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Baseline data on local status of threatened species are often limited, and alternative information sources such as local ecological knowledge (LEK) have potential to provide conservation insights but require critical evaluation. We assess the usefulness of LEK to generate conservation evidence for the Hainan Peacock-pheasant Polyplectron katsumatae, a poorly known threatened island galliform. Interview surveys in rural communities across eight forested landscapes on Hainan provided a new dataset of sightings of Peacock-pheasants and other galliforms. Fewer respondents had seen Peacock-pheasants compared to other species across most landscapes, although Peacock-pheasant sightings showed significant across-landscape variation, with substantially more total and recent sightings from Yinggeling National Nature Reserve. However, validation of interview data with camera trapping data from Houmiling Provincial Nature Reserve, a landscape with few reported sightings, suggests a more optimistic possible status for Peacock-pheasants, which were detected as frequently as Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus and Silver Pheasant Lophura nycthemera during systematic camera trap placement. Hainan Peacock-pheasant sighting rates might be influenced by various factors (e.g. restricted local access to forests), with absolute abundance possibly greater than expected from limited sightings. Conversely, relative across-landscape abundance patterns from LEK are likely to be valid, as similar detection biases exist across surveyed landscapes.
Many protected areas conduct awareness-raising activities to increase local knowledge and support conservation programmes, but the effectiveness of such activities is rarely assessed. Public awareness-raising has been carried out since the early 2000s around Bawangling National Nature Reserve, Hainan, China, to improve conservation knowledge about the Critically Endangered Hainan gibbon Nomascus hainanus, one of the rarest mammals. We conducted 207 interviews in 25 villages around Bawangling National Nature Reserve to evaluate the outcome of previous conservation education, through comparison of variation in local respondent knowledge and attitudes, and specific enquiries about sources of knowledge acquisition. Likelihood of accurate responses to most of our questions regarding the species was positively correlated with local exposure to gibbon-themed billboards and murals, and respondents exhibited greater knowledge about several key conservation indices for gibbons compared to their knowledge about sympatrically occurring rhesus macaques Macaca mulatta. Many respondents specifically reported they knew about local existence, population size, conservation status, and threats to gibbons from past awareness-raising activities, with village education sessions and billboards widely identified as key sources of information. However, other known awareness-raising approaches have had little detectable effect on shaping local conservation awareness. Although educational activities have improved awareness about gibbons and their conservation requirements in relative terms, overall levels of knowledge remain low in many important areas and ongoing improvement of local awareness is still needed, in particular around poorly-understood topics such as gibbon conservation status, rarity and threats, and for socio-demographic groups possessing less conservation knowledge.
To examine the association between adherence to the Dutch Guidelines for a Healthy Diet created by the Dutch Health Council in 2006 and overall and smoking-related cancer incidence.
Prospective cohort study.
Adherence to the guidelines, which includes one recommendation on physical activity and nine on diet, was measured using an adapted version of the Dutch Healthy Diet (DHD) index. The score ranged from 0 to 90 with a higher score indicating greater adherence to the guidelines. We estimated the hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % confidence intervals for the association between the DHD index (in tertiles and per 20-point increment) at baseline and cancer incidence at follow-up.
We studied 35 608 men and women aged 20–70 years recruited into the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition–Netherlands (EPIC-NL) study during 1993–1997.
After an average follow-up of 12·7 years, 3027 cancer cases were documented. We found no significant association between the DHD index (tertile 3 v. tertile 1) and overall (HR = 0·97; 95 % CI 0·88, 1·07) and smoking-related cancer incidence (HR = 0·89; 95 % CI 0·76, 1·06) after adjustment for relevant confounders. Excluding the components physical activity or alcohol from the score did not change the results. None of the individual components of the DHD index was significantly associated with cancer incidence.
In the present study, participants with a high adherence to the Dutch Guidelines for a Healthy Diet were not at lower risk of overall or smoking-related cancer. This does not exclude that other components not included in the DHD index may be associated with overall cancer risk.
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