BWC prevention measures should be implemented at all large buildings (> 5 stories, >4181 m2 window area), but mitigation measures should also be considered for medium sized buildings (2-4 stories, 186 – 4181 m2 window area) with contributing factors, such as regional low urbanization, low surrounding structure density, and large lawn size.
9:10AM The Little Rapids Restoration Project. a Local, State, and Federal Partnership to Restore Historic Aquatic Habitat in the St Marys River Area of Concern.
Eric Ellis
The St. Marys River is a unique water body connecting Lake Superior and Lake Huron with a bi-national channel. In 1987, the river was designated as an Area of Concern (AOC) due to pollution and habitat alteration. The river is listed for multiple Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) including two related to Fish and Wildlife Populations and Habitat. In 1992, the Soo Area Sportsmen’s Club initiated planning to restore the Little Rapids section of the St. Marys River and remove the habitat related BUIs. After 25 years of locally driven, and occasionally contentious, project planning the Little Rapids restoration project was completed in 2018. This project resulted in the removal of a causeway blocking natural water flow and the construction of a 619 feet multi-span bridge in its place. This project restored free flow of water to historic rapids, improved aquatic connection, provided better fishing opportunities to the community, replaced a critical piece of infrastructure, and completed action toward the removal of the Area of Concern designation. Approximately 70 acres of aquatic habitat were restored including foraging, spawning, and nursery habitat for a wide variety of fish, including lithophilic species such as lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) and lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis), as well as other aquatic organisms needed for a healthy river system. Pre and post construction monitoring was performed and has documented significant ecosystem changes in the short time following project completion. This presentation will cover the history and execution of the project and present up-to-date monitoring results with an emphasis on the changes in fish and macro invertebrate community structures.
9:30AM Wild Meat Sharing and Consumption and Attitudes Toward Hunting
Amber D. Goguen; Shawn J. Riley
Wild meat – meat derived from wildlife – is consumed, shared, bartered, and traded for its nutritional, economic, ecological, and sociocultural importance in societies throughout the world. Evidence suggests that wild meat sharing and consumption function to connect hunters and non-hunters through the culturally significant act of sharing and consumption. We developed a questionnaire to assess patterns of consumption, attitudes toward hunting, hunters and wild meat, as well as consumers’ experiences and relationships to hunting. Our questionnaire went to a geographically stratified random sample of 6,000 Michigan residents in spring-summer 2016 using a modified Dillman total design method with non-response bias checks: 1,778 people returned completed questionnaires. Ninety percent of respondents reported consuming wild meat, with 56% reporting consuming wild meat in the 12 months prior to the survey. Forty-three different types of wild meat were identified, of which venison was reportedly consumed by 89% of respondents. Wild meat was received most often from family members who did not live in the household (53%), close friends (50%), members of the household (34%), self-harvest (25%), acquaintances (14%), community game dinner (12%), and food pantry or donation program (2%). A majority (75-81%) of respondents agreed that wild meat was a local, lean, nutritious food. Sharing and consumption where believed to be culturally important activities by respondents. Although increased frequency of consumption is a positive predictor of attitudes toward hunting and improves model fit, the size of these effects is small. Our findings demonstrate that despite no formal U.S. markets in wild meat, it is widely shared and distributed far beyond the population of hunters. Wild meat sharing and consumption are culturally important activities to some people and consumption can positively affect attitudes towards hunting.


Contributed Paper
Location: Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland Date: October 10, 2018 Time: 8:10 am - 9:50 am