Ethnozoology: A Brief Introduction

Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega Alves, Wedson Medeiros Silva Souto

Abstract


Connections between animals and humans date back thousands of years, and cultures all over the world have developed characteristic ways of interacting with the regional fauna over time. Human communities have accumulated a huge store of knowledge about animals through the centuries (passed from generation to generation, largely through oral traditions) that is closely integrated with many other cultural aspects, and this zoological knowledge is an important part of our human cultural heritage. The variety of interactions (both past and present) that human cultures maintain with animals is the subject matter of Ethnozoology, a discipline that has its roots as deep within the past as the first relationships between humans and other animals. Within this context, ethnozoology can be viewed as a discipline that examines the historical, economic, sociological, anthropological and environmental aspects of the relationships between humans and animals. These studies can aid in the evaluation of the impacts human populations have on native animal species and in the development of sustainable management plans - and are thus fundamental to conservation efforts. Additionally, popular knowledge about the regional fauna can be important to academic research projects and offers the possibility of significant savings in comparison to the costs involved with conventional methodologies. The present work gives a brief introduction to Ethnozoology, focusing its importance, historic aspects and current trends.

Keywords


Animal Use; Conservation; Ethnobiology

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15451/ec2015-1-4.1-1-13

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