Biocultural conservation in Cape Horn: the Magellanic woodpecker as a charismatic species Page: 1
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OUP UNCORRECT. PROOF - FIRST PROOF, 03/11/2010, SPi
What is conservation biology? 499
Biocultural conservation in Cape Horn: the Magellanic woodpecker as a
Ximena Arango, Ricardo Rozzi, Francisca Massardo, and J. Tomas Ibarra
Interdisciplinarity is often looked to for producing insights of practical use to policy makers in
the public and private sectors. Yet there are many challenges facing interdisciplinary approaches:
difficulties in integrating different disciplinary perspectives, scales, and methods; differences in
vocabularies; and timelines for research that often do not match well with the exigencies of
practical affairs. Transdisciplinary approaches-in which academic research is integrated with
non-academic concerns-are often fruitful in linking interdisciplinary research with societal (or
what we prefer to call biocultural) needs.
At the southernmost tip of the Americas, the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve (CHBR) encom-
passes one of the world's most pristine remaining wilderness areas and is home to the indigenous
Yaghan (or Yamana) community, which featured so prominently in Charles Darwin's Voyage of
the Beagle. Its remoteness and uniqueness, however, are threatened by the introduction of exotic
species such as the North American beaver and American mink, increasing development pres-
sures from new connectivity, resource exploitation, and the development of tourism. To imple-
ment the biosphere reserve and conserve its natural and cultural richness requires the active
participation of the community, as well as linkages and integration between various disciplines
and institutions. In an effort to achieve the goal of transdisciplinary integration, we used the
strategy of identifying a charismatic species, since doing so serves to motivate people towards
biodiversity conservation, to communicate ecological concepts, and to integrate both the eco-
logical and social dimensions of sustainability. This study was developed together with the popu-
lation of Puerto Williams, a town with 2200 inhabitants located on Navarino Island, and the
largest human settlement within the CHBR.
Based on structured interviews, we found that the largest woodpecker in South America,
Campephilus magellanicus or the Magellanic woodpecker, was the favorite bird of people who
inhabit the reserve, especially for members of ethnic Yamana group and long-term residents
(Arango et al. 2007). Through a process of socialization in which the local population was
involved, together with governmental and military authorities and people from different disci-
plines and skills, from 2005-07 we developed a program for the implementation of the Magel-
lanic woodpecker as a charismatic species of the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve.
A strategic plan was then designed covering both the dissemination of the program and
the natural history of the woodpecker and including educational and recreational activities
with the community at local and regional levels. The objective of this campaign was to con-
solidate the previous empathy felt toward this species and increase its charismatic appeal in
social-cultural groups less familiar with the avifauna of the biosphere reserve. This program
of research, environmental education, and biocultural conservation was run by the Masters
of Science Program of the University of Magallanes Campus in Puerto Williams in conjunc-
tion with the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity (IEB) and the Omora Foundation. The
program was based on the Dietz et al. (1994) model and followed a systematic process in
seven stages: Stage 1, identification of priority problems; Stage 2, identification and evalu-
ation of the target population, available resources and the scenery; Stage 3, development of
positive interaction between the participants; Step 4, selection and methods analysis; Stage 5,
activities implementation; Stage 6, evaluation, and Stage 7, reiteration.
3/11/2010 4:00:29 PM
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Arango, Ximena; Rozzi, Ricardo, 1960-; Massardo, Francisca & Ibarra, J. Tomás. Biocultural conservation in Cape Horn: the Magellanic woodpecker as a charismatic species, chapter, March 11, 2010; [Oxford, England]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97940/m1/1/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Arts and Sciences.