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Passive acoustic monitoring is rapidly gaining recognition as a practical, affordable and robust tool for measuring gun hunting levels within protected areas, and consequently for its potential to evaluate anti-poaching patrols’ effectiveness based on outcome (i.e., change in hunting pressure) rather than effort (e.g., kilometres patrolled) or output (e.g., arrests). However, there has been no report to date of a protected area successfully using an acoustic grid to explore baseline levels of gun hunting activity, adapting its patrols in response to the evidence extracted from the acoustic data and then evaluating the effectiveness of the new patrol strategy. We report here such a case in Cameroon’s Korup National Park, where anti-poaching patrol effort was markedly increased in the 2015–2016 Christmas/New Year holiday season to curb the annual peak in gunshots recorded by a 12-sensor acoustic grid in the same period during the previous 2 years. Despite a three- to five-fold increase in patrol days, distance and area covered, the desired outcome – lower gun hunting activity – was not achieved under the new patrol scheme. The findings emphasize the need for adaptive wildlife law enforcement and how passive acoustic monitoring can help attain this goal, and they warn about the risks of using effort-based metrics of anti-poaching strategies as a surrogate for desired outcomes. We propose ways of increasing protected areas’ capacity to adopt acoustic grids as a law enforcement monitoring tool.
Coexistence of people and large carnivores depends on a complex combination of factors that vary geographically. Both the number and range of the Asiatic lion Panthera leo leo in the Greater Gir landscape, India, has increased since the 1990s. The challenge has been managing the success of conservation, with a particular focus on the spillover population ranging extensively in human-dominated landscapes. To understand the factors conducive to lion survival in this landscape, we undertook an interview-based survey. Overall, people expressed positive, tolerant attitudes towards lions. There was a distinct contrast between people's liking for lions (76.9% of respondents) compared to leopards (27.7%) in spite of greater depredation of livestock by lions (82.6%) than by leopards (17.4%). Younger people and respondents having greater awareness regarding lions expressed positive attitudes. Although community discussions on lions had a positive effect, there was no evidence that land-holding, management interventions, personal encounters with lions, or association of lions with religion affected attitudes. Respondents who had experienced livestock depredation tended to express negative attitudes. Respondents with positive attitudes towards lions favoured non-interventionist strategies for managing lions in the village areas. We advocate consideration of varied factors influencing tolerance of wildlife in conservation planning. We emphasize that site-specific human–wildlife conflict issues such as crop-foraging by wild ungulates and variation in attitudes towards different species should also be considered. Specifically, improved livestock management, motivation of local youth and their participation in awareness campaigns could all further strengthen the prevalent positive attitudes towards lions.
Background: Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is the leading cause of spinal cord impairment. In a public healthcare system, wait times to see spine specialists and eventually access surgical treatment for CSM can be substantial. The goals of this study were to determine consultation wait times (CWT) and surgical wait times (SWT), and identify predictors of wait time length. Methods: Consecutive patients enrolled in the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network (CSORN) prospective and observational CSM study from March 2015 to July 2017 were included. A data-splitting technique was used to develop and internally validate multivariable models of potential predictors. Results: A CSORN query returned 264 CSM patients for CWT. The median was 46 days. There were 31% mild, 35% moderate, and 33% severe CSM. There was a statistically significant difference in median CWT between moderate and severe groups; 207 patients underwent surgical treatment. Median SWT was 42 days. There was a statistically significant difference in SWT between mild/moderate and severe groups. Short symptom duration, less pain, lower BMI, and lower physical component score of SF-12 were predictive of shorter CWT. Only baseline pain and medication duration were predictive of SWT. Both CWT and SWT were shorter compared to a concurrent cohort of lumbar stenosis patients (p <0.001). Conclusions: Patients with shorter duration (either symptoms or medication) and less neck pain waited less to see a spine specialist in Canada and to undergo surgical treatment. This study highlights some of the obstacles to overcome in expedited care for this patient population.
To determine parental experiences and preferences regarding the conduct of pediatric research in an emergency department (ED) setting.
We conducted a cross-sectional study of parents of children ages 0 – 14 years who visited the ED of a tertiary care children’s hospital. Parents completed a Web-based survey designed to assess perceptions regarding: 1) background/training of research personnel, 2) location and timing of research discussions, and 3) factors influencing their consent/refusal decision.
Parents totalling 339 were approached, and 227 (67%) surveys were completed. Overall, 87% (197/227; 95% confidence interval [CI] 83, 92) reported they would be comfortable being approached by a university student to discuss research. This proportion did not change when stratified by the child’s gender, illness severity, or season of visit. Whereas only 37% (84/227; 95% CI 31, 43) of respondents would be comfortable being approached in the waiting room, 68% (154/227; 95% CI 62, 75) would be comfortable if approached in a separate area of the main waiting room. The majority reported comfort with follow-up via email (83%; 188/227; 95% CI 78, 88) or telephone (80%; 182/227; 95% CI 75, 85); only 51% (116/227; 95% CI 44, 57) would be comfortable with a scheduled follow-up visit in the hospital. Participants identified potential complications or side effects as the most common reason for declining consent (69%; 157/227; 95% CI 63, 75).
The majority of parents are comfortable being approached by trained university students, preferably in a separate area of an ED waiting room, and email and telephone follow-ups are preferred over a scheduled re-visit.
Benefits of reduced tillage and diverse crop rotations include reversing soil C loss, and improving soil quality and function. However, adoption of these strategies is lagging, particularly in the Upper Midwest, due to a perception that reduced tillage lowers crop yields. Therefore, an 8-year comparison of these conservation systems with a conventional, tilled, 2-year rotation system was conducted to evaluate effects on yields, system productivity (measured with potential gross returns) and weed seed densities. This study compared conventional moldboard plow + chisel till (CT) to reduced strip-tillage + no-tillage (ST), each with a 2-year (2y) or 4-year (4y) crop rotation, abbreviated as CT-2y, CT-4y, ST-2y and ST-4y. The 2y rotation was corn (Zea mays L.) and soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr.); the 4y rotation was corn, soybean, spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) underseeded with alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and alfalfa. Only corn grain was significantly influenced by tillage strategy; CT systems yielded more than ST systems, regardless of rotation. Soybean grain yields were similar among CT-2y, CT-4y, ST-4y and lowest in the ST-2y. Yields of wheat and alfalfa were the same under both tillage strategies. Weed seed densities were higher in wheat and alfalfa, followed by corn then soybean, but were not influenced by tillage or rotation, nor universally negatively correlated to yield. Due to greater corn yields, overall system productivity was highest in CT-2y, the same between CT-4y and ST-2y, and lowest in ST-4y. Within years, productivity of CT-2y was different from only one other system at a time in 3 of 8 years and had the same productivity as all systems in another 3 of 8 years. Additionally, the similarity of productivity among three of four systems in 6 of 8 years indicated reduced tillage and diverse rotations have potential for adoption. Results support the need for research on a rotational tillage strategy, i.e., moldboard plowing before corn, to improve overall productivity if using ST before soybean, wheat and alfalfa.
The Numeniini is a tribe of 13 wader species (Scolopacidae, Charadriiformes) of which seven are Near Threatened or globally threatened, including two Critically Endangered. To help inform conservation management and policy responses, we present the results of an expert assessment of the threats that members of this taxonomic group face across migratory flyways. Most threats are increasing in intensity, particularly in non-breeding areas, where habitat loss resulting from residential and commercial development, aquaculture, mining, transport, disturbance, problematic invasive species, pollution and climate change were regarded as having the greatest detrimental impact. Fewer threats (mining, disturbance, problematic native species and climate change) were identified as widely affecting breeding areas. Numeniini populations face the greatest number of non-breeding threats in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, especially those associated with coastal reclamation; related threats were also identified across the Central and Atlantic Americas, and East Atlantic flyways. Threats on the breeding grounds were greatest in Central and Atlantic Americas, East Atlantic and West Asian flyways. Three priority actions were associated with monitoring and research: to monitor breeding population trends (which for species breeding in remote areas may best be achieved through surveys at key non-breeding sites), to deploy tracking technologies to identify migratory connectivity, and to monitor land-cover change across breeding and non-breeding areas. Two priority actions were focused on conservation and policy responses: to identify and effectively protect key non-breeding sites across all flyways (particularly in the East Asian- Australasian Flyway), and to implement successful conservation interventions at a sufficient scale across human-dominated landscapes for species’ recovery to be achieved. If implemented urgently, these measures in combination have the potential to alter the current population declines of many Numeniini species and provide a template for the conservation of other groups of threatened species.
Tillage is decreasing globally due to recognized benefits of fuel savings and improved soil health in the absence of disturbance. However, a perceived inability to control weeds effectively and economically hinders no-till adoption in organic production systems in the Upper Midwest, USA. A strip-tillage (ST) strategy was explored as an intermediate approach to reducing fuel use and soil disturbance, and still controlling weeds. An 8-year comparison was made between two tillage approaches, one primarily using ST the other using a combination of conventional plow, disk and chisel tillage [conventional tillage (CT)]. Additionally, two rotation schemes were explored within each tillage system: a 2-year rotation (2y) of corn (Zea mays L.), and soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr.) with a winter rye (Secale cereale L.) cover crop; and a 4-year rotation (4y) of corn, soybean, spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) underseeded with alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), and a second year of alfalfa. These treatments resulted in comparison of four main management systems CT-2y, CT-4y, ST-2y and ST-4y, which also were managed under fertilized and non-fertilized conditions. Yields, whole system productivity (evaluated with potential gross returns), and weed seed densities (first 4 years) were measured. Across years, yields of corn, soybean and wheat were greater by 34% or more under CT than ST but alfalfa yields were the same. Within tillage strategies, corn yields were the same in 2y and 4y rotations, but soybean yields, only under ST, were 29% lower in the fertilized 4y than 2 yr rotation. In the ST-4y system yields of corn and soybean were the same in fertilized and non-fertilized treatments. Over the entire rotation, system productivity was highest in the fertilized CT-2y system, but the same among fertilized ST-4y, and non-fertilized ST-2y, ST-4y, and CT-4y systems. Over the first 4 years, total weed seed density increased comparatively more under ST than CT, and was negatively correlated to corn yields in fertilized CT systems and soybean yields in the fertilized ST-2y system. These results indicated ST compromised productivity, in part due to insufficient weed control, but also due to reduced nutrient availability. ST and diverse rotations may yet be viable options given that overall productivity of fertilized ST-2y and CT-4y systems was within 70% of that in the fertilized CT-2y system. Closing the yield gap between ST and CT would benefit from future research focused on organic weed and nutrient management, particularly for corn.
The majority of children requiring emergency care are treated in general emergency departments (EDs) with variable levels of pediatric care expertise. The goal of the Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids (TREKK) initiative is to implement the latest research in pediatric emergency medicine in general EDs to reduce clinical variation.
To determine national pediatric information needs, seeking behaviours, and preferences of health care professionals working in general EDs.
An electronic cross-sectional survey was conducted with health care professionals in 32 Canadian general EDs. Data were collected in the EDs using the iPad and in-person data collectors.
Total of 1,471 surveys were completed (57.1% response rate). Health care professionals sought information on children’s health care by talking to colleagues (n=1,208, 82.1%), visiting specific medical/health websites (n=994, 67.7%), and professional development opportunities (n=941, 64.4%). Preferred child health resources included protocols and accepted treatments for common conditions (n=969, 68%), clinical pathways and practice guidelines (n=951, 66%), and evidence-based information on new diagnoses and treatments (n=866, 61%). Additional pediatric clinical information is needed about multisystem trauma (n=693, 49%), severe head injury (n=615, 43%), and meningitis (n=559, 39%). Health care professionals preferred to receive child health information through professional development opportunities (n=1,131, 80%) and printed summaries (n=885, 63%).
By understanding health care professionals’ information seeking behaviour, information needs, and information preferences, knowledge synthesis and knowledge translation initiatives can be targeted to improve pediatric emergency care. The findings from this study will inform the following two phases of the TREKK initiative to bridge the research-practice gap in Canadian general EDs.
The fact that crime and disorder are concentrated at a few places is interesting and deserves an explanation. It is also interesting that places show up in other criminological theories and in other disciplines. And it is useful to understand the methods for studying places. However, a primary reason we are interested in high-crime places is that it might be possible to do something about crime by addressing these places. We are convinced that focusing on places can substantially reduce crime and disorder. Our conviction is not a matter of faith, but is based on over twenty-five years of accumulating evidence.
This chapter summarizes the research evidence examining whether focusing on crime places reduces crime. We first discuss a broad range of place-based prevention strategies examined by Eck and Guerrette (2012). This review provides strong evidence for a place-based approach to crime prevention. We then turn to a specific form of place-based crime prevention – hot spots policing (Sherman and Weisburd 1995). Again, we have a strong body of evidence supporting a place-based approach. Having reviewed hot spots policing, we turn to the importance of place managers and third parties in controlling problem places. We then examine an extension of the third-party approach to argue that a place-based approach to crime may free crime control policy from the police monopoly. Then we describe how a place-based approach to crime could be incorporated in community corrections to improve probation and parole outcomes. Finally, we review the larger body of research on the potential threat of crime displacement, and its opposite, the diffusion of crime control benefits. Consistently, the evidence described in this chapter clearly shows the substantial utility of a place-based approach for reducing crime.
SITUATIONAL CRIME PREVENTION AT PLACES
In Chapter 3 we argued for the importance of social disorganization theories for understanding crime places. This is an area where basic research suggests promise (e.g., see Weisburd et al. 2012; Weisburd et al. 2014), but where there is little evidence of effectiveness of specific practices. Such evidence is beginning to be developed, but we can say little at this juncture. In contrast, the evidence regarding opportunity reduction and crime has grown systematically over the last few decades.
Take a moment to imagine a crime occurring – perhaps a street robbery or a bag snatch. When you do this, it is difficult not to visualize the crime occurring in a particular setting or place. So, you might imagine a dark street corner with dim street lighting or seating in the outside area of a public bar. It seems intuitively sensible to analyze and understand crime at this unit of analysis – in other words, to investigate how criminals behave and crime concentrates at small microplaces. However, engaging in such microlevel analysis has tended to be a more recent criminological undertaking, and there are still many fruitful avenues to explore in terms of advancing both our knowledge and the sophistication of the methods that we use in this research area.
In this chapter, we raise and endeavor to answer a number of questions concerning the appropriate scale of analysis of criminological enquiry. To do this, we will start by defining what we mean by place and how this differs from other geographic concepts. Next, we highlight what has become the key catalyst for the criminology of place – the tremendous concentration of crime at microgeographic units of analysis. The strong and consistent concentration of crime at addresses, street segments, and other microgeographic units across cities is key to understanding why it is important to study the criminology of place and why it has such strong policy implications. We then turn to some additional statistical benefits of studying crime at microgeographic units that have to do with what is often termed “spatial interaction effects.” Finally, we examine problems that crime and place researchers will need to consider, and recommend some future directions for research exploring crime concentration at places.
PLACE AND SPACE
Geographic concepts are sometimes used in criminological research without a clear understanding of their meaning. Place and space are two such concepts. The subtle difference between them is important to keep in mind, as they can be a guide to establishing a carefully constructed study and influence the interpretation of findings. Furthermore, as will become apparent later in this chapter, a confusion of these concepts can mislead the reader in the interpretation of an argument. For example, it is important to keep in mind that place does not necessarily mean small units of analysis, nor does space necessarily refer to large areas.
Over the last two decades, there has been increased interest in the distribution of crime and other antisocial behavior at lower levels of geography. The focus on micro geography and its contribution to the understanding and prevention of crime has been called the 'criminology of place'. It pushes scholars to examine small geographic areas within cities, often as small as addresses or street segments, for their contribution to crime. Here, the authors describe what is known about crime and place, providing the most up-to-date and comprehensive review available. Place Matters shows that the study of criminology of place should be a central focus of criminology in the twenty-first century. It creates a tremendous opportunity for advancing our understanding of crime, and for addressing it. The book brings together eighteen top scholars in criminology and place to provide comprehensive research expanding across different themes.
This chapter explores the importance of place in theory and research in both mainstream criminology and other disciplines. As we noted in earlier chapters, traditional criminology has focused primarily on understanding why people commit crime. This focus on criminality has generally inhibited study of microgeographies and their role in producing crime. However, more recently there has been a trend toward integrating microgeographic places into traditional theorizing about criminality. In the first part of the chapter we discuss this trend, focusing on some recent innovations in understanding criminality that have incorporated place-based perspectives. In the second part of the chapter we focus on how other disciplines have influenced thinking in this area, focusing in particular on contributions in psychology, economics, and public health. Finally, we explore how trends in other disciplines might influence future directions of study in the criminology of place.
THE GROWING ROLE OF MICROGEOGRAPHIC PLACES IN TRADITIONAL THEORIZING OF CRIMINALITY
As we noted in Chapter 1, places, at least at a macro level, played a key part in the development of criminology in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But despite the role of place in crime in empirical study in Europe and theoretical development in the Chicago School through social disorganization theory, microgeographic places were mostly ignored. This was not because early criminologists failed to recognize the role of place in crime. Crime occurs in specific environments, and this was apparent to observers of the crime problem. Nonetheless, as we noted in Chapter 1, early criminologists did not see “crime places” – small discrete areas within communities – as a relevant focus of criminological study. This was the case, in part, because crime opportunities provided by places were assumed to be so numerous as to make concentration on specific places of little utility for theory or policy. What is the point of focusing theory or research on the opportunities offered by specific places if such opportunities can be found throughout the urban context?
Moreover, criminologists did not see the utility in focusing in on situational opportunities when criminal motivation was the key to understanding crime rates. Criminologists traditionally assumed that situational factors played a relatively minor role in explaining crime as compared with the “driving force of criminal dispositions” (Clarke and Felson 1993, 4; Trasler 1993).
In the previous chapter, we showed that crime is concentrated at very small geographic units, substantially smaller than neighborhoods, and that these concentrations, on average, are relatively stable. This is true whether examining high- or low-crime neighborhoods. Although high-crime places do cluster, they seldom form a homogeneous block of high-crime places. Rather, interspersed within concentrations of high-crime places are many low- and modest-crime places.
Why is crime concentrated in a relatively small number of places? Standard criminology has not asked this question, largely because standard criminology focuses on criminality and implicitly assumes that the density of offenders explains crime density. Recognition that place characteristics matter is the starting point for this chapter. We look at two perspectives on crime place characteristics. We use the term “perspective” because each type of explanation is comprised of multiple theories linked by a common orientation. The first perspective arises from opportunity theories of crime. The second perspective arises from social disorganization theories of crime.
We begin by contrasting two ways of thinking about how a place becomes a crime hot spot and suggest that the process by which high-crime places evolve must involve place characteristics. In the next sections, we examine opportunity and social disorganization explanations. In the final section of the chapter, we examine possible ways researchers might link these two perspectives.
PROCESSES THAT CREATE CRIME PLACES
Before we look for explanations of why places become hot spots of crime it is important to consider two processes that might lead to such an outcome. Criminologists have generally proposed two generic models to account for the processes that lead to variation in place susceptibility to crime. One model suggests that places may start with reasonably similar risks of an initial criminal attack, but once attacked the risk of a subsequent attack on the place rises. Over time, places diverge in their crime risk, and consequently in their crime counts. This temporal contagion model is also known as a boost model (see Chapter 2) or a state-dependence model. It puts the emphasis on offenders’ willingness to return to a previously successful crime site (Johnson et al. 2007; Townsley et al. 2000). It suggests that irrespective of initial crime risk the occurrence of a crime will lead to changes in risk of crime at a place.
We began this book by noting that criminologists have largely ignored the involvement of microgeographic places in crime. Mainstream criminologists have focused on “who done it?” and not “where done it?” (Sherman 1995). At least for the last century the key inquiries of crime and the key prevention approaches have looked to doing something about criminal motivation (Sutherland 1947; Reiss 1981). Why people commit crime has been the main focus of criminology (Brantingham and Brantingham 1990; Weisburd 2002), and catching and processing offenders has been the main focus of crime prevention (Weisburd 2008). In contrast, the criminology of place (Sherman et al. 1989; Weisburd et al. 2012), which began to develop in the 1980s and 1990s (Brantingham and Brantingham 1981; 1984; Eck 1994; Eck and Weisburd 1995; Roncek and Bell 1981; Weisburd and Green 1995a), provides an alternative vision of how we can understand crime and the crime problem. Like the emergence of community criminology during the same period (Bursik 1988; Morenoff et al. 2001; Sampson 2008; Sampson et al. 1997) the criminology of place has offered a new set of mechanisms for crime study and a new set of methods for doing something about the crime problem.
Theory has been a driving force in criminological study, and as we note below, we think that more not less attention to theory is important for advancing the criminology of place. However, theories are about something and try to explain something. When we change the unit of analysis, we are changing the target for theory. The criminology of place proposes a new target. It focuses on places, rather than people. Its goal is to explain the criminal involvement of microgeographic units rather than trying to explain the criminal involvement of people. This does not mean we ignore the role of individuals in the crime problem. But it does mean that we begin our inquiries with the place and see the individuals as only one part of the crime equation at places.
We have illustrated in the preceding chapters the extent to which theory, method, and empirical evidence about crime places have been developing over the last three decades. In this concluding chapter, we want to draw from our review of what is known some key themes that we think our work has identified, and key questions that still need to be answered.