Comment | Published:

Restore the lost ecological functions of people

Recent calls for the reintroduction of functionally important animal species are motivated by a desire to restore ecological function, but overlook the ecological roles performed by humans. Here, we consider humans in ecological context, exploring our roles in the maintenance and restoration of ecosystem function.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

References

  1. 1.

    Bliege Bird, R., Bird, D. W., Codding, B. F., Parker, C. H. & Jones, J. H. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 105, 14796–14801 (2008).

  2. 2.

    Dunne, J. A. et al. Sci. Rep. 6, 21179 (2016).

  3. 3.

    Norton, B. G. Ethics Environ. 5, 23–45 (2000).

  4. 4.

    Auffret, A. G. Appl. Veg. Sci. 14, 291–303 (2011).

  5. 5.

    Auffret, A. G. & Cousins, S. A. O. PLoS ONE 8, e62763 (2013).

  6. 6.

    Kay, C. E. Hum. Nat. 5, 359–398 (1994).

  7. 7.

    Bird, M. I. et al. J. Quat. Sci. 28, 439–452 (2013).

  8. 8.

    Austin, K. Rural Sociol. 75, 270–299 (2010).

  9. 9.

    Zimbres, B., Peres, C. A. & Machado, R. B. Biol. Conserv. 206, 283–292 (2017).

  10. 10.

    Alagona, P. S., Sandlos, J. & Wiersma, Y. F. Environ. Philos. 9, 49–70 (2012).

  11. 11.

    Brockington, D. Fortress Conservation: The Preservation of the Mkomazi Game Reserve, Tanzania (Indiana Univ. Press, Bloomington, 2002).

  12. 12.

    Russell-Smith, J. et al. Front. Ecol. Environ. 11, e55–e63 (2013).

  13. 13.

    Taylor, P. Pintupi cat hunters to take skills across Australia. The Australian (26 October 2015).

  14. 14.

    Nepstad, D. et al. Conserv. Biol. 20, 65–73 (2006).

  15. 15.

    Juffe-Bignoli, D. et al. Protected Planet Report 2014 (UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge, 2014).

  16. 16.

    Cronon, W. Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature (WW Norton & Company, New York, 1996).

  17. 17.

    Bliege Bird, R. et al. Biol. Conserv. 219, 110–118 (2018).

  18. 18.

    Bliege Bird, R., Tayor, N., Codding, B. F. & Bird, D. W. Proc. R. Soc. B 280, 20132297 (2013).

  19. 19.

    Bond, W. J. & Keeley, J. E. Trends Ecol. Evol. 20, 387–394 (2005).

  20. 20.

    Gott, B. Archaeol. Ocean. 17, 59–67 (1982).

  21. 21.

    Anderson, M. K. J. Ethnobiol. 17, 149–169 (1997).

  22. 22.

    Clinchy, M. et al. Behav. Ecol. 27, 1826–1832 (2016).

  23. 23.

    Smith, J. A. et al. Proc. R. Soc. B 284, 20170433 (2017).

  24. 24.

    Zbyryt, A. et al. Behav. Ecol. 29, 19–30 (2018).

  25. 25.

    Suraci, J. P., Clinchy, M., Dill, L. M., Roberts, D. & Zanette, L. Y. Nat. Commun. 7, 10698 (2016).

  26. 26.

    Rangan, H. et al. PLoS ONE 10, e0119758 (2015).

  27. 27.

    Kondo, T. et al. Proc. R. Soc. B 279, 2652–2661 (2012).

Download references

Author information

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Correspondence to Rebecca Bliege Bird.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Further reading

Fig. 1
Fig. 2: Ecological functions provided by people of the Western Desert, Australia.