Action: Employ local people as ‘biomonitors’
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A single replicated study in Venezuela found that poaching of parrot nestlings was significantly lower following the employment of five young men as ‘biomonitors’.
Employing local people in conservation can give them an active stake in ensuring that species or habitats survive. In addition, if locals are used to reduce threats such as poaching then those responsible may respond more positively than to police or conservationists.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A replicated study in 2004 (part of a longer study from 2000-2009) of 10 monitored yellow-shouldered parrot Amazona barbadensis nests in tropical forest habitat on Margarita Island, Venezuela (Briceño-Linares et al. 2011) found that the recruitment of young people as nest biomonitors significantly decreased poaching rate. Implementation of 24 h surveillance by the biomonitors resulted in a decrease in poaching from nearly 100% between 2000 and 2003, to 56% in 2004. A team of five young people of a similar age, background and social context as poachers were recruited from local communities to monitor nests. The authors point out that it was their hope that the biomonitors would be well-placed to encourage positive conservation action by peers. This study is also discussed in ‘Relocate nestlings to reduce poaching’, ‘Use education programmes and local engagement to help reduce pressures on species’, ‘Provide artificial nest sites’ and ‘Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics’.
- Briceño-Linares J.M., Rodríguez J.P., Rodríguez-Clark K.M., Rojas-Suárez F., Millán P.A., Vittori E.G. & Carrasco-Muñoz M. (2011) Adapting to changing poaching intensity of yellow-shouldered parrot (Amazona barbadensis) nestlings in Margarita Island, Venezuela. Biological Conservation, 144, 1188-1193