It’s been a while since my last post. And that is because I became a dad last August! These last months have been a wonderful whirlwind of smiles, diapers and sleepless nights and I can’t wait to see what comes next!
Looking back at 2019 there are two reviews published in 2019 I would like to highlight as I think they bring important messages to the literature. The first is the Annual Reviews on illegal wildlife trade, led by Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes.
In this piece we discuss the historical development of IWT research and highlight the uncertainties that plague the evidence base, emphasizing the need for more systematic approaches to addressing evidence gaps in a way that minimizes the risk of unethical or counterproductive outcomes for wildlife and people. We highlight the need for evaluating interventions in order to learn, and the importance of sharing datasets and lessons learned. A more collaborative approach to linking IWT research, practice, and policy would better align public policy discourse and action with research evidence. This in turn would enable more effective policy making that contributes to reducing the threat to biodiversity that IWT represents.
The second review, leaf by Laura Thoma-Walters, focuses on the role of animal imagery, both still and moving, in driving pro-environmental outcomes.
Images have a powerful role in shaping persuasive messages, yet research
on the impacts of visual representations of nature is a neglected area in biodiversity conservation. We systematically screened existing studies on the use of animal imagery in conservation, identifying 37 articles. Although there is clear evidence that images of animals can have positive effects on people’s attitudes to animals, overall there is currently a dearth of accessible and comparable published data demonstrating the efficacy of
animal imagery. Most existing studies are place and context-specific, limiting the generalisable conclusions that can be drawn. Transdisciplinary research is needed to develop a robust understanding of the contextual and
cultural factors that affect how animal images can be used effectively for conservation purposes.
Have a great 2020!