Knowledge and Emotions to Improve Human Attitudes toward Wildlife Conservation in El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, Mexico

22 Jun 2023 Biosphere Reserve El Triunfo, Mexico, Central and Latin America Communities | Conflict | Education | People

Nathalia Montserrat Castillo Huitrón

Other projects

23 Jun 2020

Knowledge Exchange on Wild Animals in the Cloud Forest: The Case of Reserva de la Biosfera El Triunfo, Mexico and Parque Nacional Sangay, Ecuador

The Triunfo Biosphere Reserve is dedicated to the preservation of the largest remnants of cloud forests in Mexico. This reserve not only protects endangered animals but also serves as a home for local human communities. The primary objective of this project is to implement and evaluate two conservation activities: storytelling sessions and field walks involving children, youth, and adults from the Triunfo reserve.

In the workshops, participants engage in constructing and sharing stories centered around various wild animals such as the jaguar (Panthera onca), resplendent quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno), horned guan (Oreophasis derbianus), Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii), and spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi). These sessions provide an opportunity for individuals to connect with nature and exchange their knowledge about these species. During the field walks, which take place in the cloud forest, participants are inspired by the surrounding environment to recall their personal encounters with animals and share their insights about different species. These walks include activities such as bird watching, identifying mammal tracks, and exchanging both local and scientific knowledge about the species.

Individual of Potus flavus seeing during a field walk in the Biosphere Reserve the Triunfo.

Individual of Potus flavus seeing during a field walk in the Biosphere Reserve the Triunfo.

Throughout the storytelling sessions and field walks, the project aims to document the local knowledge about species as well as the participants' emotional connections with these animals. Both activities have been thoughtfully designed to create positive experiences for the participants and foster empathy towards animals and the reserve. The assessment of these activities encompasses both qualitative and quantitative measures, which capture the participants' attitudes.

The information collected through these initiatives will contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the ongoing interactions between human communities and animal species in the Triunfo. Moreover, the data gathered will be instrumental in designing effective conservation measures, particularly for species like the jaguar, which often engage in conflicts due to predation on livestock.

The activities undertaken in this project have the potential to serve as a model for social inclusion projects in other protected areas. They provide an invaluable opportunity to replicate and adapt similar initiatives, fostering a sense of community and environmental stewardship in diverse regions.

Header: Individual of Oreophasis derbianus seeing during a field walk in the Biosphere Reserve the Triunfo.

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