Despite the mounting threats that tropical ecosystems face, conservation in the tropics remains severely under‐researched relative to temperate systems. Efforts to address this knowledge gap have so far largely failed to analyze the relationship between an author’s choice of study site and that author’s country of origin. We examined factors that motivate both foreign and domestic scientists to conduct research in tropical countries, based on a sample of nearly 3000 tropical conservation research articles. Many barriers that have historically deterred foreign research effort appear to have been overcome, although US scientists still respond negatively to safety concerns and distance. The productivity of local scientists is affected by corruption and lack of institutional support. Both foreign and in‐country scientists are increasingly working in places with more listed threatened species, but many regions still lack adequate conservation research. Although foreign scientists could be attracted to less‐studied areas through targeted grants, the long‐term solution must be to train and employ more local scientists.
Author(s): Ana L. Reboredo Segovia, Donato Romano, Paul R. Armsworth
Organization(s): Boston University, University of Florence, University of Tennessee
Source: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment