Relations with wildlife of Wichi and Criollo people of the Dry Chaco, a conservation perspective

Micaela Camino, Sara Cortez, Mariana Altrichter, Silvia Diana Matteucci

Abstract


Indigenous Wichís and mestizos Criollos inhabit a rural, biodiversity rich, area of the Argentinean Dry Chaco. Traditionally, Wichís were nomads and their relations with wildlife were shaped by animistic and shamanic beliefs. Today, Wichís live in stable communities and practice subsistence hunting, gathering and in some cases, fishing. Criollos are mestizos, i.e. a mixture of the first Spanish settlers and different indigenous groups. They arrived during the 20th century from neighbouring Provinces. They practice extensive ranching, hunting and gathering. Our aim was to help develop effective and legitimate actions to conserve wildlife species in this region, focused on Wichís´ and Criollos´ perceptions of and relations with wildlife. We conducted semi-structured interviews (N=105) in rural settlements. We found differences in both groups´ hunting techniques, drivers and perceptions on the importance of wild meat for nutrition. However, both groups have a close relation with wildlife, they use wild animals in a variety of ways, including as food resource, medicine and predictors of future events. Wichís and Criollos also relate with wildlife in a spiritual dimension, have animistic and shamanic beliefs and have unique traditional ecological knowledge. Hunters in both communities are breaking traditional hunting norms but conservation measures grounded on these norms have a higher probability of success. Management recommendations include developing programmes focused on (i) conserving thin armadillos; (ii) conserving pregnant and breeding females of all species; (iii) managing dogs to avoid unnecessary killings and on (iv) improving local livelihoods. We also provide recommendations that are specific for each group.

Keywords


Conservation; Local cultures; Subsistence Hunting; Chaco; Indigenous people; Mestizo people

Full Text:

PDF

References


Altrichter M. (2006). Wildlife in the life of local people of the semi-arid Argentine Chaco. Biodiversity and Conservation 15:2719-2736.

Altrichter M, Basurto, X. (2008). Effects of Land Privatisation on the Use of Common-pool Resources of Varying Mobility in the Argentine Chaco. Conservation and Society 6:154-65.

Alves RR, Rosa IL, Neto NAL, R Voeks. (2012). Animals for the gods: magical and religious faunal use and trade in Brazil. Human Ecology 40 (5):751-780.

Arenas P. (2003). Ethnography and diet of the toba-ñachilamoleek y wichí-lhuku’tas of Chaco (in Spanish). Buenos Aires, Argentina: Authors´edition.

Barnosky AD, Matzke N, Tomiya S, Wogan GOU, Swartz B, Quental TB, Marshall C, McGuire JL, et al. (2011). Has the Earth’s sixth mass extinction already arrived? Nature 471: 51–57.

Barrett CB, Travis AJ, Dasgupta P. (2011). On biodiversity conservation and poverty traps. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108(34): 13907-13912.

Barbarán FR. (2000). Recursos alimenticios derivados de la caza, pesca y recolección de los Wichi del Río Pilcomayo (Provincia de Salta, Argentina). Manejo de Fauna Silvestre en Amazonia y Latinoamérica.

CITES Paraguay–Fundación Moisés Bertoni–University of Florida. Asunción, Paraguay: 507-527.

Barúa G. (2004). Lo "eterno" y lo "fugaz": el ritual del yatchep entre los wichí bazaneros. Archivos, Departamento de Antropología Cultural del CIAFIC 2: 181-206

Baumann M, Gasparri I, Piquer‐Rodríguez M, Gavier Pizarro G, Griffiths P, Hostert P, Kuemmerle T. (2017). Carbon emissions from agricultural expansion and intensification in the Chaco. Global change biology 23(5): 1902-1916.

Berkes F, Colding J, Folke C. (2000). Rediscovery of traditional ecological knowledge as adaptive management. Ecological Applications 10(5): 1251-1262.

Berkes F. (2012). Sacred Ecology (3rd Edition). New York: Routledge – Taylor and Francis.

Bitanyi S, Nesje M, Kusiluka LJ, Chenyambuga SW, Kaltenborn BP. (2012). Awareness and perceptions of local people about wildlife hunting in western Serengeti communities. Tropical Conservation Science 5(2): 208-224.

Braunstein J.A. (1992). Presentación. En J. A. Braunstein (ed.). Hacia una carta étnica del Gran Chaco. Las Lomitas, Formosa, Argentina: Centro del Hombre Antiguo Chaqueño.

Braunstein J.A. (2005). Los pueblos indígenas del Gran Chaco. Mundo de Antes 4:127-137.

Brechin SR, Wilhusen PR, Fortwangler CL, West PC. (2002). Beyond the square wheel: toward a more comprehensive understanding of biodiversity conservation as social and political process. Society and Natural Resources 15: 41-64.

Bucher EH, Huszar PC. 1999. Sustainable management of the Gran Chaco of South America: ecological promise and economic constraints. Journal of Environmental Management 57: 99–108.

Cahoone L. (2009). Hunting as a Moral Good. Environmental Values 18: 67–89.

Camino M, Cortez S, Cerezo A, Altrichter M. 2016. Wildlife conservation, perceptions of different co-existing cultures. International Journal of Conservation Science 7(1): 109-122.

Cáceres D. (2003) El campesinado contemporáneo en la República Argentina. In: R. Thornton and G. Cimadevilla (eds). La extensión rural en debate. Concepciones,

retrospectivas, cambios y estrategias para el Mercosur. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Inta. 173-197 pp.

Cáceres DM. (2015). Accumulation by dispossession and socio-environmental conflicts

caused by the expansion of agribusiness in Argentina. J. Agrar. Chang. 15: 116–147.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joac.12057.

Ceballos G, Ehrlich P.R., Dirzo R. (2017). Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114(30), E6089-E6096.

Cordeu E, Siffredi A.1971 De la algarroba al algodón: movimientos milenaristas del Chaco argentino. Buenos Aires: Juárez Editor.

Cordeu E, De los Ríos M. 1982. Un enfoque estructural de las variaciones socioculturales de los Cazadores Recolectores del Gran Chaco. Revista del Centro de Estudios Antropológicos, vol. XVII: 1.

Dahal S, Nepal SK, Maschuett MA. (2014). Examining Marginalized Communities and Local Conservation Institutions: The Case of Nepal’s Annapurna Conservation Area. Environmental Management 53: 219–230.

Dasso MC. (2010). Memorias y representaciones sobre el criollo del chaco argentino. Confluenze. Rivista di Studi Iberoamericani 2(2): 236-253.

Descola P. (2012). Más allá de naturaleza y cultura. Buenos Aires:. Amorrortu

FAO. (1998). Wildlife utilization and food security in Africa. Rome, Italy: FAO Conservation Guide. 110 pp.

Dinerstein E, Olson DM, Graham DJ,Webster AL, Primm SA, Bookbinder MP, Ledec G. (1995). A Conservation Assessment of the Terrestrial Ecoregions of Latin America and the Caribbean. Washington, District of Columbia, USA: The World Wildlife Fund and The World Bank

Fraser DJ, Coon T, Prince MR, Dion R, Bernatchez L. (2006). Integrating traditional and evolutionary knowledge in biodiversity conservation: a population level case study. Ecology and Society 11(2): 4.

Gadgil M, Berkes F, Folke C. (1993). Indigenous knowledge for biodiversity conservation. Ambio 22(2-3): 151-156.

Galinier J, Lagarriga I, Perrin M. 1995 Lógica Chamánica. Chamanismo en Latinoamérica: Una revisión conceptual. México, Plaza y Valdés: 1-20.

Gallardo G, Nuñez A, Pacheco LF, Ruiz-García M. (2009). Conservación del puma en el Parque Nacional Sajama (Bolivia): Estado poblacional y alternativas de manejo. Mastozoología Neotropical 16(1): 59-68.

Hansen MC, Ptapov PV, Moore R, Hancher M, Turubanova SA, Tyukavina A, Thau SV, Goetz SJ, et al. (2013). High-resolution global maps of 21st-century forest cover change. Science 342: 850–853.

Gordillo G. (1993). La actual dinámica económica de los cazadores recolectores de Gran Chaco y los deseos imaginarios del esencialismo. Publicar - Antropología y Ciencias Sociales (3): 73-96.

Ingold T. (1986). The appropriation of nature. Essays on human ecology and social relations. Manchester University Press. Manchester.

Manfredo J, Dayer AA. (2004). Concepts for exploring the social aspects of human–wildlife conflict in a global context. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 9: 317–328.

Medrano C. (2014). Zoo-sociocosmología qom: seres humanos, animales y sus relaciones en el Gran Chaco. Journal de la Société des Américanistes 100(1): 233-265.

Metraux A. (1946). Ethnography of the Chaco. In: Handbook of South American Indians, (Ed: Steward JH.). Washington, USA. v. 1. 197-370 pp.

Morello J, Rodriguez A. (2009). El Chaco sin bosques: la Pampa o el desierto del futuro. Editado por GEPAMA y UNESCO- Programa sobre el Hombre y la Biósfera. 492pp

Morello J, Matteucci SD, Rodríguez AF, Silva M. (2012). Ecorregions and ecosystem complexes of Argentina (Spanish). Buenos Aires, Argentina: Orientación Gráfica Editora.

Nasi R, Taber A, Van Vliet N. (2011). Empty forests, empty stomachs? Bushmeat and livelihoods in the Congo and Amazon Basins. International Forestry Review 13(3): 355-368.

Ojasti J, Dallmeier F (Eds). (2000). Wildlife management in the Neotropics (Spanish). Washington, DC, EUA: Smithsonian Institution/Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity (MAB).

Palmer J. (2005). The wichi´s good will, an indigenous spirituality (Spanish). Formosa, Salta: APCD/ CECAZO/EPRAZOL, Grupo de Trabajo Ruta 81.

Peres CA. (1996). Population status of white-lipped and collared peccaries in huntes and nonhunted Amazonian forests. Biological Conservation 77: 115-123.

Periago ME, Chillo V, Ojeda RA. (2014). Loss of mammalian species from the South American Gran Chaco: empty savanna syndrome? Mammalogical Review 45. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mam.12031.(n/a-n/a).

Persha L, Agrawal A, Chhatre A. (2011). Social and ecological synergy: local rulemaking, forest livelihoods, and biodiversity conservation. Science 331: 1606-1608.

Peterson MN, Hansen HP, Peterson MJ, Peterson TR. (2011). How hunting strengthens social awareness of coupled human-natural systems. Wildlife Biology in Practice 6(2): 127-143.

Prober SM, O’Connor MH, Walsh FJ. (2011). Australian Aboriginal peoples’ seasonal knowledge: a potential basis for shared understanding in environmental management. Ecology and Society 16(2): 12.

Quiroga VA, Noss AJ, Paviolo A, Boaglio GI, Di Bitetti MS. (2016). Puma density, habitat use and conflict with humans in the Argentine Chaco. Journal for Nature Conservation 31: 9-15.

Redford KH, Robinson JG. (1987). The game of choice: patterns of Indian and colonist hunting in the Neotropics. American Anthropologist 89(3): 650-667.

Rodriguez Mir J. (2016). La lucha por el capital y la lucha por la subsistencia. La violencia del sistema capitalista en los indígenas wichí del Chaco argentino. Antropología Experimental 16 (24): 365-379.

Robinson JG, Bennett EL (eds.). (2000). Hunting for Sustainability in Tropical Forests. New York, NY, USA: Columbia University Press.

Scarpa GF. (2009). Etnobotánica médica de los indígenas chorote y su comparación con la de los criollos del Chaco semiárido (Argentina). Darwiniana 47(1): 92-101.

Scarpa GF. (2004). Medicinal plants used by the Criollos of Northwestern Argentine Chaco. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 91(1): 115-135.

Scruton R. (2010). The sacred pursuit - reflections on the literature of hunting. In: N. Kowalsky (Ed.). Hunting—Philosophy for Everyone: In Search of the Wild Life. (London, Blackwell, pp 187–197).

Silvius KM, Bodmer RE, Fragoso JMV. (2004). People in Nature: Wildlife Conservation in South and Central America. New York, NY, USA: Columbia University Press.

St John FA, Edwards-Jones G, Jones JP. (2011). Conservation and human behaviour: lessons from social psychology. Wildlife Research 37(8): 658-667.

Suárez ME. (2012). Spirits related with the forest and its plants in the world of the Wichí people of the Semiarid Chaco, Salta, Argentina (Spanish). In: P. Arenas (Ed) Ethnobotany in arid and semiarid areas of the Southern Cone of South America (pp 145-178). Buenos Aires; Argentina: CEFYBO, CONICET, UBA.

Sušnik B. (1985). Los aborígenes del Paraguay: Aproximación a las creencias de los indígenas. Museo Etnográfico Andrés Barbero. Asunción: Museo Etnográfico

“Andrés Barbero”.

Teel TL, Manfredo JM, Stinchfield MH. (2007). The Need and Theoretical Basis for Exploring Wildlife Value Orientations Cross-Culturally. Human Dimensions of Wildlife: An International Journal 12: 297-305. doi: 10.1080/10871200701555857

Toledo BA, Trillo C. (2018). Practices and spaces by gender: landscapes and rural tasks of livestock producers of the Sierras Chicas from Córdoba, Argentina. Ethnobiology and Conservation 7:8

Treves A, Wallace RB, White S. (2009). Participatory planning of interventions to mitigate human–wildlife conflicts. Conservation Biology 23: 1577–1587.

UN; United Nations, Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. (2009). State of the world's Indigenous peoples. New York, NY, USA: United Nations Print.

Viveiros de Castro E. (2013). La mirada del Jaguar. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Tinta Limón.

Viveiros de Castro E. (1998). Cosmological deixis and Amerindian perspectivism. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 4(3): 469-488.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


SCImago Journal & Country Rank