The human and financial costs of conservation for local communities living around the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem, Tanzania

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Protected areas have long been recognized globally as an important strategy for conserving biodiversity. However, the establishment of protected areas has often adversely impacted local livelihoods, particularly where people and their livelihoods are exposed to wildlife threats. Understanding the magnitude and the types of human and livelihood losses to wildlife can help to reduce the losses in the future. Here we collected and analysed a large and comprehensive historical data sets on crop damage, livestock depredation, and human attacks over eight years from January 2015 to October 2022 from Serengeti District and Ngorongoro Conservation Area to understand human and livelihood losses to wildlife in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem (GSE). The data were government records of loss and compensation. Additionally, we performed individual interviews on what communities lose to wildlife in the area. We found that wildlife causes serious annual losses of crops (value estimated at USD 489,000) and livestock (USD 17,600). On average 22 people from villages beside or within the protected areas were injured each year and eight people were killed, usually by elephants. Compensation paid by the government to local communities only covered <20% of their total financial losses, and was also very little for the injury or loss of human life. Given our estimates are only for two administrative areas i.e. Serengeti District and Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the figure will be much higher if we include all districts around the GSE. These findings contribute to the broader conservation science field and the global discourse on human-wildlife conflict and coexistence. Protected area authorities should: a. take greater responsibility for protecting local communities and their assets from wildlife attacks, and b. assist the local communities with implementing deterrence and in establishing problematic animal prevention units in hotspot areas. In particular, we recommend that the Tanzanian Government should review the current compensation regulations to reflect the actual loss.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere02974
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalGlobal Ecology and Conservation
Volume52
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2024

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The human and financial costs of conservation for local communities living around the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem, Tanzania'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this