Skip to main content

The local ecological knowledge of butterfly diversity is derived from utilitarian purposes in Southwest China’s biodiversity hotspot

Abstract

Local ecological knowledge (LEK) is considered useful for biodiversity monitoring and conservation management. However, LEK may provide limited information if the LEK providers only recognize species that are of their interest. We investigated the utility of LEK provided by community members of the Dai people, one of the major ethnic groups in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China’s biodiversity hotspot. Local villagers of different age and gender were asked to answer a questionnaire to assess the demographic variation in the awareness and perception of butterfly diversity and conservation. A subset of questionnaire respondents provided LEK regarding the current state of local butterfly species. We investigated the taxonomic and morphological characteristics of butterflies identified by the LEK providers. Despite their traditional connections with nature, the local people showed limited awareness and perception of butterfly diversity and conservation. The LEK was provided primarily by older adults who had experience in collecting butterflies for commercial purposes. Taxonomy and morphological characteristics of the butterfly species recognized by the LEK providers clearly reflected their current utilitarian purposes (selling butterflies as souvenirs to tourists). Despite some limitations, the LEK—the status of local butterfly species—may be valuable for areas, such as Xishuangbanna, where long-term monitoring and conservation management are not fully developed.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

Data availability

Data are provided as private-for-peer review via the following link: [https://datadryad.org/stash/share/V3nPphoACRCRymuAlBXmYUlHUzFwy4aY2-HHMYQcxRM]

References

  • Agresti A (2013) Categorical Data Analysis, 3rd edn. Wiley, New Jersey

    Google Scholar 

  • Ahrends A, Hollingsworth PM, Ziegler AD, Fox JM, Chen HF, Su YF, Xu JC (2015) Current trends of rubber plantation expansion may threaten biodiversity and livelihoods. Glob Environ Change 34:48–58

    Google Scholar 

  • Ansari F, Jeong Y, Putri IA, Kim SI (2019) Sociopsychological aspects of butterfly souvenir purchasing behavior at Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park in Indonesia. Sustainability 11:1789

    Google Scholar 

  • Bélisle AC, Asselin H, LeBlanc P, Gauthier S (2018) Local knowledge in ecological modeling. Ecol Soc 23:art14

    Google Scholar 

  • Bhattacharyya M, Acharya SK, Chakraborty SK (2017) Pollinators unknown: People’s perception of native bees in an agrarian district of west Bengal, India, and its implication in conservation. Trop Conserv Sci 10:1–14

    Google Scholar 

  • Boppré M, Vane-Wright RI (2012) The butterfly house industry: conservation risks and education opportunities. Conserv Soc 10:285–303

    Google Scholar 

  • Byrne BM (2013) Structural Equation Modelling with AMOS: Basic Concepts, Applications, and Programming. Routledge, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Chapin FS III, Zavaleta ES, Eviner VT et al (2000) Consequences of changing biodiversity. Nature 405:234–242

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Chen MY (2000) Butterfly breeding in Xishuangbanna a new measure for tropical rainforest conservation. Nat (大自然) 4:18–19

    Google Scholar 

  • Chou I (1994) Monographia Rhopalocerorum Sinisium. Henan Science & Technology Publishing House, Zhengzhou

    Google Scholar 

  • Christensen RHB (2019) ordinal: Regression Models for Ordinal Data. R package version 2019.12-10

  • Clark JA, May RM (2002) Taxonomic bias in conservation research. Science 297:191–193

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Cornelisse TM, Sagasta J (2018) The effect of conservation knowledge on attitudes and stated behaviors toward arthropods of urban and suburban elementary school students. Anthrozoös 31:283–296

    Google Scholar 

  • Davis A, Ruddle K (2010) Constructing confidence: Rational skepticism and systematic enquiry in local ecological knowledge research. Ecol Appl 20:880–894

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Fornell C, Larcker DF (1981) Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. J Mark Res 18:39–50

    Google Scholar 

  • Franzen A, Meyer R (2010) Environmental attitudes in cross-national perspective: A multilevel analysis of the ISSP 1993 and 2000. Eur Sociol Rev 26:219–234

    Google Scholar 

  • Gandiwa E, Zisadza-Gandiwa P, Muboko N, Libombo E, Mashapa C, Gwazani R (2014) Local people’s knowledge and perceptions of wildlife conservation in southeastern Zimbabwe. J Environ Prot 5:475–481

    Google Scholar 

  • Hammond J, Yi ZF, McLellan T, Zhao JW (2015) Situational Analysis Report: Xishuangbanna Autonomous Dai Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China. ICRAF Working Paper 194. World Agroforestry Centre East and Central Asia, Kunming

  • Hecker S, Haklay M, Bowser A, Makuch Z, Vogel J, Bonn A (eds) (2018) Citizen Science: Innovation in Open Science, Society and Policy. UCL Press, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Hervé M (2020) RVAideMemoire: Testing and Plotting Procedures for Biostatistics. R package version 0.9-81-2

  • Hook TV (1997) Insect coloration and implications for conservation. Fla Entomol 80:193–210

    Google Scholar 

  • Hu SF, Chen J (2016) Place-based inter-generational communication on local climate improves adolescents’ perceptions and willingness to mitigate climate change. Clim Change 138:425–438

    Google Scholar 

  • Joa B, Winkel G, Primmer E (2018) The unknown known – A review of local ecological knowledge in relation to forest biodiversity conservation. Land Use Policy 79:520–530

    Google Scholar 

  • Li ZN, Run YM (2001) Report of cultivating butterfly in Baka, Xishuangbanna. Acta Bot Yunnanica 23:157–163

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Liu HM, Xu ZF, Duan QW, Xu YK (2001) An approach to conserve plant diversity through the Dai’s traditional beliefs in Xishuangbanna south Yunnan. Guangxi Plant Research 21:173–176

    Google Scholar 

  • Liu WJ, Hu HB, Ma YX, Li HM (2006) Environmental and socioeconomic impacts of increasing rubber plantations in Menglun Township, Southwest China. Mt Res Dev 26:245–253

    Google Scholar 

  • Lopez-Collado J, Cruz-Salas LL, García-Albarado JC, Platas-Rosado DE, Calyecac-Cortero HG (2016) Size doesn’t matter but color does: Preference of neotropical butterfly species to make souvenirs. J Entomol Zool Stud 4:159–165

    Google Scholar 

  • Ma FZ, Xu HG, Chen MM, Tong WJ, Wang CB, Cai L (2018) Progress in Construction of China Butterfly Diversity Observation Network (China BON-Butterflies). J Ecol Rural Environ 34:27–36

    Google Scholar 

  • National Bureau of Statistics of China (2021) Communiqué of the Seventh National Population Census (No. 3). Office of the Leading Group of the State Council for the Seventh National Population Census, Beijing

    Google Scholar 

  • New TR (1994) Butterfly ranching: sustainable use of insects and sustainable benefit to habitats. Oryx 28:169–172

    Google Scholar 

  • New TR (1997) Butterfly Conservation, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  • Panjaitan R, Drescher J, Buchori D, Peggie D, Harahap IS, Scheu S, Hidayat P (2020) Diversity of butterflies (Lepidoptera) across rainforest transformation systems in Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia. Biodiversitas J Biol Divers 21:5119–5127

    Google Scholar 

  • Penn J, Penn H, Hu W (2018) Public knowledge of Monarchs and support for butterfly conservation. Sustainability 10:807

    Google Scholar 

  • Putri IA (2016) Handicraft of butterflies and moths (Insecta: Lepidoptera) in Bantimurung Nature Recreation Park and its implications on conservation. Biodiversitas J Biol Divers 17:823–831

    Google Scholar 

  • R Core Team (2020) R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna

    Google Scholar 

  • Rayamajhi S, Smith-Hall C, Helles F (2012) Empirical evidence of the economic importance of Central Himalayan forests to rural households. For Policy Econ 20:25–35

    Google Scholar 

  • Reyes-García V, Benyei P (2019) Indigenous knowledge for conservation. Nat Sustain 2:657–658

    Google Scholar 

  • Samways MJ (2007) Rescuing the extinction of experience. Biodivers Conserv 16:1995–1997

    Google Scholar 

  • Sandved K, Cassie B (2004) A World of Butterflies. Bulfinch, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Schlegel J, Breuer G, Rupf R (2015) Local insects as flagship species to promote nature conservation? A survey among primary school children on their attitudes toward invertebrates. Anthrozoös 28:229–245

    Google Scholar 

  • Scholtz CH, Davis ALV, Kryger U (2009) Evolutionary Biology and Conservation of Dung Beetles. Pensoft, Sofia

    Google Scholar 

  • Schowalter TD, Noriega JA, Tscharntke T (2018) Insect effects on ecosystem services—Introduction. Basic Appl Ecol 26:1–7

    Google Scholar 

  • Stork NE, McBroom J, Gely C, Hamilton AJ (2015) New approaches narrow global species estimates for beetles, insects, and terrestrial arthropods. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112:7519–7523

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Vagias WM (2006) Likert-Type Scale Response Anchors. Clemson International Institute for Tourism & Research Development, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. Clemson University, South Carolina

    Google Scholar 

  • Wagner DL, Grames EM, Forister ML, Berenbaum MR, Stopak D(2021) Insect decline in the Anthropocene: Death by a thousand cuts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118:e2023989118

  • Wang HF, Chiou SC (2019) Study on the sustainable development of human settlement space environment in traditional villages. Sustainability 11:4186

    Google Scholar 

  • Wang ZY, Huang Y, Luo X, Qin K, Merz R, Zhou S (2018) Habitat monitoring of an endangered Asian butterfly, Teinopalpus aureus (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae) and change in local residents’ conservation awareness. J Insect Conserv 22:721–729

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wang WL, Suman DO, Zhang HH, Xu ZB, Ma FZ, Hu SJ (2020) Butterfly conservation in China: from science to action. Insects 11:661

    CAS  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Wang Y, Naumann U, Wright S, Eddelbuettel D, Warton D(2022) mvabund: Statistical Methods for Analysing Multivariate Abundance Data. R package version 4.2.1

  • Warren-Thomas E, Nelson L, Juthong W, Bumrungsri S, Brattström O, Stroesser L, Chambon B, Penot É, Tongkaemkaew U, Edwards DP, Dolman PM (2019) Rubber agroforestry in Thailand provides some biodiversity benefits without reducing yields. J Appl Ecol 57:17–30

    Google Scholar 

  • Xiong Q(2017) 云南勐腊叫停捕捉野外萤火虫, “虫头” 年收入上百万. http://www.chinanews.com/sh/2017/08-04/8295882.shtml. Accessed on May 14, 2020

  • Yang W, Dietz T, Kramer DB, Chen XD, Liu JG (2013) Going beyond the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: an index system of human well-being. PLoS ONE 8:e64582

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Zhang HH, Wang WL, Yu Q, Xing DH, Xu ZB, Duan K, Zhu JQ, Zhang X, Li YP, Hu SJ (2020) Spatial distribution of pollinating butterflies in Yunnan ProvInce, Southwest China with resource conservation implications. Insects 11:525

    CAS  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • IUCN (2021) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version, 2021-3. https://www.iucnredlist.org. Accessed on February 13, 2021

Download references

Acknowledgements

We sincerely thank the following people: all of the local Dai people who joined our research; our Dai assistant, Yannuo, for his logistical and translation help; Guang-Yu Liu from the Department of Environment Education in XTBG for constructive suggestions for our manuscript; and Yuan-Yuan Quan for editorial assistance.

Funding

YR was supported by XTBG and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, AN by High-End Foreign Experts Program of the High-Level Talent Recruitment Plan of Yunnan Province, National Natural Science Foundation of China General Program (31770472), and Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB31000000), BDB was supported by the Chinese Academy of Sciences President’s International Fellowship Initiative (2021PB0085), and SH by National Natural Science Foundation of China Regional Program (41761011).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Akihiro Nakamura.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Additional information

Communicated by Peter Bridgewater.

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

This article belongs to the Topical Collection: Biodiversity exploitation and use.

Supplementary Information

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 3743.4 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Yang, RM., Hu, SJ., Blanchard, B.D. et al. The local ecological knowledge of butterfly diversity is derived from utilitarian purposes in Southwest China’s biodiversity hotspot. Biodivers Conserv 31, 1927–1943 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-022-02435-4

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-022-02435-4

Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Lepidoptera
  • Menglun
  • Dai people
  • Minority nationalities
  • Yunnan