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Human behavioral ecology (HBE) applies the principles of evolutionary theory and optimisation to the study of human behavioural and cultural diversity. Among other things, HBE attempts to explain variation in behaviour as adaptive solutions to the competing life-history demands of growth, development, reproduction, parental care, and mate acquisition. This book is a comprehensive introduction to the theoretical orientation and specific findings of HBE. It consolidates the insights of evolution and human behaviour into a single volume that reflects the current state and future of the field. It brings together leading scholars from across the evolutionary social sciences to provide a comprehensive and thought-provoking review of the state of the topic. Throughout, the authors explain the latest developments in theory and highlight critical debates in the literature, while also engaging readers with ethnographic insights and field-based studies that remain at the core of human behavioral ecology.
Although they are used throughout the Neotropics, the impact of dogs on the composition of wildlife harvests has received little systematic attention. In the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve of Nicaragua, indigenous hunters rely heavily on dogs to locate prey. Hunting harvest data over a year-long period in two indigenous Mayangna and Miskito communities indicate that the use of hunting dogs is significantly associated with the harvests of several terrestrial mammalian species. The use of dogs is also a significant predictor of the extent to which the species composition of harvests deviates from Neotropical averages. Although dogs appear to have little effect on the sex profiles of harvested game species, the use of dogs is significantly associated with hunting in agricultural landscapes. From a conservation perspective, the disadvantages of dogs include their indiscriminate pursuit of prey species, including species that hunters would not otherwise pursue. Advantages of dogs include their relative ineffectiveness in pursuits of species that are particularly vulnerable to overhunting, such as primates and white-lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari). Hunting dogs may be an economical option for many Neotropical societies, and their role in wildlife management plans merits increased attention from conservationists.
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