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Perception and attitudes of local communities towards wild elephant-related problems and conservation in Xishuangbanna, southwestern China

  • Qingcheng He
  • Zhaolu WuEmail author
  • Wai Zhou
  • Rui Dong
Article

Abstract

The problem of wild elephants, or human-elephant conflict (HEC), influences the daily life of local communities and hinders the conservation of wild elephants. The perception and attitudes of local communities who inhabited the frontiers between human activities and wild elephant movement are important to the mitigation of the HEC and conservation of wild elephants. To analyze the perception and attitudes of local communities, the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) was used in the investigation of 423 interviewees from 22 villages in Xishuangbanna from July 2009 to February 2010. The results indicated that local communities had their views on the elephant-related problems. In field survey, we found that 66.5% of interviewees were willing to support, participate in, and assist in the conservation of wild elephants; 33.5% of interviewees were opposed or indifferent to such conservation, because their livelihoods and even their lives were endangered by wild elephants. These views and attitudes were influenced by local communities’ perception of HEC, education level, gender and self-interest. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze the diverse views among local communities and balance profits and costs in addressing HEC.

Keywords

human-elephant conflict (HEC) local community participatory rural appraisal (PRA) Xishuangbanna 

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Copyright information

© Science Press, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agricultural Ecology, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Ecology and GeobotanyYunnan UniversityKunmingChina
  2. 2.Bureau of Xishuangbanna National Nature ReserveJinghongChina

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