Do artisanal fishers perceive declining migratory shorebird populations?
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, March 2016
Luciano Pires Andrade, Horasa Maria Lima Silva-Andrade, Rachel Maria Lyra-Neves, Ulysses Paulino Albuquerque, Wallace Rodrigues Telino-Júnior
This paper discusses the results of ethno-ornithological research conducted on the local ecological knowledge (LEK) of artisanal fishers in northeast Brazil between August 2013 and October 2014. The present study analyzed the LEK of 240 artisanal fishermen in relation to Nearctic shorebirds and the factors that may be affecting their populations. We examined whether differences occurred according to the gender and age of the local population. The research instruments included semi-structured and check-list interviews. We found that greater knowledge of migratory birds and the areas where they occur was retained by the local men compared with the local women. Half of the male respondents stated that the birds are always in the same locations, and most of the respondents believed that changes in certain populations were caused by factors related to habitat disturbance, particularly to increases in housing construction and visitors to the island. The main practices affecting the presence of migratory birds mentioned by the locals were boat traffic and noise from bars and vessels. According to the artisanal fishermen, the population of migratory birds that use the area for foraging and resting has been reduced over time. Changes in the local landscape related to urbanization and tourism are most likely the primary causes underlying the reduced migratory shorebird populations as reported by local inhabitants. Thus, managing and monitoring urbanization and tourism are fundamental to increasing the success of the migration process and improving the conservation of migratory shorebird species.
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