Exploring human factors of wildlife conservation along a forest gap using a participatory design-build canopy bridge
This paper reports the social-cultural findings from building an artificial canopy bridge for mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) and other arboreal mammals in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. We analyzed participatory observation results from participatory designing and building, and camera trap data from monitoring the bridge. This article also discusses how local perceptions towards monkeys, regional developments, and bridge functions inform primate conservation in that region. It examines a broader primate conservation strategy that addresses entangled values and bridge design in a human-centered, peri-urban, and coastal evergreen forest. We found that artificial canopy bridge design is a complex problem related to humans and targeted species. Connecting habitat with artificial canopy bridges in this context is part of a more significant urban planning problem. Bridge material and design are related to animal usage and existing infrastructure and can shape public views that build or jeopardize public trust.