Conservation or co-evolution? Intermediate levels of aboriginal burning and hunting have positive effects on kangaroo populations in Western Australia

Update item information
Publication Type pre-print
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Anthropology
Creator Codding, Brian
Other Author Bliege Bird, Rebecca; Kauhanen, Peter G.; Bird, Douglas W.
Title Conservation or co-evolution? Intermediate levels of aboriginal burning and hunting have positive effects on kangaroo populations in Western Australia
Date 2014-01-01
Description Studies of conservation in small scale societies typically portray indigenous peoples as either sustainably managing resources, or forsaking long-term sustainability for short-term gains. To explain this variability, we propose an alternative framework derived from a co-evolutionary perspective. In environments with long histories of consistent interaction, we suggest that local species will frequently be well adapted to human disturbance; but where novel interactions are introduced, human disturbance may have negative environmental consequences. To test this co-evolutionary hypothesis, we examine the effect of Aboriginal burning and hunting on hill kangaroo (Macropus robustus) abundance. We find that hill kangaroo populations peak at intermediate levels of human disturbance, showing that in ecosystems characterized by long-term human- environmental interactions, humans can act as trophic mediators, resulting in patterns consistent with epiphenomenal conservation. Framing the question within this co-evolutionary perspective provides an explanation for the underlying mechanisms that drive environmental outcomes of subsistence practices.
Type Text
Publisher Springer
Volume 42
Issue 5
First Page 659
Last Page 669
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation Codding, B. F., Bliege Bird, R., Kauhanen, P. G., & Bird, D. W. (2014). Conservation or co-evolution? Intermediate levels of aboriginal burning and hunting have positive effects on kangaroo populations in Western Australia. Human Ecology, 42(5), 659-69.
Rights Management (c) Springer (The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com) The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10745-014-9682-4
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 6,215,030 bytes
Identifier uspace,19277
ARK ark:/87278/s6wd78rj
Setname ir_uspace
Date Created 2015-11-20
Date Modified 2016-04-25
ID 713339
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6wd78rj