Qualitative methods for ecologists and conservation scientists

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Dicks, LV 
Everard, M 
Geneletti, D 

jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:p jats:list

jats:list-itemjats:pConservation of biodiversity involves dealing with problems caused by humans, by applying solutions that comprise actions by humans. Understanding human attitudes, knowledge and behaviour are thus central to conservation research and practice.</jats:p></jats:list-item>

jats:list-itemjats:pThe special feature brings together authors from a range of disciplines (ecology, human geography, political science, land economy, management) to examine a set of qualitative techniques used in conservation research: Interviews, Focus group discussion, The Nominal Group Technique and multi‐criteria decision analysis.</jats:p></jats:list-item>

jats:list-itemjats:pThese techniques can be used for a range of purposes—most notably to understand people's perspectives, values and attitudes and to gather information about approaches to management of species, ecosystems or natural resources.</jats:p></jats:list-item>

jats:list-itemjats:pIncorporating human values, perceptions, judgements and knowledge into conservation decision making is an important role for qualitative techniques; they provide robust means for submitting this information or knowledge as evidence.</jats:p></jats:list-item>

jats:list-itemjats:pThe articles in this special feature highlight a worrying extent of poor justification and inadequate reporting of qualitative methods in the conservation literature.</jats:p></jats:list-item>

jats:list-itemjats:pTo improve and encourage greater use of these techniques in conservation science, we urge improved reporting of rationales and methods, along with innovation, adaptation and further testing of the methods themselves.</jats:p></jats:list-item> </jats:list> </jats:p>

expert elicitation, focus groups, multi-criteria decision analysis, nominal group technique, policy making, qualitative interviews, qualitative research
Journal Title
Methods in Ecology and Evolution
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Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Natural Environment Research Council (NE/K015419/1)
NERC (NE/N014472/2)