Traditional ecological knowledge of wild animals: an underestimated opportunity for knowledge co-production for biodiversity assessments and conservation

Date and Time: 
Friday, 12 May, 2017 - 11:00
, Viktor - Department of Ecology, University of Szeged, Hungary
, Dániel - MTA Research Centre for the Humanities, Institute of Ethnology, Hungary
, Csaba - Kiskunság National Park, Hungary
, András - MTA Centre for Ecological Research, Hungary
, Zsolt - MTA Centre for Ecological Research, Hungary

Often zoologists cannot find the means of effective cooperation with traditional knowledge. They do not know which species they could expect to get relevant local knowledge about or which are suitable for knowledge co-production. To help bridge this gap, we examined 1) how accurately the 20 interviewed zoologists predicted the richness of local knowledge and 2) we developed a linear model, which estimated the proportion of local people who will know the species. We compared these data with our own data on local knowledge of about 410 wild animal species in Central European regions. The zoologists’ and the model’s estimates of knowledge have been ca. 60%, and 70 % correct, respectively. Tendencies show that zoologists’ accuracy has been decreased by undervaluation of local folklore and local usefulness and overvaluation of morphology. The model has also put too much emphasis on morphology, but it overemphasized size and abundance as well.