Training Idiot Savants : The Lack of Human Dimensions in Conservation Biology

Training Idiot Savants : The Lack of Human Dimensions in Conservation Biology In a recent issue of Conservation Biology, Saberwal and Kothari (1996) call for developing countries to integrate human dimensions into conservation biology and wildlife management training. The authors bemoan the lack of social science courses in their curriculum as a consequence of patterning wildlife management training in developing countries from models in the West. They contend that the need is more acute in developing countries for training in the social aspects of conservation biology, given the increasing wildlifehuman conflicts and human dependence on natural resources in these countries. We argue that the need for human dimensions in conservation biology training as presented by Saberwal and Kothari extends to industrialized, “developed” countries as well. Granted, natural resource management differs among areas such as the United States, India, and Africa. Yet worldwide, humans influence and are affected by natural resource management issues. Whether the issue involves elephants raiding a farmer’s cassava fields in Cameroon or Florida residents voting down sugar taxes to restore the Everglades, conservation problems are people problems. As Teague (1979) states, “Most wildlife management problems start out as biological problems but eventually become people problems.” In reality, people are in the beginning, middle, and end of all http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Conservation Biology Wiley

Training Idiot Savants : The Lack of Human Dimensions in Conservation Biology

Conservation Biology, Volume 12 (2) – Apr 26, 1998

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Society for Conservation Biology
ISSN
0888-8892
eISSN
1523-1739
D.O.I.
10.1111/j.1523-1739.1998.97235.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In a recent issue of Conservation Biology, Saberwal and Kothari (1996) call for developing countries to integrate human dimensions into conservation biology and wildlife management training. The authors bemoan the lack of social science courses in their curriculum as a consequence of patterning wildlife management training in developing countries from models in the West. They contend that the need is more acute in developing countries for training in the social aspects of conservation biology, given the increasing wildlifehuman conflicts and human dependence on natural resources in these countries. We argue that the need for human dimensions in conservation biology training as presented by Saberwal and Kothari extends to industrialized, “developed” countries as well. Granted, natural resource management differs among areas such as the United States, India, and Africa. Yet worldwide, humans influence and are affected by natural resource management issues. Whether the issue involves elephants raiding a farmer’s cassava fields in Cameroon or Florida residents voting down sugar taxes to restore the Everglades, conservation problems are people problems. As Teague (1979) states, “Most wildlife management problems start out as biological problems but eventually become people problems.” In reality, people are in the beginning, middle, and end of all

Journal

Conservation BiologyWiley

Published: Apr 26, 1998

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