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Local attitudes and elephant spatial distribution in the Bénoué region, Cameroon: implications for human-elephant conflict and conservation

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Local attitudes and elephant spatial distribution in the Bénoué region, Cameroon: implications for human-elephant conflict and conservation

Granados, Alys (2011) Local attitudes and elephant spatial distribution in the Bénoué region, Cameroon: implications for human-elephant conflict and conservation. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Increasing levels of human settlement and disturbance adjacent to protected areas have intensified human-wildlife conflict, and this is of special concern in developing nations where human livelihoods and species survival are strongly linked. Local attitudes, along with an understanding of how human disturbance affects species distribution must be considered in efforts to reduce conflict with wildlife. In this study, we evaluated the severity of human-elephant conflict (HEC) in the Bénoué Wildlife Conservation Area (BWCA), Cameroon by surveying locals adjacent to Bénoué National Park (BNP) and using GIS technology to study movement and occurrence of two female elephants relative to roads, villages, and a river. Fifty-eight percent of respondents were affected by elephant crop raiding in 2009, an 18% rise since 1997; likely due to increased immigration over the last decade. Although most villagers were positive towards the protected areas, 52% were negative towards elephants. Human disturbances affected elephant use of the BWCA, as occurrence near the highway and villages was infrequent, whereas occurrence relative to the river increased with proximity. Elephants spent most of their time outside BNP and despite low occurrence near the highway and villages, 95% Fixed Kernel home ranges overlapped with roads and villages, suggesting a high potential for HEC. Efforts to reduce conflict and habitat fragmentation in the long-term must include more efficient land use planning and continued work with locals to implement farm-based deterrents, thereby reducing crop damages and increasing tolerance for the species.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Biology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Granados, Alys
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Biology
Date:November 2011
Keywords:attitudes, Bénoué, Cameroon, conservation, elephant, human-elephant conflict, GIS, movement
ID Code:15183
Deposited By:ALYS GRANADOS
Deposited On:21 Nov 2011 14:36
Last Modified:21 Nov 2011 14:36
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