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Households with pets are considered a high-risk population, presenting many challenges to response and recovery efforts. Research indicates that households with pets are less likely to evacuate during disasters, and pets left behind pose a health risk to relief workers and the general public. This pilot study explores a brief education intervention targeting households with pets as a method of increasing general household preparedness, with the purpose of facilitating evacuation and protective behaviors in this population.
A convenience sample of households with pets was recruited to participate in a one-group pre- and post-survey design evaluating the impact of a brief education intervention on increasing pet-specific and general household preparedness levels.
Results suggest that the sample population was below national estimates in basic household preparedness before the intervention. Post-survey results indicate an increase in completion of some preparedness tasks after the intervention. There was a statistically significant increase in overall pet preparedness at the P=0.10 level; however, that difference did not translate into general household preparedness.
The findings from this study are consistent with those from previous literature suggesting that persons often place the needs of their pets above their own; however, the use of a brief education intervention may be successful in increasing pet-specific preparedness levels, which may be useful in successful evacuation and pet well-being. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:441–445)
Human and nonhuman primates share a relatively recent history of interaction in the New World in comparison with the Old World. The earliest known platyrrhine fossils only date back to the late Oligocene in Bolivia (e.g. Rosenberger et al., 1991; Takai et al., 2000). The earliest definitive evidence of human beings in South America does not occur until approximately 30 million years later around 12 500 years ago in Chile (Dillehay, 1989, 1997). Current evidence cannot reliably place humans in Amazonia earlier than 11 000 years ago (Roosevelt et al., 1991, 1996). Nevertheless, the roughly 10 000 years of human–nonhuman primate sympatry provides a long history of interaction among numerous Neotropical primate species and diverse human cultures.
The term “ethnoprimatology,” coined by Sponsel (1997), is a newly emerging subdiscipline of anthropology that bridges primatology and cultural anthropology. Primatologists tend to focus their research on understanding the behavior and ecology of a particular primate species or subspecies. Perhaps the most studied aspect of human–nonhuman interactions by primatologists has involved human development and deforestation of primate habitats over the last 500 years. With so many of the world's primate species endangered or threatened, such an approach is logical, meaningful, and most certainly critical for understanding the consequences of human behavior to the quite literal survival of many nonhuman primate species. It is likely that human influence of primate habitats extends even further back in time (e.g. pre-Columbian Mesoamerica; see Kirch, 2005).
Human ecology and primate ecology share a concern with the relationship of primates to the environment, yet they have been segregated into treatment of human primates in cultural anthropology and nonhuman primates in biological anthropology. Although observational techniques from primate ethology have been adapted for use in human ethnography, and primate studies have treated interspecific primate relations, neither has attempted to integrate such research concerns. Sponsel (1997) was the first to systematically address the problem in his call for the development of a field of inquiry called ‘ethnoprimatology’, which would explore the interface of human ecology and primate ecology through comparative ecology, predation ecology, symbiotic ecology, cultural ecology, ethnoecology and conservation ecology.
The Guajá Indians provided an ideal opportunity to apply ethnoprimatology, as local primates are central to the Guajá way of life in material, social, and ideological aspects of their culture. The Guajá are a Tupi–Guarani-speaking group located in the high terra firme forest of western Maranhão, Brazil, on the eastern border of Amazonia proper. Although traditionally living in small foraging bands of five to fifteen people, most have been incorporated to varying degrees into one of three villages established after 1973 by the FUNAI (the Brazilian Indian agency) and are learning to cultivate domesticated plants (Balée, 1988; Gomes, 1996).
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