Individual study: Applying “Diffusion of innovation” theory and social marketing for the recovery of pileated gibbon Hylobates pileatus in North Ta-riu watershed, Khao Soi Dao wildlife sanctuary, Thailand
Kolasartsanee I. & Srikosamatara S. (2014) Applying “Diffusion of innovation” theory and social marketing for the recovery of pileated gibbon Hylobates pileatus in North Ta-riu watershed, Khao Soi Dao wildlife sanctuary, Thailand. Conservation Evidence, 11, 61-65
Population density of endangered pileated gibbon Hylobates pileatus in 9 km2 of North Ta-riu watershed, located in the centre of Khao Soi Dao wildlife sanctuary, dramatically declined from 6.4 groups/km2 in 1979 to 2 groups/km2 in 2006. Opportunistic poaching during non-timber forest product (NTFP) collection and insufficient patrolling were considered the main cause of decline. An alternative strategy is needed to enhance pileated gibbon conservation. We applied diffusion of innovation theory to change and expand conservation behaviour among NTFP collectors, although this study does not endorse illegal NTFP collection. After a meeting with NTFP collectors in May 2009, a network of NTFP collectors for pileated gibbon conservation was successfully established with 16 members. The aim of the network was to abstain from poaching on pileated gibbon during NTFP collection. Interpersonal persuasion along with social marketing were used to expand the network. In December 2009, the network had expanded to 101 members. In 2012, six new groups of pileated gibbons (24% increase) were found in the North Ta-riu watershed. The density had increased to 2.8 groups/km2.