Bush tucker, bush pets and bush threats: cooperative management of feral animals in Australia's Kakadu National Park

Robinson, Catherine J., Smyth, Dermot, and Whitehead, Peter J. (2005) Bush tucker, bush pets and bush threats: cooperative management of feral animals in Australia's Kakadu National Park. Conservation Biology, 19 (5). pp. 1385-1391.

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Abstract

Although feral animal management is often based on the proposition that introduced species threaten ecological and conservation values, that view is not necessarily shared by all stakeholders, including those indigenous people who own and co-manage Kakadu National Park with Australia's federal government. Drawing on field-based interviews with the Jawoyn people, we found that these indigenous people categorize water buffalo ( Bubalus bubalis) as an important food source (tucker), view horses ( Equus caballus) as bush pets, and consider pigs ( Sus scrofa) a threat to their lands. As a result, Jawoyn people want more water buffalo in the park, have high tolerance of environmental damage caused by horses, and are open to the idea that pig population densities should be reduced. Jawoyn also advocate an adaptive and participatory approach to feral animal control so that the consequences of any management actions can be properly understood before irrevocable change occurs. These findings highlight one example of how indigenous people's ecological knowledge has adapted in response to changing landscapes and community aspirations. Co-management strategies that aim to incorporate the dynamics of indigenous people's views need to start with issues on which there is agreement between different groups and take a cautious approach to joint exploration of more contentious issues. That approach should include ongoing and on-site monitoring so that the consequences of management actions can be properly understood and comprehensively negotiated by all parties.

Item ID: 6119
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: adaptive management; bush pets; bush tucker; co-management; feral animal damage; indigenous ecological knowledge
ISSN: 1523-1739
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2010 06:19
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160403 Social and Cultural Geography @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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