Talking frogs: the role of communication in ecological research on private land

Carri, Anna; Hazell, Donna
September 2006
Biodiversity & Conservation;Sep2006, Vol. 15 Issue 10, p3177
Academic Journal
This paper argues that improving the communication between landholders and ecologists will result in better conservation outcomes for ecosystem management on private land. It examines a case study of ecological research on frogs undertaken on private, agricultural land in southeastern Australia. The paper questions the traditional separation of ecological science from landholders specifically and the public in general. In addressing this issue the authors wish to improve the relevance of ecology for landholders, raise the profile of social science for ecologists working on private land and examine the implications of improving ecologist - landholder relationships. For landholders, an improved understanding of the ecological context of their agricultural activities may lead to sustainability gains. For ecologists, a deeper appreciation for the social context of their ecological research provides an opportunity to see how their work is perceived and/or acted upon in practice. For both parties, a communicative relationship may minimise future need for ecosystem repair. Such an approach (for both landholders and ecologists) can lead to the break down of stereotypes and/or a greater appreciation of the others' perspectives, constraints and values with respect to conservation on private land. In the productive discussions arising from conversations between landholders and ecologists, new approaches to sustainable land management and nature conservation may emerge.


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