Western science, indigenous, and local knowledge are valued and used but are outweighed by political considerations in decisions concerning wildlife.

Published online
28 Apr 2021
Published by
British Ecological Society
Content type

Kadykalo, A. N. & Cooke, S. J. & Young, N.

Publication language
British Columbia & Canada


This paper describes an assessment how decision-makers and other potential knowledge users (1) perceive, evaluate, and use western-based scientific, indigenous, and local knowledge, and (2) the extent to which social, political, and economic considerations challenge the integration of different forms of evidence into decision-making. In 2018, an interview from members of natural resource management branches of Indigenous governments (n = 4), and parliamentary governments (n = 33), as well as representatives from nongovernmental stakeholder groups (n = 28) involved in wildlife management and conservation in the Canadian province of British Columbia was done. It was found that western science is used near-unanimously in wildlife management and conservation. Also, indigenous and local knowledge are valued but not as extensively used (approximately half as much as western science). Perceived challenges to applying Indigenous and local knowledge include a lack of trust, hesitancy to share knowledge (particularly from Indigenous communities), difficulties in assessing reliability, and difficulties discerning knowledge from advocacy.

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