Resident attitudes and beliefs toward bison, disease and management in Wood Buffalo National Park

Will, Alice (2015) Resident attitudes and beliefs toward bison, disease and management in Wood Buffalo National Park. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This study investigates the human dimensions (HD) of wood bison conservation in Wood Buffalo National Park of Canada (WBNP). Use of a quantitative questionnaire uncovers Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal attitudes toward wood bison, disease, and management approaches. Focus groups with local Aboriginal community members revealed themes related to bison and their management in and around WBNP. These investigative instruments show that the majority of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal participants support the presence of wood bison in WBNP, despite prevalence of disease. This support extends to protection offered to wood bison through park management. There is low support for the destruction of the entire WBNP population as a means of managing disease. While there is consensus amongst Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal residents regarding the acceptability of various management options, Aboriginal residents consider bison more valuable for ceremonial, spiritual, economic, and food purposes than non-Aboriginal respondents. Strongly emphasized throughout the focus groups are issues of trust, communication, and participation between local Aboriginal groups and WBNP decision-makers. Wildlife managers in national parks are increasingly using public participatory approaches when making decisions in order to produce management plans that are more publicly acceptable. By identifying local perspectives regarding the management of diseased bison, this study brings interest group input into decisions regarding wildlife management, which is crucial to successfully implementing wildlife management decisions.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/8382
Item ID: 8382
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: Attitudes, Beliefs, Bison, Disease, Aboriginal, Non-Aboriginal
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: February 2015
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Alberta
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Wood bison--Conservation--Alberta; Wildlife management--Alberta--Public opinion; Indians of North America--Alberta--Attitudes; National parks and reserves--Management--Citizen participation

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