Optimal Foraging Theory and Medicinal Bark Extraction in Northeastern Brazil
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Human populations often make decisions about how to obtain the resources they need using a cost/benefit ratio (see Begossi 1992; Lopes et al.2011; Lopes and Begossi 2011; Soldati and Albuquerque 2012; Alves et al. 2017; Lins Neto and Albuquerque 2018) that can be harmful to conservation efforts even if they have a broad understanding of the environment (Lins Neto et al.2010; Feitosa et al.2014). In fact, in many cases in-depth knowledge of extractors regarding natural resources can lead to greater exploitation and to competition among extractors (Ferreira Júnior et al.2012; Feitosa et al.2014).
Thus, an understanding of why people over-exploit resources they need for their survival is fundamental to designing appropriate management strategies. Optimal foraging theory (OFT) proposes that individuals will maximize their gains, whether energetic or economic, when extracting subsistence resources in light of the costs they incur accessing, handling, and processing of them...
KeywordsStem bark extraction Ethnobiology Human behavior Optimization Brazilian savannah Floresta Nacional do Araripe Optimal foraging theory
The authors thank ICMBio-Ceará, the authorization granted to us for the effectuation of the study and the logistics that facilitated our work. We are grateful to the guards of IBAMA in people, Rivaldo, Luiz, Edvan, Thiago, and Gilmário, whose support and availability always helped. We also thank the residents of the community Horizonte who voluntarily agreed to participate in our study, especially the person of Edilma who spared no efforts to develop this work. We acknowledge CNPq for the productivity grant awarded to ELA, PFML and UPA and CAPES for the scholarship granted to ISF. We also thank Mr. Antônio Nunes for the assistance provided in the field during the data collection. This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) - Finance Code 001.
Financial support from FACEPE (Foundation for Support of Science and Technology) to the Project Núcleo de Pesquisa em Ecologia, conservação e Potencial de Uso de Recursos Biológicos no Semiárido do Nordeste do Brasil (Center for Research in Ecology, Conservation and Potential Use of Biological Resources in the Semi-Arid Region of Northeastern Brazil-APQ-1264-2.05/10).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The authors declare that the information provided by the informants were not disclosed.
Ethical and Legal Considerations
The project was submitted to the ethics committee of the Universidade de Pernambuco and approved under number CAAE-0270.0.172.000–11 by the CEP of the Center for Health Sciences of the Federal University of Pernambuco. All informants were requested to sign the free and informed consent form TCLE (Resolution No. 466, of 12/12/2012).
Subsequently, authorization was requested from the “Sistema de Autorização e Informação em Biodiversidade-SISBio” (38777–1), the system responsible for issuing authorizations for research in administered conservation units, by the “Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade-ICMBio”.
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