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5 July 2021 “Weaving” Different Knowledge Systems through Studying Salience of Wild Animals in a Dryland Area of Argentina
Claudia M. Campos, M. Carolina Moreno, Flavio M. Cappa, Yamila Ontiveros, Mónica I. Cona, M. Laura Torres
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Abstract

The current biodiversity conservation framework explores “nature-people” relationships, recognizing culture's central role. This study aimed to combine local knowledge with scientific ecological data to better understand the relationships between wild animals and local people. We worked in a village (Los Baldecitos) located in the area of influence of Ischigualasto Provincial Park (San Juan, Argentina). We conducted 20 free listing interviews and 12 semi-structured and open ones. We analyzed how the overall salience of different species (established through free listing and cognitive salience index) can be explained by ecological (measured through species occupancy models) and cultural (expressed in interviews) aspects of salience. The cognitive salience index and estimated animal occupancy showed a positive correlation, although it was not statistically significant (Spearman's Rho = 0.48, P = 0.095, N = 17). This could mean that cultural aspects (faunal uses, perception related to attitudes and to nature conservation) were relevant in explaining overall salience. Ten species had the highest and most statistically significant salience and were recorded by camera traps. Some of them share spaces with people (village, water points, corrals, and domestic animal areas), and others were less likely to share habitats where people are present. Wild species have cultural value related to uses and acceptance due to material (tangible benefits, ecological functions) and non-material (affectionate, emotional, aesthetic, presence in oral expression) values. Two carnivores elicited negative reactions because of their predatory damage to domestic animals. This study demonstrates methods to interweave local and scientific knowledge to understand people-nature relationships in context.

Claudia M. Campos, M. Carolina Moreno, Flavio M. Cappa, Yamila Ontiveros, Mónica I. Cona, and M. Laura Torres "“Weaving” Different Knowledge Systems through Studying Salience of Wild Animals in a Dryland Area of Argentina," Journal of Ethnobiology 41(2), 292-306, (5 July 2021). https://doi.org/10.2993/0278-0771-41.2.292
Published: 5 July 2021
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