Why don't we ask? A complementary method for assessing the status of great apes

Meijaard, Erik, Mengersen, Kerrie, Buchori, Damayanti, Nurcahyo, Anton, Ancrenaz, Marc, Wich, Serge, Atmoko, Sri Suci Utami, Tjiu, Albertus, Prasetyo, Didik Nardiyono, Hadiprakarsa, Yokyok, Christy, Lenny, Wells, Jessie, Albar, Guillaume and Marshall, Andrew J. (2011) Why don't we ask? A complementary method for assessing the status of great apes. PLoS ONE, 6 3: e18008-1-e18008-10. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018008

Author Meijaard, Erik
Mengersen, Kerrie
Buchori, Damayanti
Nurcahyo, Anton
Ancrenaz, Marc
Wich, Serge
Atmoko, Sri Suci Utami
Tjiu, Albertus
Prasetyo, Didik Nardiyono
Hadiprakarsa, Yokyok
Christy, Lenny
Wells, Jessie
Albar, Guillaume
Marshall, Andrew J.
Title Why don't we ask? A complementary method for assessing the status of great apes
Journal name PLoS ONE   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2011-03-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0018008
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 6
Issue 3
Start page e18008-1
End page e18008-10
Total pages 10
Place of publication San Francisco, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Abstract Species conservation is difficult. Threats to species are typically high and immediate. Effective solutions for counteracting these threats, however, require synthesis of high quality evidence, appropriately targeted activities, typically costly implementation, and rapid re-evaluation and adaptation. Conservation management can be ineffective if there is insufficient understanding of the complex ecological, political, socio-cultural, and economic factors that underlie conservation threats. When information about these factors is incomplete, conservation managers may be unaware of the most urgent threats or unable to envision all consequences of potential management strategies. Conservation research aims to address the gap between what is known and what knowledge is needed for effective conservation. Such research, however, generally addresses a subset of the factors that underlie conservation threats, producing a limited, simplistic, and often biased view of complex, real world situations. A combination of approaches is required to provide the complete picture necessary to engage in effective conservation. Orangutan conservation (Pongo spp.) offers an example: standard conservation assessments employ survey methods that focus on ecological variables, but do not usually address the socio-cultural factors that underlie threats. Here, we evaluate a complementary survey method based on interviews of nearly 7,000 people in 687 villages in Kalimantan, Indonesia. We address areas of potential methodological weakness in such surveys, including sampling and questionnaire design, respondent biases, statistical analyses, and sensitivity of resultant inferences. We show that interview-based surveys can provide cost-effective and statistically robust methods to better understand poorly known populations of species that are relatively easily identified by local people. Such surveys provide reasonably reliable estimates of relative presence and relative encounter rates of such species, as well as quantifying the main factors that threaten them. We recommend more extensive use of carefully designed and implemented interview surveys, in conjunction with more traditional field methods.
Keyword Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article number e18008.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 22 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 24 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 06 Sep 2011, 01:20:05 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences