Locating Silvery Gibbon Conservation: A Study on Ape Conservation In and Out Of Place in West Java, Indonesia

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dc.contributor.advisor Coombes, B en
dc.contributor.advisor Malone, N en
dc.contributor.author Rutledge, MC en
dc.date.accessioned 2018-04-15T23:37:41Z en
dc.date.issued 2018 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/37065 en
dc.description.abstract The Javan gibbon, Hylobates moloch, is an endangered ape species endemic to the island of Java, Indonesia. Java is home to more than 141 million people, whereas there are thought to be only a few thousand gibbons left. The contrast between the gibbons’ specialised ecological adaptations and human population density has framed Javan gibbon conservation as contingent upon protecting the last contiguous forest fragments from human encroachment or forest conversion. Multilateral agreements propose strategies that combine ex situ gibbon management with in situ gibbon protection to meet the perceived needs of gibbon conservation. In situ conservation is broadly associated with historical notions of wild animals, while ex situ conservation broadly connotes captivity and human dependency. This strategy combination is increasing in application, yet few studies qualitatively address the processes and outcomes. This thesis examines how distinctions between in situ and ex situ characteristics influence silvery gibbon conservation processes that integrate both approaches in West Java, Indonesia. I argue that the differentiation in semiotic qualifications of the gibbons affects the material conservation applications. Acknowledging the complexity of West Javan environmental history and socio-political contests over forests and resource access, I applied a political ecology approach to understanding the situated contexts in which silvery gibbon conservation is embedded. Political ecology as a discipline asserts an agenda of understanding how socio-political relationships shape environmental conditions and highlights how power imbalances allow for dominant discursive explanations to overshadow alternative narratives. A political ecology analysis of in situ and ex situ silvery gibbons asks how the two are treated differently, and with what range of outcomes. I applied case study methodology to my interviews, observations, and to document research in order to investigate how integrated in situ and ex situ strategies influence single species conservation processes in a place-based context. Silvery gibbons were selected for the case study as they are characterised as a flagship, charismatic megafauna species representing West Javan primate conservation. Furthermore, The Aspinall Foundation had just implemented a programme to release ex situ gibbons into in situ habitats. Silvery gibbons offered a timely opportunity to explore material and semiotic framings of in situ gibbons as distinguished from ex situ gibbons, in discourse, narratives, and practices, and to record and analyse their outcomes. What I found in the work on silvery gibbon conservation by The Aspinall Foundation, TAF, is that the in situ/ex situ approach corresponds with protected areas management that align with fortress conservation. There are many complex factors shaping conservation in West Java, and protected areas are increasingly isolated fragments of historical forest ecosystems. Yet the conceptual boundary-making required to differentiate between an in situ gibbon and an ex situ gibbon, and continual management required to uphold the distinction, is akin to the nature/culture binaries inherent within fortress conservation. My research shows that privileging in situ as the desired status for a gibbon reinforces notions of wilderness. The discourse of wild nature persists despite the growing recognition of the Anthropocene. Where the nature/culture dualism was challenged, questions of nonhuman agency arose, pointing to limitations of the in situ/ex situ approach and of political ecology approaches to understanding conservation interventions. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265067312802091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title Locating Silvery Gibbon Conservation: A Study on Ape Conservation In and Out Of Place in West Java, Indonesia en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Environmental Management en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/OpenAccess en
pubs.elements-id 736167 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2018-04-16 en

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