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Constantino P.A.L.,University of Florida | Carlos H.S.A.,Centro Estadual Of Unidades Of Conservacao Do Amazonas | Ramalho E.E.,University of Florida | Ramalho E.E.,Institute Desenvolvimento Sustentavel Mamiraua | And 6 more authors.
Ecology and Society | Year: 2012

Biological resource monitoring systems are implemented in many countries and often depend on the participation of local people. It has been suggested that these systems empower local participants while promoting conservation. We reviewed three wildlife monitoring systems in indigenous lands and sustainable development reserves in Brazilian Amazonia and one in Namibian Caprivi conservancies, analyzing the strategies adopted and conditions that facilitated local empowerment, as well as potential impacts on conservation. This provided insights into potential avenues to strengthen empowerment outcomes of monitoring systems in Latin America and Africa. We assessed four dimensions of empowerment at individual and community scales: psychological, social, economic, and political. The conditions that facilitated local empowerment included the value of natural resources, rights to trade and manage resources, political organization of communities, and collaboration by stakeholders. The wide range of strategies to empower local people included intensifying local participation, linking them to local education, feeding information back to communities, purposefully selecting participants, paying for monitoring services, marketing monitored resources, and inserting local people into broader politics. Although communities were socially and politically empowered, the monitoring systems more often promoted individual empowerment. Marketing of natural resources promoted higher economic empowerment in conservancies in Namibia, whereas information dissemination was better in Brazil because of integrated education programs. We suggest that practitioners take advantage of local facilitating conditions to enhance the empowerment of communities, bearing in mind that increasing autonomy to make management decisions may not agree with international conservation goals. Our comparative analysis of cases in Latin America and Africa allows for a greater understanding of the relationships between resource monitoring systems, local empowerment, and conservation. © 2012 by the author(s).

Marioni B.,Instituto Piagacu | Botero-Arias R.,Institute Desenvolvimento Sustentavel Mamiraua | Fonseca-Junior S.F.,Centro Estadual Of Unidades Of Conservacao Do Amazonas
Tropical Conservation Science | Year: 2013

Amazon floodplains have a long history of exploitation of crocodilians, particularly of large species such as the black caiman (Melanosuchus niger) and spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus). Historically, legal but uncontrolled trade resulted in a drastic reduction of wild populations of both species, which eventually led to the collapse of the commercial trade. In 1967, prohibition of commercial use of wild fauna through changes in Brazilian and international laws allowed caiman populations to slowly recover across much of their original range. Several studies on caiman populations greatly improved knowledge about the species, offering scientific bases for crocodilian management in the wild. Although protective legislation should only be altered using extreme caution, the creation of Sustainable Development Reserves (SDR) at the end of last century made it possible to manage wildlife for commercial purposes, albeit under strict population monitoring regimes. This category of protected area was established to improve welfare of local communities and strengthen their participation in conservation. Along with involvement in caiman monitoring programs, the engagement of local hunters and buyers is essential for participatory management plans. Even with development of SDRs, monitoring of crocodilian populations is still restricted to a few State Reserves, and traditional knowledge of stakeholders has been insufficiently incorporated into management and monitoring activities. We believe that stronger participation of local actors can help to improve the experimental harvesting initiatives that have been carried out thus far by local authorities. Community-based monitoring programs, which reflect local reality, are being developed in a simple and cost-effective way.

Ribeiro D.B.,University of Campinas | Batista R.,Centro Estadual Of Unidades Of Conservacao Do Amazonas | Prado P.I.,São Paulo State University | Brown Jr. K.S.,University of Campinas | Freitas A.V.L.,University of Campinas
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2012

Nowadays 37% of Earth's ice-free land is composed by fragments of natural habitats settled in anthropogenic biomes. Therefore, we have to improve our knowledge about distribution of organisms in remnants and to understand how the matrix affects these distributions. In this way, the present study aims to describe the structure of the butterfly assemblages and determined how richness and abundance are influenced by the scale of the surrounding vegetation. General linear models were used to investigate how the type and scale of vegetation cover within a radius of 100-2,000 m around the sampling point explained butterfly diversity. After sampling ten forest fragments we found 6,488 individuals of 73 species. For all clades tested null models explain the species richness at the fragments better than other models when we include the effect of butterfly abundance as a covariate. Abundance of Satyrini, Brassolini, and Biblidinae were best predicted by small scales (100-200 m), and large scales were more suited for Charaxinae. The presence of pasture best explains the abundance of all groups except Charaxinae, which was best explained by early-regrowth forest. The abundance of different species and groups are correlated with different kinds of vegetation cover. However, we demonstrate that small scales (100-200 m) are more effective at explaining the abundance of most butterflies. These results strongly suggest that efforts to preserve insect diversity in forest fragments should take in account the immediate surroundings of the fragment, and not only the regional landscape as a whole. In general, actions of people living near forest fragments are as important to fruit-feeding butterflies as large scale actions are, with the former being seldom specified in management plans or conservation policies. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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