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Environ Manage. 2008 Dec;42(6):971-6. doi: 10.1007/s00267-008-9204-5. Epub 2008 Sep 23.

Human-carnivore coexistence on communal land bordering the greater Kruger area, South Africa.

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  • 1Wits Rural Facility, University of the Witwatersrand, Acornhoek 1360, South Africa. georgette.lagendijk@gmail.com

Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the potential for coexistence between rural people (living adjacent to a protected area) and predators (from the same area) ranging onto communal land. Ninety members of local communities bordering Manyeleti Game Reserve, which is contiguous with Kruger National Park, South Africa were interviewed. Respondents expressed diverging attitudes toward predators, which were more favorable among participants with higher education. Negative views were particularly due to fear of human and livestock losses, especially to lions, Panthera leo. Lions were thought to be the most abundant predator both within and outside the reserve. Lions were also the best known predator and were most often held responsible for killing livestock. Despite these livestock losses and a lack of conservation education, most participants voiced favorable opinions about large carnivore conservation, as predators were considered an integral part of the respondents' natural heritage. Thanks to this cultural tolerance and also because of a largely accepted management policy regarding predator control, large carnivores and people can coexist in the vicinity of Kruger National Park.

PMID:
18810524
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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