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Cultural relations and local ecological concerns as baseline for wildlife co-management and biocultural conservation

Maria Costanza Torri, Thora Martina Herrmann


There is a general agreement among conservation practitioners about the need of greater integration between ecological and socio-cultural dimensions to effectively achieve biodiversity conservation goals. Taking the case of the Sariska Tiger Reserve this study looks at ethno-zoology and community-based conservation initiatives as a tool for animal conservation possibilities within fragile ecosystems in Northern India that ensure biodiversity maintenance and immediate interests of utilisation. Based on field research, this paper explores the socio-cultural perceptions, values and uses attached to the wildlife and community-based conservation efforts of these endangered species in India. In doing so, the study helps to understand and interpret the conservation ethics of local communities and facilitates the integration of the same in current animal conservation practices. Results illustrate the complexity of local knowledge of wild life on the one hand, and its utility in forest conversation on the other. The study provides answers relevant to wildlife biodiversity strategies by considering ecologic and socio-cultural dimensions, and by incorporating local knowledge and scientific knowledge.


Biocultural conservation, endangered species, India, protected areas, Rajasthan

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