Human Ecology

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 463-474

First online:

The Effect of Wildlife Conservation on Local Perceptions of Risk and Behavioral Response

  • Timothy D. BairdAffiliated withUNC-Chapel Hill Email author 
  • , Paul W. LeslieAffiliated withUNC-Chapel Hill
  • , J. Terrence McCabeAffiliated withCU-Boulder

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In this study, we examine the effect of Tarangire National Park (TNP) on local perceptions of risk and how these perceptions may influence behavioral responses. Data were collected during 2004–2005 through household surveys and participatory risk mapping (PRM) in eight villages east of TNP. By identifying and rank-ordering respondents’ perceived risks, PRM enhances understanding of the nature and variation of risks faced within a population by distinguishing between the incidence and severity of subjective risk perceptions. Results indicate that proximity to the park has a strong effect on the type and severity of perceived risks. Within villages close to the park, however, behavioral response to perceived risks varies considerably. This study contributes to an appreciation of how behavioral response to environmental and socioeconomic factors is mediated by human perception.


Conservation Risk perception Africa Tanzania