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Attitudes and knowledge of shade-coffee farmers towards vertebrates and their ecological functions.

Lopez-del-Toro, Paulina, Andresen, Ellen, Barraza, Laura and Estrada, Alejandro 2009, Attitudes and knowledge of shade-coffee farmers towards vertebrates and their ecological functions., Tropical conservation science, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 299-318.

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Title Attitudes and knowledge of shade-coffee farmers towards vertebrates and their ecological functions.
Author(s) Lopez-del-Toro, Paulina
Andresen, Ellen
Barraza, Laura
Estrada, Alejandro
Journal name Tropical conservation science
Volume number 2
Issue number 3
Start page 299
End page 318
Total pages 20
Publisher Mongabay.com
Place of publication United States
Publication date 2009-08
ISSN 1940-0829
Keyword(s) agroecosystem
animal conservation
ecosystem services
environmental education
perceptions
Summary The purpose of this study was to assess farmers’ attitudes, as well as perceptions and knowledge that shape those attitudes, toward the ecological role of vertebrates inhabiting shaded-coffee farms. We also aimed to determine whether differences existed among two groups of farmers: one that had attended environmental education workshops, and one that had not. We conducted 36 oral interviews of farmers in the region of Cuetzalan, Mexico. All farmers were members of an important regional cooperative, Tosepan Titataniske. In general, farmers’ attitudes towards birds were positive. Snakes were perceived as useful but dangerous animals. Attitudes towards nonflying mammals were mostly indifferent. Bats were poorly understood and badly perceived. Seed dispersal was perceived as an important ecological function performed by animals. Pollination was also perceived as important, but to a lesser degree. Knowledge about ecological functions was high for seed dispersal, and low for pollination. We found a positive correlation between attendance of educational workshops and the presence of “environmentally-friendly” attitudes, perceptions, and knowledge. However, a cause-effect relationship could not be clearly established. We suggest that environmental education programs include the objective of increasing the knowledge of people about the ecological functions played by different groups of animals that live in agroecosystems. Particular efforts should be directed toward improving the way in which certain non-charismatic groups of animals, such as bats, are perceived.
Notes Open access paper
Language eng
Field of Research 050102 Ecosystem Function
050203 Environmental Education and Extension
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, The Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30025616

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Education
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.