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Children's traditional ecological knowledge of wild food resources: a case study in a rural village in Northeast Thailand

DOI: 10.1186/1746-4269-3-33

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A case study approach was used in order to gain holistic in-depth insight into children's traditional ecological knowledge as well as patterns of how children acquire their knowledge regarding wild food resources. Techniques used during field data collection are free-listing conducted with 30 village children and the use of a sub-sample of children for more in-depth research. For the sub-sample part of the study, wild food items consisted of a selection of 20 wild food species consisting of 10 species of plants and 10 species of animals. Semi-structured interviews with photo identification, informal interviews and participatory observation were utilized, and both theoretical and practical knowledge scored. The sub-sample covers eight households with boys and girls aged between 10–12 years old from both migrant families and non-migrant families. The knowledge of children was compared and the transmission process was observed.The result of our study shows that there is no observable difference among children who are being raised by grandparents and those being raised by their parents, as there are different channels of knowledge transmission to be taken into consideration, particularly grandparents and peers. The basic ability (knowledge) for naming wild food species remains among village children. However, the practical in-depth knowledge, especially about wild food plants, shows some potential eroding.In many locations around the world, as in rural Northeast Thailand, settled farmers have a reliance on wild food resources gathered from the agricultural landscape (fields, ditches, pathways) as well as from within the villages in which they reside [1-8]. Some of the plant foods in Northeast Thailand can be considered managed in that transplanting and protection are undertaken [9-11]. In addition, there are many small protein items collected including freshwater shrimp and crabs, frogs and insects. Hunting activities which include birds, rats, lizards and other small g


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