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Browsing by Author "Kuronen, Toini"

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  • Kuronen, Toini (2016)
    This study focuses on looking at different factors that have been shown to explain why certain farms are vulnerable to crop-raiding by primates. The type of wildlife value orientations present among the study sample are also looked into in this study. Furthermore, how these wildlife value orientations affect how the community members perceive and react to human-wildlife conflicts is also discussed. The data collection was conducted in May and June 2015 around Ngangao indigenous cloud forest in the Taita Hills, southeast Kenya. The study is both qualitative and quantitative. Semi-structured household-based questionnaires were used in the primary data collection. Also, 11 local experts were interviewed and two workshops were held where the participants were given topics about wildlife issues and solutions to discuss about. Statistical analysis as well as spatial analysis using GIS were performed in this study. The findings of the study are that the closer a farm is to the forest boundary and the less neighbouring farms there are between the farm and the forest, the more vulnerable that farm is to crop-raiding by Sykes' monkeys. The study could not prove that a specific type of food crop grown in a farm or the type of land use between the farmland and the forest boundary is explaining vulnerability to crop-raiding by primates. Moreover, strong determinants that explain the vulnerability of a certain farm to crop-raiding by vervet monkeys, yellow baboons or bush-babies were not found in this study. The majority of the studied households practice subsistence farming as their main livelihood. Therefore, crop-raiding by wildlife, such as primates, is a severe threat to the food security and livelihoods of local households. The study points out that a majority of the study participants perceive wildlife in a materialistic way, either as threats or as benefits. A smaller share of respondents represent a harmonius wildlife value orientation. Because majority of the local community is likely to represent similar wildlife value orientations, crop-raiding by primates is perceived as a significant problem. Some community members are believed to have reacted to human-primate conflicts by deliberately setting forest fires in the forests of the Taita Hills to deter the marauding primates away. This study suggests that community representatives, local wildlife management and officials should collectively discuss and address the issue of human-primate conflict in the indigenous forests of the Taita Hills so that the community level perceptions are not disregarded in wildlife management. Possible solutions to human-primate conflicts are, for example, providing the most vulnerable households with compensation, incentives or food relief and tools to practice alternative livelihoods. Moreover, relocation of certain groups of primates and planting wild fruit trees inside indigenous forests could ease the problem. Community wildlife association could work as a platform to address the issue. Additionally, sensitizing the local communities about local nature and addressing the awareness gaps regarding problem wildlife reporting could increase the tolerance to wildlife damages at community level and also support the coexistence of humans and wildlife.