Indigenous knowledge that embraces ornithology takes in whole social dimensions that are inter-linked with environmental ethos, conservation and management for sustainability. In contrast, western approaches have tended to reduce knowledge to elemental and material references. This book looks at the significance of indigenous knowledge of birds and their cultural significance, and how these can assist in framing research methods of western scientists working in related areas. As well as its knowledge base, this book provides practical advice for professionals in conservation and anthropology by demonstrating the relationship between mutual respect, local participation and the building of partnerships for the resolution of joint problems. It identifies techniques that can be transferred to different regions, environments and collections, as well as practices suitable for investigation, adaptation and improvement of knowledge exchange and collection in ornithology. The authors take anthropologists and biologists who have been trained in, and largely continue to practise from, a western reductionist approach, along another path - one that presents ornithological knowledge from alternative perspectives, which can enrich the more common approaches to ecological and other studies as well as plans of management for conservation.
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Sonia Tidemann is an Adjunct Professor at Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education, Australia and has been involved in natural and cultural resource management for more than 25 years. Andrew Gosler is Head of the Institute of Human Sciences, Oxford University, UK, where he lectures in Biological Conservation, and University Research Lecturer in the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology, Oxford.Review:
'Timely and critical.' Bird Life 'The twenty essays in this fascinating book place people's traditional understanding of birds centre stage ... timely and critical.' Bird Life 'A novel, fascinating and wide ranging account of the way birds are perceived by different cultures' Tim Birkhead, ornithologist and author of The Wisdom of Birds 'The last half century has seen a significant growth in our understanding of how humans perceive the world of birds, and this knowledge has shaped the development of ethnobiology ... Given this prominence, it is perhaps surprising that we have had to wait so long for a review of the subject and for such a powerful statement of its scope and significance. What is remarkable about this benchmark volume is the size and diversity of the contributions. There can be little doubt that with its publication ethno-ornithology has arrived as an identifiable cross-disciplinary specialism, with much to say that is relevant not only to the humane sciences, but to conservation and the emerging consensus on biocultural diversity.' Roy Ellen, Professor of Anthropology and Human Ecology and Director of the Centre for Biocultural Diversity, University of Kent, UK 'A fascinating series of essays exploring the diverse links that exist between birds and people; studies that remind us how all human societies are deeply indebted to birds - for language, song, food, inspiration, commerce - a biocultural certainty that cries out for a stronger role in contemporary nature conservation.' John Fanshawe, Senior Strategy Adviser, BirdLife International 'it is critical and timely' John Fanshawe, World Birdwatch 'As well as its knowledge base, this book provides practical advice for professionals in conservation and anthropology by demonstrating the relationship between mutual respect, local participation and the building of partnerships for the resolution of joint problems.' Ian Paulsen, Birdbooker Report 'Tidemann and Gosler are to be congratulated on opening the topic, even launching the discipline, with this collection. They have 'reframed' ornithology as a shared enterprise; they have given indigenous voices some space; they have pushed conservation of birds deeper into the murky area of cross-cultural dialogue and post-colonial politics; they have challenged hegemony, in ornithology, of Western rational discourse; they have even let the birds speak.' Moy Hitchen, Emu- Austral Ornithology 'This is a scholarly work, and isn't light reading, but for anyone with a deep interest in the role that birds have, and do, play in cultures across the world, such as the Maya, Maori, Aboriginals, Polynesians and many many more.' Wildlife Extra.com
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