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Community attitudes towards wildlife management in the Bolivian Chaco

Authors

  • Andrew J. Noss,

    1. WCS-Bolivia, Casilla 6272, Santa Cruz, Bolivia. E-mail: anoss@infonet.com.bo
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    • Biographical sketches

      Andrew Noss has worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society in the Izozog since 1996. Rosa Leny Cuéllar has worked for the Capitanía del Alto y Bajo Izozog since 1997. Together and within the USAID-funded Kaa-Iya Project, they have developed a community wildlife management programme with the 23 communities and 8000 inhabitants of the Izozog. The programme reflects their research interests in combining hunter self-monitoring with research on primary game species and community-level activities in order to promote sustainable wildlife exploitation in indigenous territories.

  • Rosa Leny Cuéllar

    1. Proyecto Kaa-Iya, Casilla 6272, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
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Andrew J. Noss WCS-Bolivia, Casilla 6272, Santa Cruz, Bolivia. E-mail: anoss@infonet.com.bo

Abstract

The process of community wildlife management in the Izozog area of the Bolivian Chaco began with participatory field research – self-monitoring of hunting activities and research on key game species. On-going discussions in community meetings have elicited seven wildlife management recommendations: (1) establishing hunting zones, (2) hunting only adults, (3) hunting only males during the reproductive season, (4) hunting only for the family’s needs, (5) hunting only abundant animals, (6) protecting plants that are important to wildlife, and (7) prohibiting hunting by outsiders. We compare community attitudes towards these management measures. A majority of communities favour, in decreasing order, measures 7, 4, 6 and 1, communities are divided with respect to measures 2 and 3, and most communities oppose measure 5. Two socio-economic characteristics of communities – location and ethnicity – are associated with patterns of attitudes towards wildlife management among communities, whereas religion, economic activity and community size are not. Izoceño communities are currently reinterpreting traditional beliefs both to support and to oppose active wildlife management measures.

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