Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Elizabeth P. Anderson

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Joel T. Heinen

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Jennifer Rehage

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


environmental studies, Latin American studies

Date of Defense



In order to conserve megafaunal, charismatic freshwater fish species, an interdisciplinary, translational ecology approach is needed. This thesis explores trends in conservation of the pan-Amazonian Arapaima spp., with two major components. First, I examined research trends on Arapaima over the last 50 years by categorizing articles by theme and geography. My results showed that aquaculture and biology were dominant themes, with most research conducted in the Brazilian Amazon. Second, I conducted field research in the Colombian Amazon to examine perceptions of Arapaima management at various geographic and political scales. One important finding was the crucial role of communities and small-scale fisheries in Arapaima conservation. Localized programs that include joint efforts of different institutions, and community members, have boosted population numbers of the fish in several areas of the Amazon. My results also suggest that local programs work, but without enforcement from regional and national authorities, their success for Arapaima conservation and management will be limited.






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