Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Saving a species threatened by trade: a network study of Bali starling Leucopsar rothschildi conservation

  • Paul R. Jepson (a1)

Saving species from extinction is a central tenet of conservation, yet success in this endeavour remains unpredictable and elusive, especially where wildlife trade is involved. Influential conservation policy actors operating internationally advocate strong regulatory and enforcement approaches to governance of wildlife trade. However, a broad body of evidence suggests that in some situations positive incentives for sustainable use may achieve better conservation outcomes. This analysis of efforts over 3 decades to avoid the extinction of the Bali starling Leucopsar rothschildi draws on network perspectives from environmental governance and geography, and shows how an international project adopting traditional enforcement approaches generated a ‘prestige of ownership’ dynamic among local elites. This placed trade in Bali starlings above the enforcement competencies of the relevant government authority, leading to the demise of the species. Subsequently, two separate Indonesian initiatives created spaces of regulatory flexibility and embraced traits of the starling's phenotype to construct identities for the species suited to the local context. This enrolled a wider range of stakeholders in the conservation of the species, including bird-keeping elites, and led to significant successes in restoring captive and free-flying populations. This case study highlights the potential of conservation networks that involve non-establishment personnel and, while recognizing the appeal of generic enforcement approaches to politicians, funders and the urban public, it adds to an increasing body of evidence that suggests top-down prescriptive conservation frameworks may undermine the ability of situated conservationists to develop interventions appropriate to their political and cultural realities.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

E.L. Bennett , E. Blencowe , K. Brandon , D. Brown , R.W. Burn , G. Cowlishaw (2007) Hunting for consensus: reconciling bushmeat harvest, conservation, and development policy in West and Central Africa. Conservation Biology, 21, 884887.

M. Betsill & H. Bulkeley (2007) Looking back and thinking ahead: a decade of cities and climate change research. Local Environment, 12, 447456.

S.M. Brook , N. Dudley , S.P. Mahood , G. Polet , A.C. Williams , J.W. Duckworth (2014) Lessons learned from the loss of a flagship: the extinction of the Javan rhinoceros Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus from Vietnam. Biological Conservation, 174, 2129.

G. Caughley (1994) Directions in conservation biology. Journal of Animal Ecology, 63, 215244.

D.W. Challender & D.C. MacMillan (2014) Poaching is more than an enforcement problem. Conservation Letters, 7, 46.

M.S. Collins , T.B. Smith , R.E. Seibels & A. Putra (1998) Approaches to the reintroduction of the Bali mynah. Zoo Biology, 17, 267275.

W.G. Conway (1980) Where we go from here. International Zoo Yearbook, 20, 184189.

R. Cooney & P. Jepson (2006) The international wild bird trade: what's wrong with blanket bans? Oryx, 40, 1823.

R. Duffy (2006) Non-governmental organisations and governance states: the impact of transnational environmental management networks in Madagascar. Environmental Politics, 15, 731749.

J.M. Earnhardt , S.D. Thompson & L.J. Faust (2009) Extinction risk assessment for the species survival plan (SSP) population of the Bali mynah (Leucopsar rothschildi). Zoo Biology, 28, 230252.

M.T. Gibbs (2008) Network governance in fisheries. Marine Policy, 32, 113119.

P. Jepson , M. Barua & K. Buckingham (2011a) What is a conservation actor? Conservation & Society, 9, 229235.

R.C. Lacy (1993) VORTEX: a computer simulation model for population viability analysis. Wildlife Research, 20, 4565.

R.J. Ladle & P. Jepson (2008) Toward a biocultural theory of avoided extinction. Conservation Letters, 1, 111118.

T.E. Lovejoy (1980) Tomorrow's ark: by invitation only. International Zoo Yearbook, 20, 181183.

B.A. Minteer (2013) Conservation, animal rights, and human welfare. A pragmatic view of the ‘bushmeat crisis’. In Ignoring Nature No More. The Case for Compassionate Conservation (ed. M. Bekoff ), pp. 7794. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

R.A.W. Rhodes (2007) Understanding governance: ten years on. Organization Studies, 28, 12431264.

E.W. Sanderson , K.H. Redford , C.L.B. Chetkiewicz , R.A. Medellin , A.R. Rabinowitz , J.G. Robinson , & A.B. Taber (2002) Planning to save a species: the jaguar as a model. Conservation Biology, 16, 5872.

M.L. Shaffer (1981) Minimum population sizes for species conservation. BioScience, 31, 131134.

E. Sørensen & J. Torfing (eds) (2007) Theories of Democratic Network Governance. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK.

V. van Balen & V.H. Gepak (1994) The captive breeding and conservation programme of the Bali starling (Leucopsar rothschildi). In Creative Conservation: Interactive Management of Wild and Captive Animals (eds P.J.S. Olney , G.M. Mace & A.T.C. Feistner ), pp. 420430. Chapman & Hall, London, UK.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 14
Total number of PDF views: 183 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 307 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 29th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.