Indigenous groups offer alternative knowledge and perspectives based on their own locally developed practices of resource use. Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) was thus acquired on the basis of the long-term observation and use of natural systems. Some proponents endorse the use of TEK in scientific research, although the methodology for integrating this knowledge into ecological models is not straightforward. We propose the use of a Bayesian framework integrating TEK as priors for the analysis. We applied TEK in this manner to analyze the seasonality of marine turtles in French Guiana, showing that it can resolve certain situations where the parameter fit is not suitable. However, as TEK can be biased, it is more reliable to use data with sufficient information so as to prevent this bias when estimating the posteriors. The construction of ecological models to be used with TEK is also discussed.
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Vol. 35 • No. 2