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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

McKinney, Helen K. [1], Huish , Ryan David [1], Mateboto, Joseya [2].

Broadening implications of ethnoecology and conservation: How human influence over the past millennia may have saved a rare tree species in the South Pacific.

Community-mediated management strategies for indigenous resources, employed by various communities, have shown success on local levels despite overall trends of resource decline. While the history of sandalwood trade in the South Pacific is rife with over exploitation, ancient cultural practices and modern management techniques for native Santalum yasi by Fijian and Tongan communities may have actually enabled S. yasi's survival despite the continuing threat of over harvesting and habitat destruction. Remaining wild S. yasi stands lack genetic insularity typical of island populations, suggesting significant migratory events, such as the pre-historic movement of seeds and seedlings across and between Tonga and Fiji via trade, and marriage practices as documented by early explorers to these regions. Furthermore, current strategies employed by a Fijian village in the management of S. yasi reveal foundational principles that can guide the development of effective management of other endangered economic resources and curtail common problems of implementation. Existing local leadership within the community oversee caretaking responsibilities, ensure contract guidelines are followed, and see that compensation is appropriately earmarked towards village improvements and community benefits. The inclusion of all community members, in the benefits and responsibilities of resource tenure and stewardship, enables better prevention of poaching, and fiscal community interests. Further research and application of these, and similar practices in other areas, may help resolve current management challenges to the preservation of culturally and economically valuable species around the world.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Hollins University, Biology, 7916 Williamson Rd., Roanoke, VA, 24020, USA
2 - Fiji Forestry Department, Kadavu Island, Fiji

rare species conservation
community conservation
environmental monitoring
local stakeholders.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 45
Location: Waterman Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
Time: 11:30 AM
Number: 45006
Abstract ID:721

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