Indigenous leadership gets best results for wildlife translocations
Wildlife translocations will have better results if they are led, or genuinely co-led, by Indigenous peoples. That’s the premise of a recently published paper by researchers at the University of Canterbury (UC) and South Island environmental practitioners.
Tūtaepatu Lagoon at Tūhaitara Coastal Park. Image by David Baird (David Baird Photography)
“Mi’kmaq elder Dr Albert Marshall describes it as learning to see from one eye with Indigenous knowledge, and from the other eye, Western knowledge,” she says.
Experience in Aotearoa and around the world has shown that if this approach is used for conservation, you get better environmental and social outcomes.
“If we want to achieve the best outcomes for conservation translocations – both for threatened species recovery and enhancing bio-cultural resilience – wildlife managers and researchers should not only be embedding Indigenous knowledge, but actually centring Indigenous knowledge, practices and processes. Ultimately that means they’re Indigenous led or co-led,” Aisling says.
“It’s Indigneous ways of knowing and seeing that are going to bring the most benefit, because they’ve had relationships with the natural environment far longer than we have in Western science, and have a more holistic approach.”