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Local attitudes, knowledge and values regarding natural resource use in the range of the Maroon-fronted Parrot in northeastern Mexico
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New ecosystem management policies for a national park in northeastern Mexico emphasize the need for stakeholder participation. To facilitate public participation, an environmental education program should be designed for both local and regional audiences. The "Cumbres de Monterrey" National Park is located in a forested area that serves as a mountainous watershed supplying over 4 million people. Urban development occurred within the park due to lack of a management plan. A grassroots effort pressured authorities to study land-use suitability to better preserve the park. The purpose of the present study was to understand the perspectives of local rural residents, regarding (a) the value of local natural resources, (b) their knowledge about protected areas and species, (c) their attitudes towards changing land-use trends, and (d) demographic characteristics salient to the design of an environmental education program for subgroups within the population. The research method integrated qualitative and quantitative techniques. Contextual information was collected during participant observation in 2 concurrent studies: (a) land-use suitability for the northern Sierra Madre Oriental and (b) natural history of a potential flagship species, the endemic and endangered Maroon-fronted Parrot (Rhynchopsitta terrisi). Systematic data were collected during semi-structured interviews (n = 219), guided by a list of closed questions (predetermined categorical responses) and open questions that permitted interviewees to express ideas in their own words. In general, local residents valued non-timber forest products harvested for personal use. Local residents were familiar with the flagship species but lacked ecological knowledge about the purpose and location of protected areas. Attitudes about parrots, forests, and alternative sources of income were generally positive. Attitudes varied about tourism and land sales to urbanites according to location, possibly due to differences in experiential knowledge. I recommend integrating regional and local perspectives in the design of educational programs including: (a) identification of distinct audiences within the general population, (b) use of appropriate qualitative techniques for audiences that vary in demographic characteristics, and (c) creation of educational motifs, based on charismatic species, to deliver messages to distinct audiences. This study provides guidelines for involving stakeholders in positive responses to change in ecosystem management policies.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 66-72).
Issued also on microfiche from Lange Micrographics.
Madero-Farias, Alma Alida (2000). Local attitudes, knowledge and values regarding natural resource use in the range of the Maroon-fronted Parrot in northeastern Mexico. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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