- Perceptions and realities of hydroclimatic change affecting Guyanese rice farmingMahdu, Omchand; Ellis, Andrew W. (Elsevier, 2021-07-21)This study explores small farmers’ perceptions of changes in climate across Guyana’s riceproducing regions. Qualitative, primary data were collected from a random sample of 189 small farmers, supplemented with 28 key informants, from across Guyana’s five main riceproducing regions. The most prevalent perception related to precipitation among farmers is an increase in rainfall year-round (56%), while for informants, it is an increase in rainfall intensity (81%). When considering the atmospheric conditions of temperature and humidity, farmers (88%) and informants (96%) overwhelmingly perceive warmer conditions. Considering weather and climate volatility, farmers (72%) and informants (82%) most prevalently perceive an increase in excess rainfall/flooding, but secondly, farmers (58%) and informants (71%) communicated a perceived increase in drought. Secondary quantitative hydroclimate data support the perception of a wetter climate, and to some degree, increased hydroclimatic volatility. Precipitation is critical to rice cultivation, and the data sets, combined, signal a wetter Guyanese climate, which has major economic implications for small farmers, the broader rice industry, and the economy of Guyana. However, granularity in farmers’ perceptions suggests a need for more detailed hydroclimate monitoring across Guyana. Thus, strengthening the Guyanese Hydrometeorological Service to support improved spatial and temporal monitoring and collection of primary weather data would be a wise investment in short- and long-term climate mitigation efforts.
- A moral panic over catsLynn, William S.; Santiago-Avila, Francisco; Lindenmayer, Joann; Hadidian, John; Wallach, Arian; King, Barbara J. (2019-08)Some conservationists believe that free-ranging cats pose an enormous risk to biodiversity and public health and therefore should be eliminated from the landscape by any means necessary. They further claim that those who question the science or ethics behind their arguments are science deniers (merchants of doubt) seeking to mislead the public. As much as we share a commitment to conservation of biodiversity and wild nature, we believe these ideas are wrong and fuel an unwarranted moral panic over cats. Those who question the ecological or epidemiological status of cats are not science deniers, and it is a false analogy to compare them with corporate and right-wing special interests that perpetrate disinformation campaigns over issues, such as smoking and climate change. There are good conservation and public-health reasons and evidence to be skeptical that free-ranging cats constitute a disaster for biodiversity and human health in all circumstances. Further, there are significant and largely unaddressed ethical and policy issues (e.g., the ethics and efficacy of lethal management) relative to how people ought to value and coexist with cats and native wildlife. Society is better served by a collaborative approach to produce better scientific and ethical knowledge about free-ranging cats.
- Trust ecology and the resilience of natural resource management institutionsStern, Marc J.; Baird, Timothy D. (The Resilience Alliance, 2015)The resilience of natural resource management (NRM) institutions are largely contingent on the capacities of the people and organizations within those institutions to learn, innovate, and adapt, both individually and collectively. These capacities may be powerfully constrained or catalyzed by the nature of the relationships between the various entities involved. Trust, in particular, has been identified repeatedly as a key component of institutional relationships that supports adaptive governance and successful NRM outcomes. We apply an ecological lens to a pre-existing framework to examine how different types of trust may interact to drive institutional resilience in NRM contexts. We present the broad contours of what we term “trust ecology,” describing a conceptual framework in which higher degrees of diversity of trust, as conceptualized through richness and evenness of four types of trust (dispositional, rational, affinitive, and systems based), enhance both the efficacy and resilience of NRM institutions. We describe the usefulness and some limitations of this framework based on several case studies from our own research and discuss the framework's implications for both future research and designing more resilient governance arrangements.
- Attitudes of College Undergraduates Towards Coyotes (Canis latrans) in an Urban Landscape: Management and Public Outreach ImplicationsDraheim, Megan; Patterson, Katheryn; Rockwood, Larry; Guagnano, Gregory; Parsons, E. (MDPI, 2013-01-10)Understanding and assessing the public's attitudes towards urban wildlife is an important step towards creating management plans, increasing knowledge and awareness, and fostering coexistence between people and wildlife. We conducted a survey of undergraduate college students in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area where coyotes are recent arrivals to determine existing attitudes towards coyotes and coyote management methods. Amongst other findings, we found that the more a person feared coyotes, the less likely they were to support their presence (p < 0.001), and the less likely they were to believe that pet owners should be directly responsible for protecting their pets (p < 0.001). Respondents demonstrated major gaps in their understanding of basic coyote biology and ecology. Respondents broke wildlife management practices into two categories: those that involved an action on coyotes (both lethal or non-lethal; referred to as Coyote), and those that restricted human behavior (referred to as Human); the Human methods were preferred. We found important differences between key demographic groups in terms of attitudes and management preferences. Our study suggests that wildlife professionals have unique opportunities in urban areas to prevent and reduce conflict before it escalates, in part by targeting tailored outreach messages to various demographic and social groups.