Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.01145.x
Title (Primary) Evaluation of local ecological knowledge as a method for collecting extensive data on animal abundance
Author Anadón, J.D.; Giménez, A.; Ballestar, R.; Pérez, I.
Journal Conservation Biology
Year 2009
Department OESA
Volume 23
Issue 3
Page From 617
Page To 625
Language englisch
Keywords animal abundance; cost-efficiency; distance sampling; local ecological knowledge; terrestrial tortoises; Testudo graeca
Abstract The use of local ecological knowledge (LEK) has been advocated for biodiversity monitoring and management. To date, however, it has been underused in studying wild populations of animals and, particularly, in obtaining quantitative abundance estimates. We evaluated LEK as a tool for collecting extensive data on local animal abundance and population trends. We interviewed shepherds in southeastern Spain, asking them to estimate the local abundance of the terrestrial tortoise Testudo graeca. We quantified reliability of abundance estimates derived from interviews by comparing them with those obtained from standard field-sampling protocols (distance sampling). We also explored the complementarity of these 2 approaches. LEK provided high-quality and low-cost information about both distribution and abundance of T. graeca. Interviews with shepherds yielded abundance estimates in a much wider range than linear transects, which only detected the species in the upper two-thirds of its abundance range. Abundance estimates from both methodologies showed a close relationship. Analysis of confidence intervals indicated local knowledge could be used to estimate mean local abundances and to detect mean population trends. A cost analysis determined that the information derived from LEK was 100 times cheaper than that obtained through linear-transect surveys. Our results should further the use of LEK as a standard tool for sampling the quantitative abundance of a great variety of taxa, particularly when population densities are low and traditional sampling methods are expensive or difficult to implement.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Anadón, J.D., Giménez, A., Ballestar, R., Pérez, I. (2009):
Evaluation of local ecological knowledge as a method for collecting extensive data on animal abundance
Conserv. Biol. 23 (3), 617 - 625