Friday, 30 December 2016

Local Ecological Knowledge about Endangered Primates in a Rural Community in Paraíba, Brazil.

2016;87(4):262-277. Epub 2016 Nov 19.

Author information

  • 1Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Monitoramento Ambiental, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, Rio Tinto, Brazil.


The study of local ecological knowledge (LEK) fosters a better understanding of the relationship between humans and the environment. We assessed respondents' ecological knowledge of primates in a rural community located near the Atlantic Forest remnants in the state of Paraíba, Brazil. Populations of Alouatta belzebul (red-handed howler monkeys), Sapajus flavius (blonde capuchins), and Callithrix jacchus (the common marmoset) inhabit the region. We conducted 200 semi-structured interviews and applied thematic content analysis, with weighting, to the responses to quantify the LEK. Respondents showed a low LEK, despite the community's proximity to forest remnants. However, the LEK was significantly higher among men, as well as among those who had a greater degree of contact with the primates. Age did not influence LEK. The studied community apparently does not intensively exploit the forest resources nor does it economically depend on primates, which may explain these individuals' low levels of knowledge about these animals. Such data may support future studies, as well as environmental education and action plans, especially for A. belzebul and S. flavius, both of which are endangered species and targets of the National Action Plan for the Conservation of the Primates of the Northeast.