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Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 7, pp 2213–2230 | Cite as

Factors influencing conservation attitudes of local people in Western Serengeti, Tanzania

  • Jafari R. KidegheshoEmail author
  • Eivin Røskaft
  • Bjørn P. Kaltenborn
Original Paper

Abstract

Attitudinal studies are increasingly being adopted as tools for evaluating public understanding, acceptance and the impact of conservation interventions. The findings of these studies have been useful in guiding the policy interventions. Many factors affect conservation attitudes positively or negatively. The factors inspiring positive attitudes are likely to enhance the conservation objectives while those inducing negative attitudes may detrimentally undermine these objectives. The magnitude of the resultant effects of each particular factor is determined by the historical, political, ecological, socio-cultural and economic conditions and this may call for different management interventions. In this study we examined how conservation attitudes in western Serengeti are shaped by the following factors: level of conflicts with protected areas; wildlife imposed constraints (inadequate pasture, water, diseases, loss of livestock during migration, theft and depredation); participation in the community based project; and socio-demographic factors (age, education level, wealth, immigration, gender and household size). The results indicated that the level of conflicts, participation in the community based project, inadequate pasture, lack of water, diseases, wealth and education were important in shaping peoples’ attitudes. However, in a stepwise linear regression analysis, 59% of the variation in peoples’ attitudes was explained by three variables i.e., conflict level with protected areas, lack of water and participation in the community based project. In addition to these variables, level of education also contributed in explaining 51% of the variation in people’s attitude regarding the status of the game reserves. Five variables (lack of water, level of education, inadequate pasture, participation in the community based project and diseases) explained 12% of the variation in people’s attitude towards Serengeti National Park. The paper discusses the implications for conservation of these results and recommends some measures to realise effective conservation of wildlife resources.

Keywords

Attitudes Benefits Conflicts Conservation Protected areas Socio-demographic variables Tanzania Western Serengeti 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are deeply indebted to several institutions and individuals, who contributed in one way or another in completion of this study. The Norwegian Council for Higher Education’s Programme for Development Research and Education (NUFU) funded this study. The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) played a facilitation role while the permission to conduct this study was granted by Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI). We also thank Serengeti Regional Conservation Project (SRCP) for accommodation and other support during the entire period of research work. Thanks are also due to Mrs Raskina J Kideghesho who participated actively in data collection. We also wish to recognise the rural communities of Western Serengeti for their willingness to participate in the interview. Lastly, but not least we are grateful to anonymous reviewers for constructive comments which have immensely shaped this paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jafari R. Kideghesho
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eivin Røskaft
    • 2
  • Bjørn P. Kaltenborn
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Wildlife ManagementSokoine University of Agriculture (SUA)Chuo Kikuu, MorogoroTanzania
  2. 2.Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Biologisk InstituttTrondheimNorway
  3. 3.Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)Fakkelgården, StorhoveNorway

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