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Coexistence between human and wildlife: the nature, causes and mitigations of human wildlife conflict around Bale Mountains National Park, Southeast Ethiopia.

BMC Ecology 2020 September 15
Human-wildlife conflict occurs when the needs and behavior of wildlife impact negatively on humans or when humans negatively affect the needs of wildlife. To explore the nature, causes and mitigations of human wildlife conflict, the coexistence between human and wildlife assessment was conducted around Bale Mountains National Park. Data were collected by means of household questionnaires, focus group discussion, interview, field observation and secondary sources. The nature and extent of human wildlife conflict in the study area were profoundly impacted humans, wild animal and the environment through crop damage, habitat disturbance and destruction, livestock predation, and killing of wildlife and human. The major causes of conflict manifested that agricultural expansion (30%), human settlement (24%), overgrazing by livestock (14%), deforestation (18%), illegal grass collection (10%) and poaching (4%). To defend crop raider, farmers have been practiced crop guarding (34%), live fencing (26%), scarecrow (22%), chasing (14%), and smoking (5%). However, fencing (38%), chasing (30%), scarecrow (24%) and guarding (8%) were controlling techniques to defend livestock predator animals. As emphasized in this study, human-wildlife conflicts are negative impacts on both human and wildlife. Accordingly, possible mitigate possibilities for peaceful co-existence between human and wildlife should be create awareness and training to the local communities, identifying clear border between the closure area and the land owned by the residents, formulate rules and regulation for performed local communities, equal benefit sharing of the local communities and reduction of human settlement encroachment into the national park range. Generally, researcher recommended that stakeholders and concerned bodies should be creating awareness to local community for the use of wildlife and human-wildlife conflict mitigation strategies.

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