Exploring coexistence between birds and humans

Project: PhD

Project Details


Introduction The transboundary migration of birds poses challenges to conservation efforts since the effectiveness of measures adopted in one site is dependent on the situation elsewhere (Runge et al., 2014). This is compounded by the different national circumstances, including policies, legislation, priorities, capacities, attitudes, and perspectives (Szabo et al., 2016), particularly highlighting the need for a better understanding of the socio-economic and political contexts of conservation of migratory birds. For instance, the need to understand the socio-economic dimensions driving the illegal killing of birds in the Mediterranean, a significant threat to bird species, has been acknowledged by Brochet et al. (2016). By leveraging social science with its crucial role in gaining insight into human-nature relations, in understanding challenges to transformative change in biodiversity conservation, and in developing novel solutions, such as convivial conservation (Massarella et al., 2021), this research will explore the coexistence between birds and humans along the birds’ migratory route. Research aim and questions This research will use bird groups to investigate how the socio-economic and political contexts of the conservation of birds change along the flyway and to explore possibilities for convivial conservation. The following research questions are being proposed: 1. How do the relationships between humans and birds change in different countries and how do these impact national and transboundary conservation efforts? 2. How do relevant national policy and approaches to international and regional policy change between countries? 3. What are the possibilities for convivial conservation and how do these change with different socio-economic and political contexts? Methodology It is envisaged that ethnographic fieldwork is conducted in three countries, namely Malta, Egypt, and the Netherlands. The ethnographic fieldwork will include semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and surveys and will seek to understand the socio-economic context of stakeholders, such as those related to hunting and eco-tourism, and their relationship with birds. The data collected will be complemented by analysis of relevant national, regional, and international policy documents, as well as scientific data, such as conservation status and trend, of the species under consideration. Value of research By following bird groups from the Global North to the Global South, to compare human-wildlife interactions and opportunities for coexistence, this research will provide insight into how elements of a convivial conservation vision could be implemented in context-specific ways, thus contributing to a transition towards convivial conservation
Effective start/end date1/01/23 → …


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