Saturday, 30 May 2015

Content of the Understanding Predation review and the use of Scientific and Local Knowledge

The scientific reviewing for the project is now in full swing so we want to show everyone the draft structure for the review, and explain the review methods. We know that people have strong and very different views about predation, so we want to be sure there are no misunderstandings about what the project hopes to deliver.

The review will bring together natural science and local knowledge of recent wild bird population changes and their drivers in Scotland. It will focus on the relative role of avian and mammalian predation, within the wider range of population drivers, on ground-nesting waders and gamebirds in upland and lowland systems, and the evidence for effectiveness of possible management measures to maintain healthy populations of both predators and wild bird prey. It will also summarise wider information on recent population changes of Scottish wild bird and predator populations, and drivers of those population changes, in an accessible form.

All evidence considered by the project will be objectively and critically reviewed to a high standard, using systematic and transparent collation and reviewing approaches. The criteria used to filter evidence for inclusion will be explained clearly and a comprehensive annotated bibliography will accompany the review.
  • Our core aim is to explore the scientific literature together with people's understanding of these issues, to identify and explore similarities and differences in understanding between groups of stakeholders, as well as between stakeholders and the conclusions from scientific reviewing. 
  • We will scrutinize carefully the factual evidence, both in the scientific literature and the local knowledge provided by stakeholders, and we will not take any statement as fact that is not supported by adequate evidence. This will allow us to distinguish carefully between fact-based and value-based knowledge.
  • We will scrutinise the degree to which different stakeholders engage with science, their attitudes towards science, how they decide whether or not to prioritise science over local knowledge, and the reasons for their differing levels of engagement with scientific findings.
  • Ultimately, we need local knowledge to help guide future research because we need peer- reviewed future research that asks the right questions at the right scale and is co-produced with stakeholders. This research is ultimately what will guide future policy. 
  • We are not seeking to use local knowledge to inform policy itself.
The conclusions drawn with regard to existing knowledge of population change, drivers of change, and effectiveness of potential management options will be based on critical appraisal of the detailed evidence provided. Where stakeholders submitting local knowledge are able to point us to evidence for any statements (not necessarily published, but able to be demonstrated to all readers of the report), this will be appraised fully for the review.

Please have a look at the draft report structure to see how local knowledge will inform each part of the work and please post us questions if you would like any further clarification.

The Understanding Predation Research Group

No comments:

Post a Comment