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Effective Conservation ScienceData Not Dogma$
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Peter Kareiva, Michelle Marvier, and Brian Silliman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198808978

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198808978.001.0001

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How a mistaken ecological narrative could be undermining orangutan conservation

How a mistaken ecological narrative could be undermining orangutan conservation

Chapter:
(p.90) Chapter 14 How a mistaken ecological narrative could be undermining orangutan conservation
Source:
Effective Conservation Science
Author(s):

Erik Meijaard

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198808978.003.0014

This chapter explores how the particular conditions in which conservation biologists conduct their studies can provide a narrow and possibly misleading view of endangered species. Orangutans are a good example. Generally viewed by scientists as ecological specialists of primary rainforests with limited human influence, orangutans may in fact be ecologically and behaviorally adapted to human disturbance, shaped by 60 000 years of co-existence with modern humans. Orangutan scientists have been slow in embracing these views, which has hampered the development of more effective approaches to conservation management, such as the protection of orangutans in selectively logged forests. Also, a narrow focus on habitat loss has hampered efforts to address other important threats such as hunting. This chapter urges young scientists to remain open-minded about their study objectives, question any long-held beliefs, and learn to view species and systems in the broadest context possible.

Keywords:   endangered species, hunting, orangutans, primary forest, selectively logged forests

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