Using social science techniques to understand and quantify wildlife crime

Aktiviteetti: Puhe- tai esitystyypitSuullinen esitys


Effective nature conservation in human-dominated landscapes requires a deep understanding of human behaviors, perceptions and values. Social science techniques have been developed for long and wide in order to quantify sensitive behaviors, such as illegal practices. These techniques typically allow a certain degree of anonymity in the response, thereby protecting the respondent and yielding more robust estimates of the real prevalence of behaviors compared to direct questioning. Such techniques are now being employed in conservation, e.g. to quantify wildlife crimes or other activities threatening biodiversity. I will briefly introduce the most popular social science techniques applied in conservation to address wildlife crime. I will then present results of studies from Namibia where one of these techniques, the Randomised Response Technique (RRT), was used to quantify illegal use of poison by communal and commercial farmers. Poisoning is used by farmers in retaliation to kill carnivores, and can have catastrophic repercussions on vultures. Poisoning is now the main driver of the African vulture crisis. I show that 20% of commercial farmers, and just 1.7% of communal farmers in Namibia use poisons to kill carnivores. Moreover, farmers that owned high numbers of small or large stock, and those who had suffered high livestock losses to predators, were most likely to admit to using poison. A map showing areas of high prevalence of reported poison use in Namibia is also derived. Furthermore, a generally positive perception of farmers towards vultures was apparent. In conclusion, the use of social science techniques, such as the one introduced here to investigate wildlife crime appears promising, and should be much more widely considered in the field of conservation.
Aikajakso14 marraskuuta 2018
Tapahtuman otsikkoRaptor Research Foundation Congress
Tapahtuman tyyppiKonferenssi
Sijainti, Etelä-Afrikka