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Environmental Sciences - Environmental Management | Who Cares About Wildlife? - Social Science Concepts for Exploring Human-Wildlife Relationships (Reviews)

Who Cares About Wildlife?

Social Science Concepts for Exploring Human-Wildlife Relationships and Conservation Issues

Manfredo, Michael J.

2008

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From the reviews:

“Wildlife managers and conservation biologists involved in conservation action are aware that most of the disputes and challenges they face in their profession are primarily on social and political aspects. Biological data are essential for management but their main role is to inform the social and political processes that will eventually lead to solving management issues. Human dimensions of wildlife are one of the pillars for any serious solution of social conflicts on management of natural resources. However, HDW are too often underrated in their importance or tackled through inappropriate methods.

This outstanding book is built on the premises that a rigorous scientific foundation of HDW can dramatically improve the effectiveness of the contribution of social sciences to wildlife and conservation programmes.

It is the most comprehensive review I know of the theoretical concepts commonly used in the study of human-wildlife relationships. It is an impressive synthesis on a fundamental topic for conservation and it offer a wide range of extremely useful insights on new conceptual directions for HDW research. It is an excellent book, clearly and scholarly written, well organized and synthetic. Michael Manfredo has done a wonderful job to produce a text that makes the concepts and tools of the human dimension studies accessible to wildlife managers and conservation practitioners who have not received professional training in the social sciences. Manfredo guides the reader through the complex interaction of values, emotions, attitudes and norms in shaping human behaviour; more important, he concisely explains the scientific foundations of the concepts and the basic methodology available to researchers and managers. The result is remarkable in its importance not only for researchers but also for decision makers as it calls for better integration of the social and ecological sciences.

I strongly recommend this book to all students in conservation biology and it should be compulsory reading for anyone involved in wildlife management and conservation projects.” - Luigi Boitani, Professor of Conservation Biology, University of Rome, President Elect, Society for Conservation Biology

“In this book, Manfredo shows us that people do care about wildlife, and reviews the social scientific concepts and research that begin to answer the question why. Engaging the reader with personal anecdotes, he nonetheless provides critical coverage of a wide literature on such abstract constructs as emotion, attitudes, values, and ideology. Manfredo makes a convincing argument that this information will be useful to those concerned with managing or conserving wildlife, particularly in light of societal, demographic, and even global changes that affect the way people think and behave. With its balance of theory and application, this book will be of interest to anyone concerned with understanding the ways in which people relate to wild nature.” - Susan Clayton, Whitmore-Williams Professor of Psychology, The College of Wooster

“This ambitious book concerning the human dimensions of wildlife management comes at an opportune time as global warming threatens extinction of large numbers of species. After considering the biological bases of human-wildlife interaction, Manfredo reviews and applies major social science theories and research to wildlife management. Chapter by chapter, the author introduces the reader to a central construct or theoretical approach and considers its implications for wildlife management. In this manner, the book ranges widely, from emotions, attitudes and social norms, to values and culture. Though necessarily brief, the literature reviews are informative and up-to-date, and their relevance for wildlife management is made clear by numerous examples and illustrative case studies. This engaging book is essential reading for students and professionals interested in research on the human dimensions of wildlife management.” - Icek Aizen, Professor and Head, Division of Social Psychology, University of Massachusetts- Amherst

“Human impacts on biodiversity are accelerating and are likely to increase by an order of magnitude over the next century. Clearer and more effective conservation priorities and programs are essential if we are to meet this challenge. This task requires a better understanding of human attitudes and behavior. The study of humans and their attachment to wildlands is the focus of Who Cares About Wildlife. In this book, Manfredo introduces a breadth of social science concepts that help us understand how humans relate to their environment, particularly to both fish and wildlife. While the book provides an overview of contemporary social concepts, it also suggests ways that this information can be useful to managers and how it can be applied in a practical way. It is a requisite introduction for those interested in this area of academic study or for practitioners interested in this important and growing area of conservation.” - David Sheppard, Head, IUCN Programme on Protected Areas

"For those of us who have been in the business of managing wildlife for many years, Manfredo outlines a very real evolution that has taken place over the past decades. This evolution has taken us through gaining knowledge about the critters, realizing they needed habitat to survive and to the point of this book, integrating the social sciences as an important component in managing wildlife in modern times. Armed with knowledge about the species and their habitats we were perplexed at why certain of our publics would not accept our rationales or solutions to wildlife issues. The realization that wildlife biologists and managers need to understand their publics' attitudes and feelings through the study of social sciences has been a cultural change in our profession that has been difficult. And it has in some cases come at a high price; that price being the loss of public support that we bathed in throughout the earlier years in the wildlife profession. Manfredo makes an accurate case that everyone cares in one way or another about wildlife and wildlife management. To be successful in modern day wildlife management, we as wildlife managers need o understand the publics' feelings and considerations, using human dimensions in the social sciences field, to ensure that our solutions are well designed and in the end, understood and supported by the "people who care." - Duane L. Shroufe, Director, Arizona Game and Fish Department

"This book explores the social sciences approach and certainly forces a re-appraisal of how wildlife can be valued, and why cultural differences need to be recognised when deciding how wildlife should be managed. … The literature in this field is clearly extensive … . The book offers a quick way in for ecologists who want to be more holistic in the way they approach wildlife management." (David Walton, Bulletin of the British Ecological Society, Vol. 40 (3), August, 2009)

 

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