Desmond Morris's Animalwatching: A New Guide to the Animal World PDF

By Desmond Morris

ISBN-10: 051757859X

ISBN-13: 9780517578599

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Additional resources for Animalwatching: A New Guide to the Animal World

Example text

Urbina successfully tapped into local pride in place and knowledge about place, sowing or rescuing respect for the life-ways of local hunters and gatherers and gardeners and, indeed, everyone who interacted with nature. In many cases, it turned out that what people thought they knew about birds was wrong or insufficient; but, just as often, local people knew things that weren’t in the field guides or even in the literature. At no point did ‘pure’ ethno-ornithological knowledge take precedence in a formal way; rather, Urbina, as the leading force for conservation in the region, always mixed Western science and local knowledge together in the task of protecting the park and, increasingly, other landscapes in the region.

To this end, a ‘cultural safety contract’ was drawn up that details how rights to knowledge and data are to be negotiated: a sine qua non for all successful research in the local context and, particularly, that of the participatory and multicultural variety. In ‘Uses of traditional knowledge by Rakiura Maori to guide Sooty Shearwater harvests’ (Lyver, ES_ETH_10-2_ES_POL_25/7 11/02/2010 13:56 Page 24 24 INTRODUCTION 2002), it is revealed that both traditional knowledge (TK) and ‘ecological science’ contribute valid data of use in the conservation of the species: Traditional knowledge can predict scientific findings for some key parameters of harvest, such as chick abundance, but also has value for understanding an ecological system.

For the environment) when they were being rapidly abandoned by their own practitioners. Pest birds, for example, went from contextual problems with contextual solutions to national issues addressed by modern scientific methods: a transition from scarecrows to inorganic pesticides, perhaps. In many cases, such efforts were seen as superior in local context because they were more effective than older methods, notwithstanding the numerous ecologically undesirable side effects. In the latter part of the 20th century, the true environmental costs of ‘scientific’ agriculture, forestry and other land management techniques invented in the West and imposed on, or adopted eagerly by, the rest of the world began to be understood; but too often those who sought alternative ecologically friendly (including ‘bird-friendly’) solutions failed to recognize how thoroughly pervasive modernism had become, reaching even into the most supposedly ‘traditional’ of settings.

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Animalwatching: A New Guide to the Animal World by Desmond Morris


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