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Relationships between rural residents and wildlife in protected areas of the Atlantic Forest, Brazil

Identifying the mechanisms that influence or promote the conservation of natural resources by local human populations is a particularly important instrument for planning management actions for wildlife species and the conservation of protected areas. The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between rural residents and mammals in the protected mosaic Una-Serra das Lontras in Southern Bahia. This study will identify the level of anthropogenic pressure on the target species in areas with different legal protection strategies. Hunting pressure, conflicts between people and wildlife, attitudes and perception of rural residents with respect to the conservation of fauna and protected areas will be investigated. This study will contribute to the National Action Plan for the Conservation of Central Atlantic Forest Mammals of the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation, through the inclusion of the target species occurring in southern Bahia as a focal group to be investigated. The study area consists of the mosaic Una – Serra das Lontras, which is composed of three protected areas: the Una Biological Reserve, the Una Wildlife Refuge and the Serra das Lontras National Park.  Three different methods will be used. First, structured interviews will be conducted with landowners or workers responsible for the properties located in and around protected areas. Secondly, the Randomized Response Technique will be used to estimate the level of hunting and consumption of the target species by residents. Third, a database with records of confiscations and hunting traces will be analyzed to describe hunting pressure in the Una region. In this way we aim to identify the main threats on the target species and assist in developing strategies for the conservation of fauna, as well as protected areas and their buffer zones. We expect to o find different degrees of threats according to each area, with larger degrees of impact in areas with lesser legal protection.
Date:1 Mar 2012 →  17 Mar 2016
Project type:PhD project