an overview of causes, consequences and management

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HUMAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT IN AFRICA:
AN OVERVIEW OF CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES AND MANAGEMENT
STRATEGIES
Lamarque, F., Anderson, J., Chardonnet, P., Fergusson, R., Lagrange, M., Osei-Owusu, Y.,
Bakker, L., Belemsobgo, U., Beytell, B., Boulet, H., Soto, B. and Tabi Tako-Eta, P.
1
CONTENTS
1.
2.
Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 3
Human-Wildlife Conflict ................................................................................................... 6
2.1. Typology of HWC ........................................................................................................... 6
2.1.1. Human deaths and injuries ................................................................................... 6
2.1.2. Destruction of crops and predation on domestic animals .................................... 8
2.1.3. Transmission of diseases to livestock and/or man ............................................. 10
2.1.4. Adverse interaction with other species (endangered or highly valuable) .......... 11
2.1.5. Others ................................................................................................................. 12
2.2. Causes of HWC ............................................................................................................. 12
2.2.1. Human factors .................................................................................................... 13
2.2.2. Habitat factors .................................................................................................... 17
2.2.3. Problem Animal factors ..................................................................................... 22
2.3. Consequences for Man .................................................................................................. 24
2.3.1. Safety of people .................................................................................................. 24
2.3.2. Food security ...................................................................................................... 24
2.3.3. Economic and social costs.................................................................................. 26
2.3.4. Politics and media .............................................................................................. 29
2.4. Consequences for Wildlife conservation ....................................................................... 29
2.4.1. Short term: conservation of individuals ............................................................. 29
2.4.2. Mid term: conservation of species ..................................................................... 30
2.4.3. Long term: conservation of Wildlife outside of Protected Areas ....................... 31
3. HWC Management ........................................................................................................... 32
3.1. Human management ...................................................................................................... 32
3.1.2. Compensations ................................................................................................... 34
3.1.3. Voluntary relocation ........................................................................................... 39
3.2. Production management ................................................................................................ 40
3.2.1. Intensifying Human vigilance ............................................................................ 40
3.2.2. Guard animals .................................................................................................... 41
3.2.3. Fencing ............................................................................................................... 41
3.3. Problem Animal management ....................................................................................... 46
3.3.1. Non lethal ........................................................................................................... 46
3.3.2. Lethal .................................................................................................................. 52
3.4. Environmental management .......................................................................................... 58
3.4.1. Increase alternate crops, preys or water points .................................................. 58
3.4.2. Land use planning .............................................................................................. 59
4. Decisional framework ...................................................................................................... 62
4.1. Phase 1: Investigation.................................................................................................... 63
4.2. Phase 2: Problem analysis and decision making ........................................................... 65
4.3. Phase 3: Choice and implementation of the management option(s) ............................. 68
5. Conclusion ........................................................................................................................ 70
6. References ........................................................................................................................ 72
2
LIST OF BOXES
Box n°1: Human-Wildlife Conflict over the ages ...................................................................... 4
Box n°2: Universality of HWC .................................................................................................. 4
Box n°3: Fatal wildlife attacks in Africa: some figures ............................................................. 6
Box n°4: Importance of elephant crop raiding in Africa: a few data ......................................... 8
Box n°5: Bark stripping and its consequences ........................................................................... 9
Box n°6: A few examples of diseases possibly transmitted by wildlife .................................. 11
Box n°7: Impact of elephant on habitat and sympatric wildlife ............................................... 12
Box n°8: Impact of human development on HWC .................................................................. 14
Box n°9: Human migrations and HWC.................................................................................... 14
Box n°10: Perceptions of several species by local African populations .................................. 15
Box n°11: Gender and HWC .................................................................................................... 17
Box n°12: Human activities and HWC .................................................................................... 18
Box n°13: Natural hazards and HWC ...................................................................................... 20
Box n°14: Seasons and HWC................................................................................................... 20
Box n°15: Effect of monospecific tree plantations on baboons' bark stripping ....................... 21
Box n°16: Possible causes and consequences of the decrease in natural preys of wild
carnivores ................................................................................................................................. 21
Box n°17: Effect of Wildlife's intrinsic features on HWC occurrence .................................... 22
Box n°18: Impact of pathology and physiology on HWC ....................................................... 23
Box n°19: A few data on elephant damage to crop .................................................................. 25
Box n°20: Some figures on livestock predation ....................................................................... 28
Box n°21: Killing of wildlife in retaliation to HWC ................................................................ 29
Box n°22: Adverse effects of HWC on Wildlife Conservation ............................................... 30
Box n°23: A few topics likely to be developed to raise awareness among populations .......... 33
Box n°24: Some examples of compensations schemes in Sub-Saharan Africa ....................... 35
Box n°25: The Human Animal Conflict Self Insurance Scheme (HACSIS) - Namibia .......... 36
Box n°26: A few possible options to compensate HWC indirectly ......................................... 38
Box n°27: Effect of guard animals on predators' attacks ......................................................... 41
Box n°28 : Some types of fences used to protect crops in Africa ............................................ 42
Box n°29: Examples of fences used against carnivores’ attacks ............................................. 44
Box n°30: Some inconvenients of fencing ............................................................................... 44
Box n°31: Some deterrents used in Africa ............................................................................... 47
Box n°32: Some data on wildlife translocations ...................................................................... 51
Box n°33: Contraception in free ranging wildlife .................................................................... 52
Box n°34: Involvement of Public Services in lethal control of Problem-causing animals ...... 54
Box n°35: Lethal control of Problem-causing animals by local populations ........................... 55
Box n°36: Regulation of problem-causing animals by trophy hunting .................................... 56
Box n°37: Regulation of bark stripping baboons ..................................................................... 57
Box n°38: A few examples of possible management of wildlife’s natural requirements ........ 58
Box n°39: Adverse effect of land-use planning on HWC ........................................................ 59
Box n°40: Some examples of distribution of Human activities likely to mitigate HWC ........ 61
Box n°41: Two examples of zoning around protected areas .................................................... 62
Box n°42: Interest of a HWC Database ................................................................................... 64
Box n°43: Investigations likely to be made in case of HWC ................................................... 64
Box n°44: An example of integrated decision-making ............................................................... 66
Box n°45: Community-Based Problem-Elephant Control. ...................................................... 69
Box n°46: The Event Book: an example of simple HWC monitoring system ......................... 70
Box n°47: The Human-Wildlife Conflict Collaboration (HWCC) .......................................... 71
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1.
Introduction
According to the 2003 IUCN World Park Congress, Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) occurs
when wildlife requirements overlap with those of human populations, creating costs both to
residents and wild animals.
HWC has been in existence for as long as humans have existed and wild animals and people
have shared the same landscapes and resources (see Box n°1).
HWC does not only occur in Africa. Today, there is no corner of this earth where HWC does
not exist in one form or another (see Box n°2). For instance, some form of conflict between
humans and crocodiles has been reported from 33 countries spanning the tropics and
subtropics, and the problem probably exists in more.
Even though all the continents and all the countries, developed or not, are concerned by
HWC, there is an important distinction between the level of vulnerability of agro-pastoralists
in developing countries and that of well-off inhabitants in developed nations.
Our review will focus on Africa, where HWC is particularly significant, even in those countries
with a higher mean annual income. For example, crocodiles still kill people in Lake Nasser in
Egypt and inside towns in Mozambique, leopards still kill sheep within 100 km of Cape Town
and lions kill cattle around the outskirts of Nairobi.
In terms of the scale of their impact on humans, it is the smaller animals, occurring in vast
numbers, that have created the greatest impact. The red locust has been being responsible
for famines across vast swathes of Africa for centuries. Annual losses of cereals caused by
the Red-Billed Quelea (Quelea quelea) were estimated at US$ 22 million (Bruggers and
Elliott, 1989). In Gabon, the number of overall complaints about grasscutters (Thryonomys
swinderianus) far surpasses those of any other animal species, including the elephant
(Lahm, 1996).
However, the larger herbivores (elephant, buffalo, and hippopotamus), large mammalian
carnivores (lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena, wild dog), and the crocodile are traditionally
defined as problem-causing animals and are responsible for most of the human-wildlife
conflicts. This could be due to the fact that farmers often feel that the large wild animals are
the property of the government, as was the case under previous colonial legislation, and
therefore local communities were not allowed to deal with the problem themselves (WWF
SARPO, 2005). Additionally, the impact of the activities of large mammals on farmers and
their livelihood is enormous and even traumatic when people are killed. Furthermore, the
incident is often newsworthy, and generally filters up to reach political representatives who
demand action from Government.
Baboons which are causing important damage to timber forest plantations are also considered
as a pest, notably in Southern Africa.
Consequently, this survey deals with larger herbivores and carnivores and particularly with those
which were investigated through FAO studies, i.e. elephant, lion, baboon and crocodile.
4
Box n°1: Human-Wildlife Conflict over the ages
The fossil record shows that the first hominids fell prey to the animals with whom they shared
their habitats and shelters. For instance, forensic evidence has recently shown that the “Taung
skull”, perhaps the most famous hominid fossil which was discovered in South Africa in
1924, came from a child killed by an eagle two million years ago (Berger and Clarke, 1995;
Berger, 2006).
Crocodiles, with a very ancient lineage dating back to the Mesozoic, have been functionally
unchanged for longer than the human species has been in existence. It is virtually certain that
crocodiles would have attacked and eaten humans and their predecessors in Africa throughout
the last four million years. Egyptian History reveals for instance that in 2,000 B.C., hippos in
the Nile delta in Egypt fed on cultivated crops and crocodiles ate livestock and occasionally
men and it is no coincidence that the Egyptian God of Evil was depicted as the crocodileheaded God Sobek.
Most observers believe human-elephant conflict is as old as agriculture in Africa (NaughtonTreves, 1999). San or Bushman rock art in Africa frequently portrays people fleeing from
predators or other large animals. Pre-colonial and early 19th century historians describe areas
in Africa and other parts of the world where elephant crop depredations caused food shortages
and led to the displacement of settlements (Barnes, 1996). Nevertheless, other authors blame
colonialism for ruining traditionally harmonious relations between wildlife and local people
(see for example Adams and McShane 1992). Actually, between the 18th and mid-20th
Centuries, the larger mammals in Africa were regarded more as a resource to be exploited
than a major problem. Ivory formed a cornerstone of the early trade with Europe and the
Orient (Parker, 2004) and meat and hides were essential products to both the African people
and colonialists alike. With the 20th Century and the expansion and development of more
modern agriculture, the interaction with large wildlife species was no longer one of just
exploitation but one of increasing conflict.
Box n°2: Universality of HWC
Human-Wildlife Conflict in America
Bears raid dustbins in the national parks and even at the edge of towns in the northern USA,
waking up residents and creating disorder in the streets. In the USA too, deer collisions with
automobiles injure an average of 29,000 people annually and cause more than US$ 1 billion
in damages (USDA, 2004). In Alberta, Canada, over a period of 14 years (1982-1996) wolves
caused 2,806 deaths among domestic animals, mainly cattle and to a lesser extent dogs,
horses, sheep, chickens, bison, goats, geese and turkeys. In Idaho, Montana and Wyoming
(USA), during a similar time period (1987-2001) wolves killed 728 animals, mainly sheep and
cattle (Musiani et al., 2003).
Human-Wildlife Conflict in Europe
Several wildlife species are responsible for important damage both to crops (wild boar, wild
rabbit, hare, wild pigeon) and to the regenerating forests (cervids). For this reason, some of
these species are gazetted as "pests" and can be killed out of the hunting season.
5
The lost monetary value can be very high; in France in 2007, the amount of the damage caused by
depredation of wild boar and cervids to agricultural crops was worth 22 - 23 millions €, (Eric
Dion, pers. comm.). Large predators like bear, wolf or lynx, are regularly responsible for attacks
on sheep or even cattle. In Slovenia, the extent of damage caused by large predators has increased
since 1993. In the period 2000-2003, 1,440 claims were made for predation damage mostly upon
livestock. The compensation for damage exceeded 706,000 Euros (Adamic et al., 2004). In
Western Europe the costs of Bear and Wolf damage in 1997 are given in Table n°1.
Table 1: Cost of Bear and Wold damage (€) in Western Europe in 1997
(after Fourli, 1999)
Country
Austria
France
Greece
Italy
Portugal
Spain
Bear
Total cost
Cost generated
by each bear
8,640
346
31,510
3,501
130,870
1,091
33,600
448
70,562
882
Wolf
Total cost
Cost generated
by each wolf
151,690
3,792
708,330
2,833
1,095,164
2,434
407,010
1,163
173,970
1,160
In the UK, badgers are known to spread bovine tuberculosis to dairy cattle (Wilkinson, et al.,
2004).
Human-Wildlife Conflict in Australia
Direct use of forage by wild rabbits results in fewer livestock, lower wool clip per sheep,
lower lambing percentages, lower weight gain, lower wool quality and earlier stock deaths
during droughts. At the end of the 1980s, the cost of lost production was estimated to be US$
20 millions per year for the pastoral districts of South-Australia alone and $115 millions
annually for the wool industry over the whole Australia (Williams et al., 1995).
Australian farmers have always regarded kangaroos as a pest, damaging crops and competing
with sheep. Every year the federal Government authorises a certain number of kangaroos to
be eliminated and, without taking into account the animals killed by farmers and poachers, a
possible total of 9 million individuals would be harvested per year (Therin, 2001).
Human-Wildlife Conflict in Asia
Large feline predators (tiger, leopard, lion, snow leopard) and elephant are the principal sources of
conflict. In India, for instance, in the state of Himachal Pradesh, around Kibber Wildlife
Sanctuary, wild carnivores, mainly snow leopard, killed 18% of the total livestock holding in
1995 (Mishra, 1997). In the state of Gujarat, in the proximity of Gir National Park and Sanctuary,
the Asian lion and the leopard hunt preys such as buffalos, cows, pigs and dogs (Vijayan and Pati,
2002). In the Southern state of Karnatake, the overall annual loss due to large tigers and leopards
depredation around the Bhadra Tiger Reserve, is reported to be approximately 12% of the total
family livestock holding. In addition, elephant damage to crops accounted for an average loss of
14% of the total annual production (Madhusudan, 2003). In China, the rural inhabitants from the
mountain area of Simao, in proximity to Xishuang Banna Nature Reserve, claimed that elephant
damage accounted for 28% to 48% of the community’s annual income in 2000, the total
economic losses between 1996 and 1999 mounted to US$ 314,600 (Zang and Wang, 2003).
6
2. Human-Wildlife Conflict
2.1. Typology of HWC
2.1.1. Human deaths and injuries
Human deaths and injuries, although less common than crop damage, are the most severe
manifestations of HWC and are universally regarded as intolerable.
An assessment of the scale of human deaths caused by wildlife species in Africa at the end of
the seventies, concluded that hippopotamus was responsible for more deaths than any other
large animal in Africa (Clark, 1977). But, today, this “crown” seems to belong to crocodile.
Large mammalian carnivores are also responsible for numerous fatal attacks on human.
Mega herbivores like elephants and hippos are also involved in human deaths every year,
albeit more rarely. With very few exceptions neither species deliberately target people and in
most cases deaths occur as accidents under the following circumstances: (i) defence of crops
against raiding elephant or hippo – usually at night; (ii) accidental contact with an elephant or
hippo at close quarters notably on paths near water at night; (iii) encounter with an injured
hippo or elephant whose normal sense of caution is impaired.
Box 3 gives some data on fatal attacks by Crocodile, large Felids and Elephant.
Baboons are seldom, if ever, dangerous to humans, though being capable of inflicting serious
wounds to dogs. On the other hand, they will intimidate mainly women to get to food where
they co-inhabit urban areas.
Finally, human death and injury can be the result of road accidents caused by wildlife. This
phenomenon, well known in Europe and the United States (Mouron et al., 1998; Scanlon,
1998) is also a serious problem in Namibia where vehicle collisions with Greater Kudus are
responsible for more human deaths than attacks by both crocodiles and elephants.
Box n°3: Fatal wildlife attacks in Africa: some figures
Crocodiles
Unpublished data from Zambia (ZAWA records) and data from Mozambique (Magane, 2004)
show for instance that, while data collection is sparse, crocodiles cause the greatest number of
deaths in each country. In Mozambique, where many deaths are not reported, simply because
of the logistics involved for many people in getting to a government office, a rough estimate
would be around 300 people killed per year nationwide by crocodiles (FAO 2005).
From 1999 to February 2004, crocodiles killed a minimum of 28 people and injured 57 others
in the Jukumu Wildlife Management Area, an area of about 500 km² constituted by 22
villages located in the northern buffer zone of the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania. In one
village alone 11 people were taken away within a year (Baldus, 2005).
7
In Namibia, 157 incidences of crocodile attacks on humans and cattle were recorded in 2005 by
community rangers in registered conservancies in the Caprivi region (Murphy, 2007).
The reasons explaining the importance of crocodile's attacks are:




The numbers of large crocodiles, potential human-eaters, are important and their
distribution range is wide. In addition, crocodile populations can recover relatively
rapidly when afforded protection.
Crocodiles can live in close proximity with people without being detected, lions or
elephant cannot.
Sometimes, there is none evidence when a person is taken away by a crocodile. Anyone
who is taken whilst he/she is alone may be considered by relatives to still be alive.
Many deaths due to crocodiles go unrecorded because of the logistics involved for many
people to get to a government office or because in remote areas, many births are not
registered, so that the death of someone whose birth is not even recorded often escapes
detection. In addition, attacks on humans by crocodiles are often ascribed to witchcraft
(Musambachime, 1987). This could be explained by the fact that crocodiles are often
seen to be wary of humans and yet sometimes attack from an invisible position and
without warning. There is a widely held belief that crocodiles which attack humans are
not “real” crocodiles but either creatures constructed by witches, so-called “human
crocodiles”, or crocodiles controlled by a spirit following a curse.
Large Felids
In Mozambique, over a period of 18 months between 2001 and 2002, lions killed 70 people in
Cabo Delgado province. Most of these were people out at night protecting their crops from
elephant (FAO, 2005).
In Tanzania, home to the world's largest lion population, lions' attacks are widespread.
Between 1990 and 2004, lions killed at least 563 people and injured more than 308; the
problem has increased dramatically over the past 15 years, with the majority of cases
occurring in the southern part of the country (Packer et al., 2005). In this same country, a few
specialised human-eaters were identified, like the notorious Osama which killed at least 34
people along the Rufiji River (Baldus, 2008).
Between December 1996 and August 1997 in South Africa, at least 11 (possibly more) illegal
immigrants making their way on foot from Mozambique across the Kruger National Park
were reported killed by lions, but this tragic situation may have lasted for years (Frump,
2006). Information gathered from Ugandan Game Department archives (1923-1994) reveals
that leopards and lions have preyed on hundreds of humans in Uganda over the past several
decades. Finally, analyses show that lion attacks were more dangerous than leopard attacks
(Treves and Naughton-Treves, 1999).
Elephant
More than 200 people were killed in Kenya over the last 7 years by elephants alone (WWF,
2007a). In Ghana, during the last 5 years, 10 people were killed by elephants within the
Kakum Conservation Area alone. In the densely populated Caprivi region of Namibia, a
population of 5,000 elephants which is one of the single largest free ranging population of
elephants, were responsible for twice as much aggressions as lions in the 90’s and attacked
over a larger area (O'Connell-Rodwell et al., 2000).
8
2.1.2. Destruction of crops and predation on domestic animals
 Destruction of crops
Crop damage is the most prevalent form of Human-Wildlife Conflict across the African continent.
The occurrence and frequency of crop raiding is dependent upon a multitude of conditions such as
the availability, variability and type of food sources in the natural ecosystem, the level of human
activity on a farm and the type and maturation time of crops as compared to natural food sources.
A wide variety of vertebrate pests come into conflict with farming activities in Africa
including birds, rodents, primates, antelopes, buffalos, hippopotamus, bush pigs, and
elephants. While it is widely recognised that in most cases elephants do not inflict the greatest
damage to subsistence agriculture, they are regularly identified as the biggest threat to African
farmers (Parker et al., 2007). Elephants are able to destroy a field in a single night raid. In
addition, in the case of elephant damage, most peasant farmers are unable to deal with the
problem themselves and there is rarely any compensation from governments. Box n°4
presents a few data on elephant's damage to the crops.
It is mostly adult male elephants that carry out crop raiding, the females' herds preferring to
keep away from habitation. It is noteworthy that elephants can also break into storage bins to
obtain grain with consequences still more serious for food security since this behaviour occurs
mainly in the dry season when it is impossible to grow new crops.
Hippos can make important damage in the fields while feeding at night. The agricultural
productions most raided are those which grow close to the rivers or lakes like rice, vegetables
and other crops grown on the river banks during the drop in the water level, or within the very
water like bourgou (Echinochloa stagnina) in the Niger river.
The important damage made in exotic trees’ plantations by primates through bark stripping is
another form of crop depredation. Box n°5 describes this behaviour and its consequences.
Baboons and vervet monkeys, being opportunists, can also exploit food crops, fruit and even
young tobacco or wheat stems chewing it for the juice extracted, and spitting out the spent
fibre, as people would do chewing on sugar cane.
Finally, the competition between man and crocodile for fish can also be considered here. Actually,
the conflict between crocodiles and humans can take the following forms: (i) “theft” of live fish
from fishing nets and associated damage to fishing gear; (ii) perception that crocodiles are
responsible for diminishing fish catches. Two species are mainly involved, the Nile crocodile
(Crocodylus niloticus) and the African slender snouted crocodile (Mecistops cataphractus) which
is a smaller and a specialist fish-eater species, with limited distribution, also capable of taking fish
from nets and destroying fishing gear. The third African species of crocodile, Osteolaemus
tetraspis is small, docile and not in any way a threat to humans.
Box n°4: Importance of elephant crop raiding in Africa: a few data
Within the Zimbabwean portion of the AWF Zambezi Heartland, elephants are estimated to
be responsible for up to three-quarters of all crop damage caused by wildlife (Muruthi, 2005).
Approximately 80% to 90% of crop raiding around the Kakum National Park, Ghana, is
attributed to elephants (Parker, 2002); the 500 households, living around the Kakum
Conservation Area lose about 70% of food crops cultivated annually to elephant crop-raiding
alone (Barnes et al., 2003).
9
Near the Djona hunting zone, North Benin, during the agricultural season 2001-2002, 33.7%
of the crops’ surface were destroyed by elephants; a survey revealed that 80% of the
interrogated people had known damages each year during the four previous years (Alfa
Gambari Imorou et al., 2004). Table 2 shows the actual agricultural losses caused by
elephants to the crops in some particular regions.
Table 2: Percentage of the total agricultural production lost caused by elephant crop
raiding in some African regions (after Hoare, 1999)
Country
Region
Gabon
Gamba
Ghana
Malawi
Red Volta
Kasungu
Liwonde
Mozambique Maputo
Uganda
Kibale
Zimbabwe
Binga
Sengwa
Year of
the study
1996
1998
1996
1981
1997
1996
1996
1994
%
0.75
0.3-6.2
8.6
6.3
8.8
10.2
21
11.7
5.4
Box n°5: Bark stripping and its consequences
In southern and eastern Africa the problems of bark stripping are focused on three species of
baboons: chacma baboon (Papio hamadryas ursinus), yellow baboon (P.h. cynocephalus) and
olive baboon (P.h. anubis) and on at least three species of monkey: Samango monkey
(Cercopithecus albogularis), blue monkey (C. mitis) and Syke’s monkey (C.m. albogularis).
In timber plantation the target is the inner bark of several species of pines (Pinus sp.) as well
as gums (Eucalyptus sp.), wattles (Acacia species) and Cupressus species. The areas worst
affected by the problem of baboons' bark stripping in timber plantation are located in South
Africa and Zimbabwe. Between 2002 and 2006, the ratio: damaged areas / total planted area
in pine plantations was on average 4.93% in South Africa and 8.38% in Zimbabwe. Initially
baboons targeted young pine trees, selecting species that were lower in tannin. However, over
the following five years they progressed to all the species of pine grown, eucalyptus and to
some extent even wattle; in fact all afforested plantations and eventually even the mature pine
trees were targeted. Damage in all cases was similar; they would bite into the bark lifting it
and then pull on it stripping it from the tree. Then, with their front teeth, the baboons would
scrape off the inner soft cambium layer which they consumed. In pine, if the tree is not killed
by ring barking, fungal and borer damage occur rendering the portion attacked unmarketable.
More importantly, the baboons forced the tree to coppice at this point so the tree no longer
products the straight grain timber the tree was selected for. In gums, they attacked the base in
a similar way to porcupine. In respect to wattle the baboons pulled newly planted seedlings
from the ground.
The motivation for this behaviour is unknown and a range of hypotheses have been raised,
including: (i) a bad habit; (ii) the fulfilment of some dietary; (iii) "medical" requirement; (iv)
other “non-food” stimuli.
10
 Predation on domestic animals
Another adverse effect of HWC is the killing of domestic animals by wildlife. The number
and type of domestic animals killed by wildlife varies, depending on the species, time of year,
and availability of natural preys. In the savannah and grasslands where pastoralism remains
the livelihood and main asset of many people, predation on livestock becomes an issue. At a
national level the losses are hardly significant but to the individual stock owner, they can be
catastrophic. To a small scale stock owner, losses to predation can mean the difference
between economic independence and dire poverty.
Large carnivores are the principal culprits as shown by Patterson et al. (2004) who analyzed
attacks on livestock over a four-year period on two neighbouring arid-land ranches adjoining
Tsavo East National Park, Kenya. A total of 312 attacks claiming 433 head of stock were
examined: lions were responsible for 85.9% of the attacks while hyenas and cheetahs were the
other culprits. Lions and hyenas attacked mainly cattle and did so at night, whereas cheetahs
almost exclusively took smaller sheep and goats. However other smaller carnivores species are
responsible for livestock depredation. In Cameroon for instance, around the Bénoué national park,
the Civet is the main predator, causing 18% of livestock income lost on average (Weladji and
Tchamba, 2003).
Nevertheless, mammalian carnivores are not the only group involved. Ogada and Ogada
(2004) documented the species of wildlife responsible for killing livestock in the AWF
Samburu Heartland and reported that such deaths were due to: lions (35% of reported deaths),
leopard (35%), hyena (18%), baboon (4%), elephants (3%), buffalo (2%), wild dog (2%) and
cheetah (1%). In the Gokwe communal land, neighbouring the Sengwa Wildlife Research
Area (Zimbabwe), between January 1993 and June 1996, in a study area of 33 km², 241
livestock were killed by baboons, lions and leopards, which contributed respectively to 52%,
34% and 12% of the kills. Their predation techniques are different, as baboons attack by day
and usually kill small-stock such as goats and sheep, while lions and leopards attack at night,
with lions killing larger prey such as cattle and donkeys (Butler, 2000).
Among the three species of crocodiles in sub-Saharan Africa, the Nile crocodile which is the
most widespread, is the main culprit in attacks on livestock. This large species (mass up to
1,000 kg) is entirely predatory on aquatic and terrestrial prey species. In the Jukumu Wildlife
Management Area (Tanzania) already quoted, for instance, 53 heads of cattle have been killed
and 41 injured by crocodiles in a single year (Baldus, 2005).
2.1.3. Transmission of diseases to livestock and/or man
Important diseases are known to be transmitted by wildlife to domestic livestock or possibly man
(i.e. rabies). Some examples are provided in Box n°6. On the other hand, scavengers and
predators, such as spotted hyenas, jackals, lions and vultures, play a role in the dissemination of
pathogens by the opening up and dismembering and dispersal of infected carcasses. That is
notably the case for anthrax the spores of which they ingest together with the tissues of the
carcasses and then widely disseminate in their faeces (Hugh-Jones and de Vos, 2002).
11
Box n°6: A few examples of diseases possibly transmitted by wildlife
The pivotal role played by the African buffalo as a maintenance host of Foot and Mouth
Disease was identified in the late 1960s. The important role played by wildebeest in the
maintenance and seasonal shedding of Alcelaphine herpesvirus-1 has also been elucidated
(Bengis et al., 2002).
It is now fairly generally accepted that Theileria parva parva is a cattle-adapted variant of
Theileria parva lawrenci borne by Buffalo. Infection with this organism, which is generally
silent in buffalo, causes very high mortality rates in cattle, making farming of cattle in the
presence of both buffalo and a suitable vector, a hazardous undertaking (Bengis et al., 2002).
In the Gaza Province, Mozambique, 228 cattle of which 76 were pedigree Brahmans, died
from Theileriosis as a result of contracting the disease from buffalo (FAO, 2005).
In lowland areas of Africa, where winters are mild, African horse sickness is endemic in zebra
populations, making zebras ideal maintenance hosts under these conditions.
Sylvatic rabies has been diagnosed in 33 carnivorous species and 23 herbivorous species.
Endemic rabies has been identified in certain communal burrow dwelling wildlife species,
such as the yellow mongoose and the bat-eared fox, as well as in jackals.
Brucellosis, caused mainly by Brucella abortus biotype 1, has been described in several freerange ecosystems, infecting predominantly hippopotamus and waterbuck (Bengis et al., 2002).
2.1.4. Adverse interaction with other species (endangered or highly valuable)
Predation upon other wildlife species is only considered as a conflict in those countries where
game ranching and game conservancies have developed populations of high value ungulates,
such as sable and roan antelopes, which are managed for trophy hunting or live sale, like
Botswana, Namibia and South Africa and to a lesser extent Zambia and Zimbabwe. In most
cases, the landowners are well resourced and can generally resolve the problem themselves.
Competition between wild species occurs especially through habitat’s degradation resulting
mainly from elephants (see Box n°7).
Overgrazing by wildlife occurs sporadically. Without talking of enclosed areas, unfenced
natural habitats may be subject to overgrazing if natural cycles are left unmanaged or if
externalities like human disturbances are allowed. The population crash of elephant and other
herbivores in Tsavo National Park, Kenya, resulted from the discrepancies between the
carrying capacity lowered by severe droughts and the overabundance of wildlife due to
mismanagement practices (Waithaka, 1997).
12
Box n°7: Impact of elephant on habitat and sympatric wildlife
In Southern Africa, where savannah animal communities tend to be dominated by a few large
species such as hippopotamus, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest and especially elephant (Cumming,
1982), Craig (1992) and Martin (1992) have calculated that elephant densities need to be held
below about 0.5 animals per km² to maintain existing woodland canopy cover intact. This
level is far lower than the densities currently occurring in many of the national parks and
safari areas, which in 1991 were estimated to range from 0.25 to 2.12 animals per km²
(Cunliffe in Bojö, 1996).
The destruction of habitat by elephants can even jeopardize the survival of sympatric wildlife
species. In Waza National Park, Cameroon, for instance, the destruction of Acacia seyal by
elephants near the ponds where they gather at the end of the dry season, endangers the
survival of the giraffe relying on this tree. In Chobe national park, Botswana, there has been
concern on the survival of the indigenous Chobe bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus ornatus) as
a result of elephants altering the vegetation structure along the Chobe River (Ben-Shahar,
1999). In the Caprivi region of Namibia, the negative influence of large numbers of elephants
on the habitats is likely to be the most severe limiting factor to the development of the
populations of roan, sable and tsessebe after rainfall. The same phenomenon was also
observed in the Sebungwe region in Zimbabwe where all three species have been in decline
for a number of years. This coincided with a period where the elephant population has
continued to increase and has brought major structural changes in habitats (Martin, 2005).
2.1.5. Others
Baboon raid gardens and food in lodges and camping areas and can be an immense nuisance
in small urban settlements if left unchecked. On the Zimbabwean side of the Zambezi valley,
in bush camps and small towns such as Chirundu and Victoria Falls and in wildlife
camps/lodges where they are not actively controlled, baboons are a major menace pulling
thatch from thatched roofed buildings and intimidating people to take food items directly from
the tables even while occupied by wide eyed tourists (Gaynor, 2000; Kansky, 2002).
In the Gourma region, located in the sub-Saharan part of Mali, livestock and men compete for
water with a herd of about 500 elephants. Without speaking of the fatal accidents which could
occur due to the close and often dangerous encounters with the elephants at the ponds, this
competition can lead to loss of cattle particularly at the end of the dry season or in case of
drought.
Finally, elephants can damage infrastructures like ponds or tracks in national parks (Alfa
Gambari Imorou et al., 2004) but also outside. In Namibia, for example, the main problem
caused by elephants in the arid north-west is damage to water installations whereas, in the rest
of the country, it is damage to crops (Government of Namibia, 2007).
2.2. Causes of HWC
A set of global trends regarding human population, habitat evolution and animal distribution
and behaviour has contributed to the escalation of HWC worldwide.
13
2.2.1. Human factors
The following factors are among the main causes of HWC in Africa:
 Requirements of Human development
As stated by many authors, the main cause of HWC worldwide is the competition between
growing human populations and wildlife for the same declining living space and resources.
The consequences of this competition on HWC are presented in Box n°8.
 Migrations of people for reasons of security (wars, civil unrests, natural hazards) or
food safety (droughts, etc.)
Drought, floods, civil unrest, natural disasters or war, disrupt the normal production
and distribution of food, resulting in famines. This phenomenon is increasing since the
number of food emergencies in Africa each year has almost tripled since the 1980s.
Across sub-Saharan Africa, one in three people are under-nourished (McCarthy,
2006). These factors spur the continuing migration of rural people into areas where
resources could be obtained and which are frequently occupied by wildlife. The
resultant occupation of the habitat of wild animals by humans leads to conflict. Box
n°9 gives a few examples of HWC caused by displacements of population.
 Attitudes and perceptions
Generally, there is very little sympathy for wildlife by the rural African other than
for direct meat value. This can be illustrated by the fact that, in several Bantu
idioms, the word "nyama" used for wildlife actually means "meat". Rural
communities consider wildlife and particularly large mammals as threats to their
safety and food security. This adverse perception is particularly developed near
protected areas where the presence of wildlife populations inflicts daily costs on
local communities that can erode local support and tolerance. In turn, local people
can develop a negative attitude towards reserves and wildlife, exacerbating the
conflict and undermining conservation efforts. Box n°10 illustrates the perception of
local populations regarding several wildlife species.
 Specific activities
Some activities and behaviours expose particularly local populations to HWC.
Examples developed in Box n°11 show an obvious gender effect in that respect.
On the other hand, growing interest in ecotourism and increasing human presence in
protected areas are creating the platform for conflicts between humans and wildlife.
The local capacities to manage and regulate public access and large-scale use of
protected areas are weak as is the awareness of the tourists regarding the
dangerousness of wild animals. Each year, tourists are killed or injured by elephants,
crocodiles, lions or other wildlife species in protected areas. For instance, in 2004, an
American tourist was killed by a crocodile while in a canoe at Mana Pools National
Park (Zimbabwe) on the Zambezi River (U.S. Department of State, 2007). Two
British tourists were killed and another seriously injured by a rampaging elephant in
Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park on March 24th 2007 (Vasagar, 2007).
14
Box n°8: Impact of human development on HWC
The resulting transformation of forests, savannah and other ecosystems into agrarian areas or
urban agglomerates as a consequence of the increasing demand for land, food production,
energy and raw materials, has led to a dramatic decrease in wildlife habitat.
This is particularly true in Africa where the population came close to tripling in the four
decades from 1960 and where, in consequence, settled agriculture spreads to more marginal
rangelands leading to encroachment into wildlife habitats. Under these conditions, conflict
between wildlife and local communities inevitably increased (Siex et al., 1999; Muruthi,
2005; Tjaronda, 2007). This is perfectly illustrated by the Human-Elephant Conflict. It is
estimated that, currently, 80% of the elephant range lies outside protected areas. This habitat
is rapidly being eliminated and fragmented by agricultural intensification leading to one of the
most serious human-wildlife conflict.
Another consequence of the opening of new lands and villages into previous private wildlife
refuges is the creation of new bush paths between these settlements. This generates a greater
traffic of pedestrians, increasing the risk of contacts with wild animals. Other activities
organized around the new settlements like the daily collection of wild fruit, berries and fuel
wood, fishing, poaching etc., expose the inhabitants further to encounters with wildlife.
Access to water is another essential human requirement and so development of permanent
settlements is always close to a source of water preventing its access to wildlife. In addition,
despite the efforts to develop alternative water supplies, in rural Africa water is still most
frequently drawn from natural or man-made surface waters, i.e. rivers, lakes and dams. People
are dependent on access to these water bodies for their daily needs: collection of water for
domestic use as well as bathing and washing clothes and utensils. Many of these water bodies
are habitat for crocodiles and with increasing human populations that need to make use of
water “the scene is set for increasing human-crocodile conflict” (Fergusson, 2002).
Box n°9: Human migrations and HWC
War and civil unrest push people to take shelter in protected areas where they exert a strong
pressure on natural resources and enter into competition with wildlife. It is assumed that, due
to civil war, more than 120,000 people are currently living in protected areas in Mozambique
(Ministério para a coordenação da acção ambiental, 2006). Political upheavals can have
indirect repercussion on HWC situation. In Zimbabwe, due to the crisis faced by the country,
funding for the CAMPFIRE organisation has been seriously depleted. This organisation being
the custodian for wildlife in Communal areas, there is now little or no compensation for
damage. This further complicates the matter, forcing the rural populations to take matters into
their own hands. They resort to the illegal hunting of problem species with incorrect calibre
weapons often wounding the animals or to use agricultural pesticides to control lions and
leopards and to some extent baboon.
The human population surrounding Kakum Conservation Area, Ghana, has increased
dramatically during the past 30 years. Actually, during the 1970’s farmers migrated in large
numbers from other regions of the country to take advantage of the ideal cocoa-growing
conditions at the edge of the forest. This has contributed directly to the increase in levels of
human-elephant conflict.
15
Water-side communities in Africa have grown in recent years at around 3% per annum (Bryant,
2005) through natural recruitment but also as a result of immigration by people displaced by
drought conditions and by political upheavals (McGregor, 2004; Bourdillon et al., 1985). At
Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe, the human population occupying “fishing camps” along the shore line
doubled during the 1991/1992 drought and increased again subsequently as people were
displaced by land reforms and economic collapse. This exposes more people to risk of attack by
crocodiles as the numbers of residents drawing water directly from the lake, and the numbers of
people informally engaged in subsistence and commercial fishing has increased.
The successive droughts and the subsequent desertification led to an important migration of
northern populations southwards. These migrants often settled near the last pockets of natural
resources that are protected areas where they are particularly exposed to HWC. Actually,
conflict is most acute in zones in which a wide range of species coexists with high-density
human populations (Ogada et al., 2003). Tsavo National Park buffer zone (ca. 20,000 km²),
which supports almost 250,000 people provides a good example (Patterson et al., 2004).
Box n°10: Perceptions of several species by local African populations
Landowners, traditional land-users and even wildlife managers, still sometimes deliberately
kill species that they consider represent a threat – ranging from elephants to birds like Quelea
sp.- with a view to reducing the population, or even locally exterminating that species.
The continued negative attitude of communities towards wildlife emanates from losses
(including life, property, crops and even agricultural land set aside for conservation purposes)
they incurred from wildlife. The mandatory relationship "wildlife-damage" is now so much
integrated in local populations' minds that they can blame even beneficial species. In
Zanzibar, villagers in agricultural areas adjacent to the southern border of the Jozani Forest
Reserve claimed the red colobus’ consumption of coconuts to be the cause of serious crop
yield losses. A study was undertaken and the authors found out that, contrary to villagers’
perceptions and predictions, the monkeys are not a limiting factor, but instead contributed to a
slight increase in the final coconut tree yields. In fact, they accounted for a 2.8% increase in
the potential harvest through pruning small and immature coconuts. In addition, the primates
are a source of income through tourism (Siex et al., 1999).
Elephant seems to crystallize the rural communities' hate. Field reports from across Africa
describe local antipathy to elephants beyond that expressed for any other wildlife. People
living in central African forests “fear and detest” elephants (Barnes, 1996). Farmers in
Zimbabwe display “ingrained hostility” to elephants that are the “focus of all local animosity
toward wildlife” (Wunder, 1997). Rural Ugandans complain bitterly about elephants, except
where they have been eradicated (Hill, 1998).
In the mind of most rural communities in Africa, lions are considered as pests and should be
eliminated. In Uganda, a study conducted in and around Queen Elizabeth National Park
showed the following results when asked about the best way to deal with stray lions that come
into the village: 37% of the respondents (156 questionnaires returned and analysed) advocated
lions should be killed, 35% said a fence should be erected around the Protected Area, and
only 28% felt people should be taught how to avoid lions (Driciru, 1999).
16
In Cameroon, out of 236 people questioned from 10 different villages along the borders of
Waza National Park, 50% of the herders had a negative perception of the lion (Bauer, 2003b).
In Niger, 81.53% of the 154 people questioned in 87 villages in the peripheral zone of the W
transboundary Park between 2000 and 2006, had a negative attitude towards predators and
14.28% confirm that they would kill predators (Hamissou and di Silvestre, 2008).
In some instances, eradication of large carnivores has been linked to sports hunting and in
others to systematic widespread elimination by trained agents (Treves and Naughton-Treves,
1999). The cases of wild dogs frequently killed by the professional hunters who blame them
to be cruel and too efficient predators and of lions and hyenas poisoned by the National
Veterinary services and herders to support livestock development, are well known examples.
It is worth to stress that the tolerance level for HWC varies according to the species or the
location. For instance, African people have a complex but generally negative perception of
crocodiles (McGregor, 2004). There seems to be almost no indigenous knowledge remaining
about the role of crocodiles in the natural ecosystem, in contrast to the perceptions held by older
generations concerning the roles of many terrestrial wildlife species (Musambachime, 1987).
Consequently, people see crocodiles only as a threat and as a contributor to their hardship
through depredations on their livestock and fishing success. However, there are a few
exceptions mostly linked to ancestral and totemic respect. These include for example the
“sacred” crocodiles at Lakes Bazoulé and Sabou in Burkina Faso and other parts of francophone
West Africa (Kpera, 2007). In addition, a human death or injury is better tolerated if it is due to
a crocodile than if it results from an elephant or a lion. People consider actually that in the first
case, it was the human who made an incursion into the habitat of the crocodile while, in the
second, it was wildlife which intruded into the human environment.
It could be noted here that local beliefs have an impact on the occurrence of some conflicts.
As previously quoted, attacks on human victims by crocodiles are often ascribed to witchcraft
(Musambachime, 1987). The fatalism inspired by witchcraft may, to some extent, explain the
apparent lack of concern shown by communities in daily exposure to crocodiles. Described as
“carelessness” by Sichali (2000), the lack of effort to take even rudimentary precautions
against attack and the repeated and frequent exposure to risk in the face of known and often
recently exhibited risk is difficult to understand. Wanjau (2002) refers to the same
phenomenon in Kenya.
In rare cases, local populations can have a good perception of wildlife. So, rural villagers,
who live in proximity to Waza National Park in Cameroon, appreciate nature’s intrinsic value
and agree with the necessity to protect forests and their wildlife inhabitants for future
generations. Their positive attitude towards conservation arises from the use of natural
resources such as regulated harvesting of non-timber forest products, the use of waterholes
and fishing (Bauer, 2003a). In Tanzania, several villagers in Rufiji district (which suffered 92
lion attacks on human since 1990) reported a high tolerance for lions because the lions helped
to control the bush pig population (Packer et al., 2006).
17
Box n°11: Gender and HWC
Most of the people killed by large mammals are men; many of these incidents occur during
the night. In Kenya, alcohol was found to be a key factor in one third of the deaths; victims
were drunk and returning home from the bar. Others died protecting their crops, herding
cattle, walking at night between neighbouring villages or even taking the preys of large
Felids. Information gathered from Ugandan Game Department archives (1923-1994) reveals that
twentieth-century agropastoralists regularly tried to scavenge from leopard and lion kills (Treves
and Naughton-Treves, 1999). This very hazardous behaviour led to many human deaths.
The gender effect was confirmed for lion in Tanzania where a study showed that, above 10
years of age, men are at much greater risk of being attacked by lion than women. This is
because men are more likely to tend cattle or forage for bushmeat, and they are more likely to
walk around alone at night. Men are also attacked when trying to retaliate against humaneating lions, often relying solely on nets and spears. However, although men are more at risk
overall than women, both men and women are almost equally at risk when in agricultural
fields or near their homes (Packer et al., 2006). On the other hand, attacks on men were less
often lethal than attacks on women and children.
On the other hand, the gender roles of traditional Africa society and the use of children and
sub-adults in household tasks expose more women and children to crocodiles' attack. This is
the demographic sector of rural communities that is least equipped to survive such attacks as
attacks on women and children are more frequently fatal than attacks on adult males.
As shown by a study on HWC carried out by AWF in the Chobe-Caprivi corridor between
Botswana and Namibia, there is also a gender disparity in how people are affected by wildlife
conflict and this is linked to ownership of resources. Men tend to view the lion as the most
problematic animal because men mostly own livestock, which are prime targets for the lions.
Livestock also receives the highest compensation in Botswana. On the other hand, women,
who are mostly agriculturalists, rank the elephant as the most problematic animal because of
crop raiding. In addition, female-headed households are most affected by wildlife conflict
with over 85% reporting damage to crops and 95% impacts on livestock. This is because in
most cases such households are relatively poor and unable to invest in mitigation measures
such as building strong fences and animal kraals (Muruthi, 2005).
2.2.2. Habitat factors
The growing loss of habitat has lead to increasing conflict between humans and wildlife. As
wildlife range becomes more and more fragmented and as wildlife gets confined into smaller
pockets of suitable habitat, humans and wildlife are increasingly coming into contact and in
conflict with each other. For instance, in Ghana, the decrease in the forest area available to
elephants in Kakum Conservation Area by about half since the 1970s, would explain why the
density of elephants (about 0.6/km²) is now higher than in most other West African forests
thereby resulting in increased crop raiding activities (Barnes et al., 2003).
Nowadays, the last suitable habitat subsists generally inside the protected areas explaining
that conflicts are particularly common in reserve buffer zones where healthy wildlife
populations stray from the protected area into adjacent cultivated fields or grazing areas.
18
In that respect, border zones of protected areas may be considered population sinks: critical
zones in which conflict is one the major problem (Woodroffe and Ginsberg, 1998).
The modification of habitat's quantity or quality is due to several factors, the two more
important of which are listed below.
 Impact of human activities
Human activities like husbandry, agriculture, fishing, infrastructural development
and even tourism or wildlife protection itself, can also modify dramatically wildlife
habitat directly or indirectly (see Box n°8 and examples in Box n°12).
 Natural factors
Droughts, bush fires, climatic changes and other unpredictable natural hazards can
contribute to the decrease in suitable wildlife habitat and therefore have an impact
on HWCs' occurrence and extent as shown in Box n°13. Similarly, the seasonal
habitat's modification owed to rainfall can have an impact on HWC (see Box n°14).
One of the main consequences of the loss of habitat is the decrease in the natural resources
available for wildlife.
 The destruction of the natural vegetation around the protected areas and sometimes the
total disappearance of the buffer zones, withdraw fodder resources and push herbivore
species to feed in cultivated fields. This is an increasing phenomenon since the growth
rate of the cultivated area is very high at the periphery of protected areas, as for
instance in West Africa around the WAP Complex (Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger) that
lost 14.5% of its natural savannah vegetation within 30 km of the protected area
boundaries (Clerici et al., 2005). The same can be applied to species with a regime
more diversified like primates as shown by the consequences of the decrease in natural
food on baboons' bark stripping behaviour developed in Box n°15.
 The reduction of the natural preys is one of the major causes of carnivores shifting
their diets to livestock that are easier to capture and with limited escape abilities
(Mishra et al. 2003; Patterson et al. 2004). Many authors recognize indeed that,
when native prey is abundant, wild predators consume it in preference to livestock.
Possible causes and consequences of impoverishment of prey populations are
presented in Box n°16.
Box n°12: Human activities and HWC
In Kenya, the fencing of farms to keep off wild animals created physical barriers to migratory
species. Conflicts can arise when migratory species like zebras and wildebeest that had
previously migrated without any hindrance, destroy the fences and crops in a bid to secure
their historical route from their dispersal areas to the parks. Another source of conflict came
from the subdivision of state and trust ranches to be sold as smallholdings and cultivated with
commercial horticultural crops. The land use fragmentation resulting from the development of
small-scale farming intensified the HWC in many areas with abundant wildlife such as
Samburu, Trans-Mara, Taita and Kwale in Kenya (Kenya Wildlife Service, 1996).
19
The project of small-scale farming considered currently in Namibia is objected by the San
people of the communal N#a Jaqna conservancy for the same reason (Damm, 2008).
The eradication of the tsetse fly (Glossina sp.) and the development of anti-trypanosomiasis
treatments have opened a wide new grazing territory for the cattle herders in areas formerly
only dedicated to wildlife. The concomitant eradication of Simulium sp., vector of
Onchocerca volvulus, responsible for the “river-blindness” (onchocerciasis) exemplified the
phenomenon allowing also the settlement of farmers. With the resulting geographical
extension of human activities and particularly husbandry, livestock and wild ungulates share
more and more often the same grazing fields. This is an obvious risk for transmission of
pathogens. Actually, for the diseases associated with wildlife, the single most important factor
for causing an outbreak is probably the direct or indirect (vector) contact of infected wild
hosts or populations with susceptible domestic animals at the interface of their ranges, i.e.
where mixing has occurred on common rangeland, or where other resources like water are
shared (Bengis et al., 2002).
In some areas of both South Africa and Zimbabwe baboons have been extirpated, particularly
where they interfered with commercial agriculture, to the extent that the current distribution
range of baboons is largely restricted to areas that are not used for commercial cropping and
horticulture. In consequence, more baboons remain in areas where subsistence agriculture is
practised where they raid the crops of subsistence farmers.
Subsistence and commercial fishing are common in most African waters. Fishing was formerly
concentrated in places where the rewards in terms of fish catch are highest and where crocodiles
being naturally wary of human presence, were scarce. Crocodiles become thus concentrated in
areas less heavily fished or disturbed. Due to the growing demand for fish, these areas become
ultimately subjected to fishing pressure. This, consequently, increases the chances of contact
between men and crocodiles and conflict with humans results.
The golden age of dam construction that happened between the 1940s and the 1980s,
undoubtedly benefited wild crocodile populations where these existed in the river prior to
closure. Damming a river has the effect of vastly increasing the shoreline length which is
often relatively shallow (hence warmer), eutrophic and has a more stable water level. So,
dams create ideal habitat for the survival of juvenile crocodiles. The construction of dams
attracting people and benefiting to crocodiles’ populations favours thus potential HWC.
In recent years, the successful recovery of declining or near extinct species population
through wildlife management and protection from poaching and overexploitation has created
new conflicts. Effective protection and habitat management within the Kakum National Park
(Ghana) has for instance increased the population of the forest elephant which resulted in
many elephants straying out of the reserve into local villages. Similarly, elephant conflict in
Zimbabwe has largely been brought about by the over population of elephants, totally
swamping state wildlife land provided for them, over flowing into the adjacent communal
lands where most damage by elephant is reported, competing for water and taking advantage
of easy food found there. With regards to crocodiles, the small individuals that survived the
hunting pressures of the 1950’s and 60’s are now large breeding animals in the size class that
feeds on large mammalian prey including livestock and/or humans (Fergusson, 2002).
20
Box n°13: Natural hazards and HWC
The severe drought which struck Zimbabwe and South Africa in 1982-1983 exemplified the
baboon depredation of exotic timber plantations which over the last 30-40 years, occurred only in
a few localised sites in the mountainous regions of these two countries. The drought pushed the
baboon to use an alternative food, be it marginal, causing the bark stripping problem to surface in
"hot spots" several kilometres apart. The problem seemed thereafter to spread relatively slowly
from these "hotspots" into other adjacent afforested areas over the following 10-12 years until the
next major drought in 1993-1994 when it again escalated.
The spike in lions attacks observed in Tanzania in 1999 was largely attributed to the El Niño
floods of 1997-98, which caused wildlife in many parts of the country to seek higher ground.
As the floods receded in 1999, the wild ungulates returned to their normal ranges, leaving the
lions with insufficient prey (Packer et al., 2006).
In 1983, Ghana experienced severe bush fires from prolonged drought and this reduced the
quality of most wildlife habitat to the extent that some wildlife sought refuge in adjacent habitats
and farms. In Kakum, many wild animals were spotted in cocoa farms close to the park boundary;
the resultant destruction particularly of cocoa pods, forced the government to take immediate
action of sending the military to the communities to force wildlife back to the park.
Box n°14: Seasons and HWC
Seasonal changes in rainfall are directly correlated with predation intensity. In Tsavo National
Parks (Kenya), Patterson et al. (2004) demonstrated that lions are more likely to attack
livestock during seasonal rains. The same was found in Cameroon around Waza National
Park (Bauer, 2003b) and in Niger in the peripheral zone of the W transboundary Park
(Hamissou and di Silvestre, 2008). Actually, during dry season, ungulates, that concentrated
on a limited number of water sources, are easily found and killed; when rain fills seasonal
pools, ungulates disperse driving lions to prey on easier targets.
In Zimbabwe, in proximity to the Sengwa Wildlife Research Area, the correlation between
seasonal changes and intensity of livestock depredation is also found to be strong. However,
contrary to the Tsavo and Waza cases, wild predators are more likely to attack domestic
animals in the dry season months (Butler, 2000).
Lions' attacks on humans appeared also highly seasonal in Tanzania, with most cases
occurring in the harvest season of March, April, and May. During this period, the majority of
people are attacked when sleeping in a makeshift hut to protect their crops from nocturnal
crop raiding pests such as bushpigs (Packer et al., 2006).
It was also established in Ghana that the peak incidences of crop raiding around Kakum by
wildlife, particularly elephant, takes place during the major rainy season between May and June,
when maize is starting to mature (Barnes, 2003). The same was observed in Democratic
Republic of Congo (Mubalama, 2000) and in Namibia, in the Caprivi region (Hanks, 2006).
21
Nile crocodiles, as poïkilothermic reptiles, are most active when temperatures are highest; this
often coincides with the time of year when water levels are lowest concentrating both the
crocodiles and their aquatic prey sources into higher densities. Fishermen, who prefer to fish
at periods of low water because the catches are greater, are thus more exposed to contacts
with crocodiles during the warm season. This is confirmed by the temporal distribution of
crocodiles' attacks which are significantly more numerous in the warmest months.
Box n°15: Effect of monospecific tree plantations on baboons' bark stripping
In Zimbabwe, the removal of natural vegetation to plant pine, eucalyptus and wattle (Acacia
sp.) provided large tracks of monoculture vegetation that was instrumental to fuelling the
baboon problem. Actually, except wild granadillas and a few indigenous plants and insects,
natural food is scarce in these afforested areas. That could make the baboons more prone to
eat the cambium layer beneath the bark of the trees. Wide single species plantations mean also
that the baboons could not easily move to look for alternative food even though the food value
in the cambium is minimal, in fact insufficient to sustain a baboon in the long term. The effect
of the monoculture on baboon depredating behaviour is at last confirmed by the fact that
troops whose territory is adjacent to indigenous forest or commercial farming land did not
undertake damage whereas those adjacent to other afforested areas did. The same
phenomenon was observed in South Africa where the isolated plantations were largely
unaffected and conversely those adjacent to one another had most damage.
Box n°16: Possible causes and consequences of the decrease in natural preys of wild
carnivores
Poaching, Hunting/Fishing
The dramatic jump in lions attacks noted in Tanzania since 1990 is likely due to the population
increase in the country (from 23.1 million in 1988 to 34.6 million in 2002) and an associated
increase in illegal bushmeat hunting that has removed much of the lions' prey outside the
protected areas. That pushed the lions to turn to livestock and enter villages (TRAFFIC, 1998;
Nowell and Jackson, 1996).
Similarly, in the Kakum forest reserve (Ghana) many wildlife was killed as a result of intensive
logging and hunting before being officially gazetted as a national park in 1989. This adversely
affected the prey numbers thereby forcing predators to look for food outside the reserve.
The over fishing of the crocodile’s primary food source causing crocodiles to switch to other
prey including humans has been sometimes mentioned to explain the Human-Crocodile
conflict (FAO, 2005). Nevertheless, this argument oversimplifies a complex relationship as
only 33% of the diet of adult crocodiles consists of all types of fish.
22
Agriculture and Husbandry
The decline or local extinction in wild herbivore populations is partly linked to the growing
densities in livestock populations which can create an overlap of diets and forage competition
with wild herbivores resulting in overgrazing (Butler, 2000).
Diseases can cause a huge die-off of preys like in the 1890s, when an outbreak of rinderpest
killed millions of zebras, gazelles and other African wildlife. Consequently, lions had to look
elsewhere for food, and attacks on humans increased across Kenya.
2.2.3. Problem Animal factors
Wildlife's intrinsic features like: food preferences, migrations, wariness or predation
behaviour can explain the occurrence and/or the extent of HWCs. Some examples are
presented in Box n°17.
The physiological (e.g. rutting) or health (injuries, diseases, parasitism, etc) status of a
wildlife species may affect its normal behaviour and subsequently create conflict with humans
as shown in Box n°18.
Box n°17: Effect of Wildlife's intrinsic features on HWC occurrence
A few food items, found particularly palatable, can attract wildlife over rather long distances.
That is the case for some crops. For instance, according to Barnes (2003), among the crops
planted outside the Kakum National Park (Ghana), maize and cassava attract particularly
elephants. Near the Djona hunting zone (North Benin), maize is also the most devastated crop,
twice as much as the second raided crop: cotton, and largely before groundnut and millet
(Alfa Gambari Imorou et al., 2004).
In Benin, the presence of mature wild fruits like Vitellaria paradoxa sheanuts and Parkia
biglobosa pods was found to attract elephants in the fields where they raid maize and
groundnuts (Kidjo, 1992; Mama, 2000). The same has been described with cultivated fruits
like mangoes or guavas in the Centre of Burkina Faso (Eugène Compaoré, pers. comm.)
In addition to the availability, the species of the wild preys has an impact on potential HWC as
revealed by a study carried out in Tanzania by Packer et al. (2005). This study showed that the
number of humans attacked by lions in each district was highly correlated with two factors: the
abundance of medium-sized prey (zebra, hartebeest, dikdik or impala) and the abundance of
bushpigs. Lion attacks would be most common in areas with the lowest abundance of normal
prey and with the largest numbers of bushpigs (Packer et al., 2006).
Species making regular seasonal movements, like elephant, are known to use always the same
"traditional" routes. Installing fields on these routes expose them to be raided. This has been
observed for instance in Mali and Togo where the damages were more important in the
villages located on the elephants' usual paths (Maïga, 1999; Okoumassou and Durlot, 2002).
The wariness of wild species can explain why some fields' locations are more prone to raiding
than others. For instance, damage by both baboon and monkeys are more apparent where
lands are smaller surrounded by large trees and rocky hillocks from where they spot then raid.
23
These vantage points provide actually easy escape routes difficult for guards to follow. On the
other hand, when wild species loose their fear for man for various reasons, this can also cause
conflicts. Elephant numbers have increased within many parks and reserves and some
individuals, used to the harmless contact with tourists, have lost their fear of people and
therefore visit communities and destroy life and property. Crocodiles are naturally wary of
humans especially where they are frequently hunted, but they can learn that people pose no
threat. Food is a strong stimulus and reward for learning; so, an acquired behaviour of
“human-eating” is certainly possible.
A particular aspect of lion behaviour, “surplus killing”, certainly exacerbates human hostility
towards lions and enhances the conflicts. Actually, like other large felid species, a lion
breaking into a fenced enclosure is often tempted to kill more -sometimes many moredomestic animals than it can eat (Nowell and Jackson, 1996). In addition, some lions become
specialised and are chronic livestock killers (Franck, 2006).
Behaviourally, the Nile crocodile is an opportunist ambush predator with many physical attributes
evolved to optimise their success in this role. Adult crocodiles will feed on any animal that it can
capture or find freshly dead ranging in size from fingerling fish to an hippo. Humans are less
powerful and slower in water than any similar sized wild mammal and are easy prey.
Box n°18: Impact of pathology and physiology on HWC
Behavioural modifications can be generated by the different phases of reproduction. In male
elephant, the rutting called “musth”, is a period of increased plasma testosterone levels,
characterized by the enlargement of and copious secretions from the temporal gland, persistent
dribbling urine, but also increase in aggression towards other elephants and non elephant objects
(Poole et al., 1981). The males' aggressiveness during the rutting period has also been observed
in lion. In the same way, the presence of youngsters bring about an aggressive behaviour of
females and causes even attacks on human, particularly in elephant and lion.
Numerous authors have invoked the infirmity theory (injured, sick or old lions) to explain
instances of human-eating and marauding by lion (Kruuk, 1980). Patterson and Neiburger
(2000) examined evidence for this hypothesis in the skulls and mandibles of the Tsavo and
Mfuwe human-eaters: all the cats had sustained serious and chronic injuries to their teeth and
jaws. However, if the infirmity theory used to explain human-killing is widespread, it is not so
simple. In Uganda only 14% of 275 lion attacks described in the archives were attributed to
wounded animals, suggesting that a majority of healthy animals were involved in attacks on
humans.
Wounded buffalos are known to be particularly dangerous. This is not the case for crocodiles
and there is no evidence to suggest that attacks by crocodiles on humans are carried out only
by old, sick or otherwise challenged individuals.
Wild animals may feel irritated as a result of disease or parasites. In Mozambique, lions
affected by TB after a contamination from buffalos, were noted more prone to prey on
livestock than healthy individuals. Observers report that buffaloes parasitized with Oestrus sp.
larvae would have attacked men without other apparent reason. Parasitic diseases affecting
brain and encephalitis deeply modify the sick animal behaviour; the exacerbation of
aggressiveness and loss of fear for man due to rabies is very well known in that respect.
24
2.3. Consequences for Man
HWC consequences are more serious in the tropics and in developing countries where
livestock holdings and agriculture are an important part of rural people’s livelihoods and
incomes. In these regions, local people with a low standard of living are particularly at risk, as
are agro-pastoralists who depend exclusively on production and income from their land.
2.3.1. Safety of people
Injuries to people mostly occur as a result of chance contact between man and elephant,
buffalo, hippo and lion, usually along paths to and from dwellings and water. Contact with
crocodile when bathing or collecting water more frequently result in death than in permanent
injuries, nevertheless, many of these permanent injuries cause significant disability.
Amputations of limbs are quite frequent as are attacks that result in major scarring, often on
the trunk.
The dramatic consequences of these attacks go well beyond the unfortunate victim as they
have repercussion on the whole community. Actually, on a national scale, the loss of a human
life due to HWC has little consequence but at the family and village level, this can be
catastrophic. In addition, the death of a family member due to a wild animal is a very
traumatic experience. The death or injury of the bread winner to a poor peasant family in a
developing country can mean the difference between a secure life for all and one of
destitution where simple day to day survival becomes life’s priority. The loss of the mother of
a family will mean that a child has to take her place doing family chores and that the
opportunity of an education for that child is lost. In time, this will have consequences for her
children and their future.
In addition, the possible occurrence of wildlife attacks restricts some activities considered “at
risk” like walking at night, guarding crops, bathing, etc. Security measures are then to be
taken at the community level. For instance, in certain areas of Kenya, such as Taita Taveta
District that borders Tsavo National Park, curfews have been imposed on the people by the
uncontrollable movements of wildlife through villages and farms (Kimega, 2003).
2.3.2. Food security
In most of rural Africa, food security is generally a very precarious situation relying tightly on
the results of one single cropping season or on the sale of some livestock.
So, if on a national scale, the loss of two hectares of maize to elephants in a single night
means nothing, to the family concerned, it can mean their food supply for the year and the
difference between self sufficiency and destitution. This consequence is particularly acute
where Governments do not have the capacity to pay compensation for the losses.
Additionnaly, the capacity of smallholder subsistence farmers to cope with losses varies even
within the same region. In Uganda, on the edge of Kibale National Park, for instance, the
owners of large farms can employ guards or create a crop buffer zone to separate vulnerable
yields from the forest edge, through cultivating less palatable plant species or using the land
for pasture. These options are not available to subsistence farmers, who have less choice in
their land use and can not afford to pay for guards (Naughton-Treves, 1997).
25
The Elephant is one of the wild species that, causing very important damage to crops, can
jeopardize entire families’ livelihoods (see Box n°19).
The impact of elephants raids is dramatic, but other damaging species cause important losses
although more insidious. For instance, in areas where subsistence agriculture is practised the
depredations by baboons on grain crops such as maize, sorghum and millet, fruits and some
vegetable crops can reduce the yield by a significant percentage. Around the Bénoué National
Park (Cameroon), the species inflicting most of the crop losses are elephants, baboons, green
parrots and warthog (Weladji and Tchamba, 2003).
As for crops destruction, the loss of one’s small herd of cattle to lion can mean the effective
destruction of a family's way of life and wealth. For rural populations, domestic animals are
not only the main resource through manure, milk, meat, live sales, but also their only wealth
(means of saving, source of income, social role). Predators such as lions often kill numerous
domestic animals like cattle in one raid and strongly impact household’s food security. In the
Kanamub area of the Namibian Sesfontein Conservancy, farmers loose as many as three to
four animals in a month to lions, leopards, hyenas and cheetahs (Tjaronda, 2007).
The evidence for direct competition for fish between crocodiles and humans is limited
(Games, 1990), with crocodiles consuming 0.5% of annual fish production or 6-10% of the
amount removed by the artesanal fishery and most (ca 67%) of these fishes are scaleless “noncommercial” fish species that are avoided by subsistence and artisan fishermen.
On the other hand, there is an impact on food security through the damage that crocodiles
cause to fishing nets, particularly thin monofilament gill nets with small to medium mesh size
frequently used by artesanal fishermen. McGregor (2004) reports that over 80% of a sample
of fisherman’s nets were damaged by crocodiles at Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe. The holes torn in
the nets are often extensive - up to several metres in diameter. This reduces the fish off take
for the fishermen and requires significant amounts of time, effort and resources to repair or
replace the damaged sections.
Box n°19: A few data on elephant damage to crop
In some semi-arid rural farming areas of Zimbabwe and Kenya, elephant damage to food
crops accounts for 75-90% of all incidents by large mammal (Hoare and Mackie, 1993).
Outside the Kakum national park (Ghana), about two-thirds of all farms that are susceptible to
crop raiding are devastated each year. It is estimated that up to 300 households lose up to 60%
of their food crops annually to elephants alone. The main affected crops are maize, cassava,
cocoyam, plantain and yam (Barnes, 2003). At the periphery of Djona hunting zone (North
Benin), in 2002, elephants destroyed 49.70 hectares (out of an estimated total of 152
hectares), representing a loss of 61 tons of crops for the villages. A survey showed that 80%
of the questioned people have registered damages each year during the last four years (Alfa
Gambari Imorou et al., 2004).
It has been estimated that the annual cost of elephant raids of crops range from US$ 60
(Uganda) to US$ 510 (Cameroon) per affected farmer (Naughton et al., 1999). In the Caprivi
region of Namibia, elephant crop damage, between 1991 and 1995, amounted to a total
economic loss of US$ 39,200 (O'Connell-Rodwell et al., 2000). At Kakum, Ghana, crop loss
to elephants is estimated at US$ 450 per farmer.
26
In Mali, the mean crop’s surface destroyed by elephants is estimated at 1,000 hectares per
year, i.e. a financial loss of about US$ 195,230. In some areas, these damages led victim
families to leave their traditional cultural fields (Maïga, 1999; Marchand, 1999). In Togo,
around Fazao Malfakassa national park, between 1994 and 1999, the raided surfaces were
estimated at 204,27 ha, i.e. a loss of production of 252.55 tons of yam, maize, rice, sorghum
and cassava representing a gross value of US$ 77,730 (Alfa Gambari Imorou et al., 2004).
Around the Bénoué national Park (Cameroon) the communities had lost an estimated 31% of
annual crop income and 18% of annual livestock income per household (Weladji and
Tchamba, 2003).
Elephants can also damage food stores during the dryer months following the main crop
harvest. The loss of this stored food is considered far more disruptive to farmers than the
raiding of crops while they were still in the fields, because a lot of damage can be done to
such a concentrated food source in a short space of time. In addition, damage to field crops
can be negated by planting replacements if the damage occurs early in the season, but food
stores cannot be replaced until the following growing season.
2.3.3. Economic and social costs
HWC generates significant economic losses regarding several sectors of human activities.
 Agriculture
Crop damage not only affects a farmer’s ability to feed his family, it also reduces
cash income and has repercussions for health, nutrition, education and ultimately,
development. Finances are actually diverted from these issues to staple food. Some
figures illustrating the economic cost of elephant crop raiding have been provided in
Box n°19.
 Forestry
Baboons stripping bark from exotic timber plantations may also have several
economic consequences like: (i) decrease in Mean Annual Increment; (ii) loss of
overall productivity of the compartment which ranges between 25 and 32% (Van der
Lingen, 2001; Stuart Valintine, pers. comm.); (iii) losses due to subsequent infestation
by other pests (Sirex wood wasp in South Africa, fungus like Lasiodiplodia sp
responsible for “blued” timber more difficult to market); (iv) increased costs in
harvesting and log making; (v) increase in replanting and protection/management
costs; (vi) increase in the handling time and effort and in the wastage off the saw; (vii)
expenses linked to the cost of control. In addition, although minor in economic terms
relative to the loss of wood volume and value, there have been additional impacts by
baboons on the production of non-timber forest products providing significant income
like granadillas (passion fruit) interplanted with the pine trees or mushrooms (Boletus
and Agaricus sp) in Zimbabwe.
 Husbandry
Predation by mammalian carnivores and crocodiles is responsible of the loss of
many livestock throughout Africa (see Box n°20).
27
However, the number of livestock killed over a period of time is an inconsistent figure
to appraise the real impact on the livelihood of the rural population and it would be more
informative if it were related to the total family livestock holding or total village units.
The quantification of the economic losses should also be related to annual household
income or the economic value of the family holdings (cattle, agricultural fields) (Sekhar,
1998).
The eventuality of disease transmission from wildlife to livestock jeopardizes
international trade. For instance, to export cattle and/or meat, these have to come from
areas that are certified to be free of Foot and Mouth Disease. This can only be done if
the areas are free of buffalo.
 Infrastructures
The economic cost of the damages caused by elephants to the infrastructures in the
Pama national reserve (Burkina Faso) would amount to about US$ 587/pond/year
and US$ 23/track kilometre/year (Alfa Gambari Imorou et al., 2004).
 Sport hunting
A new ban was placed on lion hunting for the 2008 season in Botswana by the
Department of Wildlife and National Parks for its concern on the number of lions killed
in defence of livestock in certain areas of the country. As a precautionary measure, the
Department has taken a decision not to issue any lion hunting quota until further notice.
The Department further wishes to assure the public that appropriate measures are being
put in place to reverse the current trends (Dahm, 2007). This hunting ban represents an
important economic loss for the state and the hunting operators since in 2007, the trophy
fee for lion in Botswana was US$ 5,000 and the costs of a lion safari ranged from US$
60,000 to US$ 92,000 according to the duration of the safari.
 Health and employment
Nuisance encounters with small animals, exposure to zoonotic diseases, physical
injury or even death caused by large animals’ attacks have high financial costs for
individuals and society in the form of medical treatments The surveillance of the fields
at night results in an higher exposure to malaria (WWF SARPO, 2005).
HWC can have repercussions on the employment as shown hereafter. In Zimbabwe,
for instance, there are approximately 9,400 permanent staff and regular contractors
employed on plantations and sawmills (Timber Producers Federation, 2006) and a
further 3,770 employees engaged in urban based primary processing of forest
products. Any threat to their employment arising from the baboons' damage can
adversely affect the financial viability of the companies concerned and this will be
keenly felt in the economy of the recruiting area. In South Africa, the number of
people directly employed in the plantation sector would range from 67,469 to
164,800, although not all of these work in geographical areas currently subject to
baboon damage.
28
In addition, the economic costs of HWC include the time spent and opportunity cost in
guarding crops from elephant and bushpig at night as well as baboons and granivorous birds
by day. The task of guarding crops at night generally falls to men; by day this is frequently the
responsibility of children. Time which should have gone into productive use is spent on farm
patrols to ward off rampaging wildlife. Human-wildlife conflicts have thus a wide range of
negative social impacts which include missed school and work, additional labour costs, loss of
sleep, fear, but also restriction of travel or loss of pets (Hoare, 1992). The costs of altering
human behaviour patterns is also significant and is suspected to have contributed to the
apparent difficulty of persuading communities to reduce their exposure to crocodile risk.
In view of all the socio-economic impacts of human-wildlife conflicts on park-adjacent
communities, it is no wonder that most of the areas around protected areas in Africa remain
poor. Communities bear a disproportionately high cost of maintaining wildlife.
Box n°20: Some figures on livestock predation
In Zimbabwe, many areas of traditional agro-pastoralism bordering protected areas suffer
from livestock depredation. In the Gokwe communal land, neighbouring the Sengwa Wildlife
Research area, the average annual loss per household, between January 1993 and June 1996,
amounted to 12% of the total family's income. It is worth pointing out that despite baboons
killing more animals, lions caused the greatest economic loss because of the high value of
cattle (Butler, 2000).
In the Caprivi region of Namibia, lion depredation between 1991 and 1994, totalled US$
70,570 (O'Connell-Rodwell et al., 2000). In Cameroon, around Waza National Park, losses
due to predators are as significant as those to disease (respectively US$ 220,000/year and US$
225,000/year). Lions alone are responsible for losses of US$ 130,000, primarily on cattle
herds, that is approximately US$ 370 per stockbreeder (Bauer and de Iongh, 2001).
In Niger, the economic losses for all people interviewed between 2000 and 2006 in the
peripheral zone of the W transboundary Park are estimated at approximately US$ 149,530.
This loss equals an annual average of US$ 138 per year per person (Hamissou and di
Silvestre, 2008).
Predation by carnivores does not only affect rural and vulnerable communities, but also
commercial cattle ranches. In Kenya, during a four year study, due to livestock depredation by
lions, spotted hyenas and cheetahs, two commercial ranches adjoining Tsavo East National
Park have lost an average of 2.4% of the total herd per annum, which represented 2.6% of
their economic value and amounted to US$ 8,749 (Patterson et al. 2004).
The number and type of domestic animals that are killed by crocodiles and their value is
generally poorly recorded but is significant. Small stock, goats and sheep, are much more
frequently killed than cattle but the economic loss associated with the death of a cow is
considerable. At Kibwezi, Kenya, 478 goats, 48 sheep and 50 cattle have been killed by
crocodiles over five years representing an economic value of US$ 16,958 (Wanjau, 2000).
Ducks and dogs are also frequent victims although their value is difficult to quantify. In
addition, the replacement costs of fishing gear damaged by crocodiles are significant in the
economy of subsistence fishermen.
29
2.3.4. Politics and media
There is frequently a political dimension to HWC. Incidents occurring in rural areas,
particularly where the outcome is fatal and where there is no official response or action,
frequently lead to parliamentary questions and debate. In Mozambique and Burkina Faso,
HWC is part of the issues which are more often directly addressed to the President when he
goes to the field and meet the populations. This has the effect of raising the profile of HWC to
being an issue that receives national government attention.
Attacks by crocodiles on humans elicits an emotional response in the immediate family of
the victim but also in the public at large, albeit from different perspectives and with
different intensity. This is possibly the psychological root of the fascination that such
incidents seem to hold for print, visual and electronic media, particularly when the victim is
of European or American origin. For example the fatal attack by a crocodile on an 18 year
old British student in Kenya led to pages of headline coverage in the European press while
the local newspaper related a summary of eight recent deaths of Kenyan citizens in one
paragraph on an inside page.
2.4. Consequences for Wildlife conservation
2.4.1. Short term: conservation of individuals
Killing of wild animals in retaliation for HWC is a very common reaction, even though the
identification of the real culprit be seldom possible. This is particularly true for predators, but
also for other species as revealed by the examples of Box n°21.
Box n°21: Killing of wildlife in retaliation to HWC
In Northern Kenya, the number of predators killed by farmers has been reported to be
positively correlated with the number of livestock killed by lions, hyenas and leopards (Ogada
et al., 2003). Kenyan pastoralists poisoned all the lions in Amboseli Reserve in 1990 and
speared 27 of 40 lions in Nairobi National Park in 2003. Lions are also poisoned by
pastoralists in Chad and in several districts of Tanzania (Packer et al., 2006). In Namibia, over
a 20 year period, on average about 60 lions per year were killed outside Etosha National Park,
almost always by communal or commercial farmers (Government of Namibia, 2007).
Crocodiles attack from the water and retreat underwater with the victim immediately after the
attack. So, it is very unlikely that a particular individual is ever identified as being responsible
for attacks. In this case it is typical that more crocodiles are killed than the number of people
attacked (Wanjau, 2002; Marcelino Foloma, pers. comm.). Smaller crocodiles are sometimes
trapped by the nets if they are unable to tear away the netting which holds the crocodile
beneath the water surface, eventually resulting in drowning. Alternatively, fishermen finding
live crocodiles trapped in their nets will typically dispatch the animal with a blow to the head.
Elephants are often killed in retaliation for human deaths. Kenyan Wildlife authorities shoot
between 50 and 120 problem elephants each year (WWF, 2007a).
30
In the surroundings of Virunga national Park (Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC), habitat
destruction and human population growth mean that the mountain gorilla and other forest
animals, such as elephant and buffalo, are increasingly coming into contact with people, often
leading to conflicts. For mountain gorillas, interactions with local people are a source of stress,
can result in the transmission of human diseases, and can lead to direct physical attacks,
disabilities such as loss of limbs from snares, and even death: 18 mountain gorillas were killed
between 1996 and 2003 in Virunga and Bwindi (McFie, 2003; Woodford, et al. 2002).
2.4.2. Mid term: conservation of species
Several species of large carnivores such as lion or hyenas have been eliminated from a large
part of their former home ranges following their persecution by humans in response to HWC.
In Mali, lion-cattle conflicts are one of the main reasons which led to the drastic reduction of
the number of lions. Similarly, in national parks of northern Central African Republic (CAR),
the decrease in lion numbers is largely due to systematic shooting by pastoralists who enter
the Parks with their herds during the dry season (Chardonnet, 2002). Today, illegal
persecution of predators, including poisoning, shooting and trapping, perhaps is still the
greatest threat to these species (Muruthi, 2005).
The situation for the crocodile is different. Actually, the responses by humans to conflict with
crocodile normally involve the killing or removal of not just the individual crocodile
responsible, but reduction of the whole population locally. However, the Nile crocodile is not
endangered at a continental scale by the existence of conflicts as significant populations are
conserved in protected areas where, by definition, those cannot occur. On the other hand,
there are countries like Mozambique and Madagascar where none of the major crocodile
habitats are conserved within protected areas; in this case the populations are potentially at
risk from over-harvesting resulting from Human-Crocodile conflict, coupled with habitat
degradation and disturbance.
Additionally, in some countries, for example Uganda, there were deliberate campaigns aimed
at eradicating crocodiles in the belief that this would benefit the fishing industry (von Hippel
in Graham, 1973).
There are also several indirect consequences of HWC like transmission of diseases from
domestic animals to wildlife, grazing competition, habitat fragmentation or pollution; all pose
threats to the survival of wildlife populations or even the species as a whole, as shown by the
examples presented in Box n°22.
Box n°22: Adverse effects of HWC on Wildlife Conservation
The rinderpest pandemic of 1889-1905 in sub-Saharan Africa, reputed to have been
introduced into Eritrea from India by the Italian army in 1887/1888, or by a German military
expedition that brought infected cattle from Aden and Bombay to the East African coast,
caused the death of countless wild artiodactyls. Buffalo, tragelaphs, wild suids and wildebeest
were most severely affected and only relic populations survived in some areas. Bovine
tuberculosis, probably introduced in Africa with imported dairy and beef cattle during the
colonial era, has become endemic in several buffalo populations in South Africa and Uganda,
as well as in a Kafue lechwe population in Zambia.
31
Buffalo and the lechwe have become true sylvatic maintenance hosts of this mycobacterial
disease, and sporadic spill-over of infection has been documented in greater kudu, common
duiker, chacma and olive baboons, lion, cheetah, leopard, warthog, bushpig, spotted hyena and
common genet. The long-term effects of this chronic progressive disease on African wildlife
host populations at sustained high prevalence rates is unknown, but preliminary evidence
suggests that it may negatively affect population dynamics or structure in buffalo and lion.
Canine distemper virus was reported to have been introduced into the African continent with
domestic dogs. In the past decade, this disease has apparently crossed the species barrier in the
Serengeti ecosystem, causing significant mortalities in lions. It is estimated that 30% of the
Serengeti lions died in this outbreak. The major population decline of the wild dog in this
ecosystem may in part be also attributed to canine distemper (Bengis et al., 2002).
The competition between growing human populations and declining wildlife populations for
the same living space and resources has been demonstrated as being the underlying cause of
the decline in the continent’s elephant populations (Parker and Graham, 1989).
The veterinary fences erected to control the spread of livestock diseases in order to protect the
European Union beef market is responsible for decline of wildlife populations either by
blocking the movements of some species like buffalos, roans, wildebeests, zebras, tsessebes
or by direct (collision, entanglements in the fence) or indirect (poaching) mortality. This was
notably observed in Namibia (Martin, 2005) and in Botswana, particularly in the Okavango
delta (Mbaiwa and Mbaiwa, 2006).
Pollutants including silt can limit the distribution of crocodiles, for example rivers that
previously held crocodile populations but which are now heavily affected by informal alluvial
gold panning which releases toxic pollutants and massive amounts of silt, have resulted in the
almost complete loss of habitat for crocodiles.
2.4.3. Long term: conservation of Wildlife outside of Protected Areas
Human-induced wildlife mortality affects not only the population viability of some of the
most endangered species, but also has broader environmental impacts on ecosystem
equilibrium and biodiversity preservation.
Conflict between people and wildlife today undoubtedly ranks amongst the main threats to
conservation in Africa - alongside habitat destruction and commercially motivated hunting of
wildlife to satisfy the demand for bush meat - and represents a real challenge to local, national
and regional governments, wildlife managers, conservation and development agencies and
local communities (Kangwana, 1993; Conover, 2002; Treves and Karanth, 2003).
Conservation of wildlife outside the protected areas cannot be achieved merely by protecting
animals and avoiding issues of people's needs and rights and their conflicts with wildlife.
Human-wildlife conflicts, rural poverty and hunger, prohibitive costs of wildlife lawenforcement arising from land use practices severely limit wildlife conservation outside
Africa's national parks. The following example illustrates perfectly a situation very common
today. In Cameroon, around Bénoué National Park, wildlife is causing major damage to crops
and livestock, the most affected crops being staple foods.
32
Thus, the people are attempting to secure their livelihoods through illegal encroachment of
farms and poaching to an extent that bushmeat constitutes about 24% of the animal protein
intake (Weladji and Tchamba, 2003).
Developing conservation approaches that are culturally acceptable as well as financially and
ecologically sustainable in response to these challenges, could bring some pieces of solution
for maintaining viable large-mammal populations in Africa.
3. HWC Management
There are several approaches to managing human wildlife conflicts. Prevention strategies
endeavour to prevent the conflict occurring in the first place and take action towards
addressing its root causes, protection strategies are to be implemented when the conflict is
certainly to happen or has already occurred, while mitigation strategies attempt to reduce the
level of impact and lessen the problem. The main difference between the options is the
moment when the measure is implemented.
By definition a management technique is only cost-effective if the cost of implementing the
technique is less than the value of the damage that is being done, taking into account the fact
that a short period of active management may have a continued effect, protecting the crop or
the herd over a longer period afterwards.
We do not present the various management possibilities according to their preventive or
mitigative effect, but rather to the component of the conflict involved (man, production,
animal and environment).
3.1. Human management
3.1.1. Community awareness
Awareness can be carried out in the community at different levels, for instance in schools or
in adult education arenas such as farmer field schools. It is actually believed that educating
children, coupled with awareness raising among adults through the traditional authority of
chiefs and headmen, would be highly cost effective.
Education and training activities could have the objective of disseminating innovative
techniques, building local capacity in conflict prevention and resolution and increasing public
understanding of HWC. Educating rural villagers in practical skills would help them to deal
with dangerous wild animal species and to acquire and develop new tools for defending their
crops and livestock. Over time, it would result in a change of behaviour amongst local
populations and would contribute to reduced risks, improvements in local livelihoods and a
reduction in their vulnerability. In an optimistic scenario, education and training would
promote commitment towards conservation, raise awareness on the essential role of wildlife
in the ecosystem functioning and its ethical and economic value, as well as its recreational
and aesthetic importance.
Box n°23 provides a few issues which can be developed during awareness campaigns in order
to reduce HWC.
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The following example shows that education and training can provide good results to mitigate
HWC. In 2003, in the framework of a FAO pilot project, over 50 farmers drawn from 10
communities around the Kakum National Park in Ghana, were trained as farmer trainers in
anti-crop raiding deterrent techniques. These trainers were expected to assist the majority of
farmers in their respective communities to adopt the relevant techniques. Then, the use of the
introduced techniques was spread through farmer-to-farmer training and word of mouth. The
success of the pilot project resulted in over 70% reduction in crop losses around Kakum NP.
Practical manuals targeting specifically local communities like the "Human Wildlife Conflict
manual" edited by WWF SARPO (2005), "Protecting crops from damage by elephants - A
farmer’s manual" prepared by FAO during the Kakum Project or "Community-based Problem
Animal Control – Livelihood security for people living in elephant range – Training manual"
realized by Elephant Pepper Development Trust (2006), are very useful tools to raise
awareness on HWC at the local level.
Box n°23: A few topics likely to be developed to raise awareness among populations
Behavioural changes able to decrease human vulnerability
A few basic rules can be provided to decrease the risk of lions attacks like: (i) wearing bushcoloured clothes when carrying out activities in the field; (ii) check for the direction of the wind
when approaching a risky area; (iii) increase one’s silhouette by wearing a backpack or heavy
clothing to appear larger; (iv) avoid movements at night; (v) take small children off the ground
when travelling with them (Quigley and Herrero, 2005).
For crocodile, some simple behavioural changes such as always entering the water as groups
of several people together and keeping basic weapons (sticks, stones, axes, spears) close at
hand may not alter the likelihood of an attack occurring but would reduce the chance of an
attack being fatal. Only a percentage of attacks are immediately fatal and it has been shown
that resistance by the victim or bystanders can cut short an attack although this may still leave
the victim injured.
In addition, environmental and ecological education of villagers, fishermen and officials on
the role of the crocodile and how the eradication of crocodiles as an apex predator would
likely diminish rather than increase the volume and value of the fish catch would be useful to
alleviate Human-Crocodile conflict. Finally, allowing community members to observe a
captured animal would provide a new perspective on the risks they take daily. Actually, rural
Africans are largely unaware of the size and strength of adult crocodiles, possibly as these are
normally seen with only the head above the water and are not approachable in daylight.
Waste management
Each stage of waste handling should be addressed, from collection and transportation to disposal.
Actually, waste deposit systems that restrict wildlife access to garbage and good standards of
waste management are important to avoid attracting wild animals to human settlements and to
prevent wild populations being augmented and artificially sustained by human induced food
availability.
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3.1.2. Compensations
 Direct compensations
The payment of compensation in the event of loss is usually confined to a specific class of
loss, for example livestock killed by predators or elephants or human deaths. The schemes are
often funded by a conservation organisation, although government schemes also exist. All are
designed to increase the damage tolerance level among the affected communities and prevent
them taking direct action themselves, which would have usually involved hunting down and
killing the elephants, lions or other species involved (Muruthi, 2005).
In sub-Saharan Africa, some compensation schemes for losses due to wildlife exist. However,
few are effective as shown by the examples of Box n°24.
In consequence, most African countries do not pay compensation for damages by wildlife
arguing that compensation scheme can do little to reduce the HWC and needs to be
modernized in order to become less bureaucratic, more reactive and transparent (Kenya
Wildlife Service, 1996).
The IUCN African Elephant Specialist Group (AfESG) and the Human-Elephant Conflict
Taskforce (HECWG) also recommends against using compensation for elephant damage and
argue that it can only at best address the symptoms and not the cause of the problem.
The failure of most compensation schemes is attributed to bureaucratic inadequacies, corruption,
cheating, fraudulent claims, time and costs involved, moral hazard and the practical barriers that
less literate farmers must overcome to generate a compensation claim. Additionally, they are
difficult to manage, requiring for example reliable and mobile personnel and logistics to verify
and objectively quantify damage over wide areas (Muruthi, 2005). This often leads to delayed
decisions, low rate, irregular and inadequate payments or rejection of compensation claims. All
these factors discourage the farmers to complain. As an example, a study on elephant damages
carried out in the region of Boromo (Burkina Faso) in 2001-2002, revealed that 98% (100 out of
133) of the damages caused by elephants were not reported to the administration because the
farmers knew there will be no compensation (Marchand, 2002).
Furthermore, compensation programs increase the return to agriculture and can therefore be
viewed as a subsidy toward crop and livestock production. Such subsidies can trigger
agricultural expansion (and habitat conversion), an inflow of agriculture producers from
outside the affected areas, and intensification of agricultural production. In addition, this
system is not sustainable as it depends heavily on the budget of the local governing bodies
and/or NGO support. At last, it does not encourage villagers to protect their holdings and to
coexist with wild animals as there are no penalties for actions that facilitate HWC. Each of
these impacts is shown to have potentially adverse effects on the wildlife population that
compensation intends to favour. In some circumstances, the net effect on the wildlife stock
could be even negative (Bulte and Rondeau, 2005).
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Box n°24: Some examples of compensations schemes in Sub-Saharan Africa
A compensation scheme was tried by one district in Zimbabwe but abandoned when the
number of claims quadrupled in the second year of operation (Taylor, 1993). In 2005, the
government of Mozambique paid compensation for elephant damages in the area adjacent to
Maputo special reserve in form of food (e.g. maize, dried fish). However, raids to crops
continued in such a way that the government had difficulties to get the food. So it decided to
implement a definitive solution erecting a fence that prevents elephants from going to the
villages. In Kenya, a compensation scheme has been implemented and has had promising
results up to 1989 when payments for crop damage were suspended because the system
became unworkable; in addition, this compensation scheme neither replaced nor repaired any
installations that are destroyed by wild animals (Thouless, 1993).
In Kenya, a compensation scheme for livestock killing by lions has also been implemented as
well as a compensation scheme for loss of human life or injury supposed to lead to the
compensation of the family in the amount of ca US$ 400 (Wanjau, 2002) which is not enough
even to meet funeral expenses or hospital bills (Obunde et al., 2005). It also does not take into
consideration the impact of such incidents on dependent children who are often taken out of
school because of the lack of funds to pay their fees. During the recent ban on lion hunting in
Botswana, the Government made public its intention to pay compensation for any livestock
killed by lion. There is no information at hand to indicate how successful the scheme was.
In Namibia, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism allocates a subvention of
approximately US$ 710 for the funeral fees of the people killed by elephants, crocodiles and
hippos under conditions where the affected person could not reasonably have been expected
to defend himself or to avoid the incident, and where the family has to incur costs for a
funeral (Government of Namibia, 2007). In Burkina Faso, the damage caused by wildlife is
considered as a natural hazard by Law and as such is likely to be indemnified after analysis by
a specific committee (Gouvernement du Burkina Faso, 1993). This procedure appears to be
little operational due to the time lag between the complaint and the scarce indemnifications.
Non monetary compensation schemes are preferred in some countries. In Ghana, where the
Wildlife laws forbid the payment of compensation for crop damage by wildlife, the Wildlife
Division and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture assist victims of crop damages around
Kakum to adopt both mitigation and crop improvement techniques for enhancing livelihoods.
In Burkina Faso, in 1991, the victims of elephant crop-raiding were preferentially contracted
as workers to maintain the infrastructures in the "Deux Balé Reserve"; This operation
involved 127 farmers who received about US$ 40 each, i.e. the equivalent of 3 bags of 50 kg
millet. This compensation scheme was very much appreciated and allowed to sensitize the
villagers to conservation (Marchand et al., 1993).
 Insurance schemes
The insurance scheme is a rather innovative compensation approach where farmers pay a
premium for cover against a defined risk, such as predation of livestock. The premium could be
set at the true market rate or be subject to subsidy provided by conservation organisations
(Muruthi, 2005). The method requires also an accurate assessment of the cause of crop damage,
livestock predation or injury or death of a person, but as it operates on a more local scale, reports
can be more easily verified. While the insurance scheme can impose certain practices which need
to be undertaken by the participating farmers to avoid HWC, the method seems promising.
36
The example of the Human Animal Conflict Self Insurance Scheme (HACSIS) developed in
Namibia by the NGO IRDNC (Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation) with
9 conservancies in Caprivi and Kunene regions and funded by the GEF Small Grants
Programme, is presented in Box n°25.
Box n°25: The Human Animal Conflict Self Insurance Scheme (HACSIS) - Namibia
HACSIS seeks to further balance the individual losses of conservancy members with benefits
received by the conservancy by offering payment for livestock mortalities to the members
who have taken the required precautions to protect their livestock from wildlife (e.g. use of
crocodile-proof fences at drinking points for cattle, careful herding during the day and
kraaling cattle at night). So, no payments will be made for livestock killed in a protected area
or conservancy exclusive wildlife zone or killed at night without being in a secure kraal or
other enclosure duly inspected by conservancy staff and traditional leaders; claims will not be
accepted if members were warned that predators were in the area and they took no action to
bring the livestock to safety.
In the Kunene region, farmers would get around US$ 114.50 for cattle, US$ 36.00 for goats, US$
21.50 for sheep and US$ 43.00 for donkeys and horses. So, Sesfontein Conservancy paid out US$
3,290.00 in 2005 and US$ 5,720.00 in 2006. In 2007, the conservancy has not paid out anything
because the management of the conservancy felt livestock owners were not protecting their
animals. The Torra conservancy did the same. Meanwhile, the scheme in six conservancies in the
Caprivi Region did well. The scheme covered human life, livestock deaths and crop damage. The
conservancies pay between US$ 17.00 and US$ 114.50 for loss of cattle, horses, sheep, donkeys,
goats and pigs and for damage to maize, sorghum and millet (from US$ 17.00 for a quarter to
US$ 69.00 for whole fields damaged by elephants). It takes also into account injuries since a
woman who lost her arm as a result of a crocodile's attack, claimed US$ 430.00 for her injuries
through HACSIS. This amount may seem small in modern insurance terms for the loss of a limb,
but it was a significant amount of money for the family and helped cover hospital visiting
expenses (Murphy, 2007).
IRDNC pays half of the costs while the conservancies pay the other half. Over the past four-anda-half years, the conservancies have paid out over US$ 14,300.00 for 112 livestock and four
human deaths and US$ 1,012.00 for the crop insurance scheme, which started in March 2007.
There were 43 claims for crop damage (Tjaronda, 2007). Payments per year would be capped at
about US$ 1,430.00 (N$ 10,000). There is actually some indication that the scheme could become
a drain on conservancy finances if total annual payments are not capped, or if conservancies are
not able to increase their incomes. Some conservancies are considering establishing livestock
herds that can be specifically used to replace animals lost to predators instead of making payments
(WWF, 2007b).
 Indirect compensations
Alternative compensation systems rely on giving out licenses to exploit natural resources,
through tourism, hunting or collection of fuel wood, timber, mushrooms, fodder, etc. This
compensation scheme, also known as the “settlement of rights” to use natural resources, appears
to be a more practical solution than the monetary payment. Indeed, the benefits derived from the
legitimate use of natural resources influence the attitudes and perceptions of rural residents
(Sekhar, 1998).
37
In Zimbabwe for example, crocodile eggs are collected from the wild by communities and sold
to private crocodile farms. By providing a financial incentive to communities, this increases
tolerance of crocodiles in the wild (WWF SARPO, 2005).
Benefit-sharing can also be considered in this broader approach which provides tangible
benefits to land owners in recognition of the role they play in, and costs associated with,
hosting wildlife on their land, making wildlife a valuable resource rather than a liability. In
Mozambique, for instance, the Law stipulates that local communities living in the areas where
natural resources are exploited, are to receive 20% of the income resulting from this
exploitation, particularly through tourism in protected areas and hunting in "coutadas"
(República de Moçambique, 2005). This measure allows to distributes about US$ 32,000 each
year to the communities.
Several modes of wildlife valorisation can be used to provide income to compensate
populations suffering HWC.
Viewing tourism industry is an option; by creating additional job opportunities, it compensates
the cost of maintaining wildlife and contributes to changing local people’s negative perceptions
of conservation. Where areas have little appeal for photographic tourism, the safari hunting
option in communal land has been successful in generating a sustainable revenue stream for
rural communities which is divided amongst the participating villages within and adjacent to the
hunting zones. Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) programmes
involving local communities in several modes of wildlife valorisation are a rather new
promising alternative to mitigating HWC.
Box n°26 gives a few examples of the implementation of each one of these different options
Albeit very appreciated by the communities concerned, the “settlement of rights” and the
"benefit-sharing" approaches are expensive and require funds to be made available year after
year in order to guarantee the sustainability of the system. Quite often, there are insufficient
income even to finance the needed conservation activities, let alone to share these revenues
with neighbouring communities. Furthermore, the issues of ownership, participation and
disbursement of income need to be universally agreed before any such venture is attempted.
Other impediments are administrative arrangements: e.g. formal acknowledgement of
existence, setting up of a bank account and actual claiming of the funds beside responsible
authorities. Finally, it is worth stressing that, whilst the community as a whole receives the
benefits, the compensation seldom reaches the very individuals who suffer losses and who
generally carry on bearing the direct costs of human-wildlife conflict (WWF SARPO, 2005;
Muruthi, 2005; Government of Namibia, 2007).
In conclusion, key questions could be asked about compensation schemes. Do they or not: (i)
help wildlife species in conflict with humans; (ii) base themselves on concrete information to
be applied effectively; (iii) pay the appropriate amount of compensation, (iv) target the right
culprits; (v) are fair, timely, transparent and sustainable? (Muruthi, 2005).
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Box n°26: A few possible options to compensate HWC indirectly
Viewing Tourism
The managers of Kibale National Park in Uganda intend for instance to foster positive attitudes
towards the park and supportive conservation behaviour by the local populations, through
sharing revenues from tourism with the local populations (Naughton Treves, 1997). In Kakum
(Ghana), the fringe communities benefit from revenues realized from conservation of the park.
The community representatives serve on the board that oversee the day-to-day management of
the park and therefore share the responsibility of protecting wildlife. In the Nyae Nyae
Conservancy in Namibia, the sustainable use of leopards, through eco-tourism, was evaluated as
an option to balance the cost of living with these predators borne by the San community. A
programme was developed whereby the San community linked up with eco-tourism ventures to
offer specialised “leopard tours”. Using their traditional skill of tracking, the San led tourist on a
four-day expedition following the tracks of leopards, reconstructing the movements and
behaviour of these secretive animals and setting up hides at the sites of fresh leopard kills.
These expeditions were tremendously successful, generating as much as US$ 110 per adult and
per year, an amount which far exceeded the losses incurred from leopard predation on livestock
(WWF SARPO, 2005). The development of “crocodile eco-tourism” marketed to the “green”
and eco-friendly adventure tourism sector, and relying partly on the fascination associated with
“human-eating” crocodiles, has been considered in Zimbabwe to compensate for the presence
of crocodiles in Lake Kariba (McGregor, 2004).
Safari Hunting
This method is being carried out in a number of countries of Southern Africa like: Botswana,
Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia where, for instance, in 2003, ZAWA (Zambia Wildlife Authority)
distributed about US$ 403,000.00 to 49 communities living beside or in Game Management
Areas (Dahm, 2004). In Eastern Africa, in Tanzania and Uganda for instance, some local
communities receive a given percentage of sport hunting income. In some countries of Western
Africa like Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger, communities associations have been set up by the
ECOPAS European project to benefit from wildlife hunting (Boulet et al., 2004). In Central
Africa, there is also a redistribution of the income resulting from hunting: in Cameroon, local
communities living near the Hunting areas received US$ 172,000.00 in 2002 (Koulagna Denis,
pers. comm.); in CAR, in 2001, the 10 acting Village Hunting Zones got an income of ca US$
135,000 from hunting activities (Boulet et al., 2003; Mbitikon, 2004). Additionally, the
communities also receive other benefits such as employment opportunities to assist with the
sports hunt. Participating communities are often expected to conduct regular “watch and ward”
patrols to ensure that target species are not being illegally hunted or poached, and undertake
specific measures to enhance habitat so that target populations can be increased, especially with
regard to the proportion of trophy-sized males.
Selling special hunting rights for particular problem-causing animals to sport hunters (see also
Box n°36 for the limits of the system) is a slightly different method to create more goodwill
with communities. In that case, the “trophy fee” and a share of the daily service fee are
generally paid to the community.
The sale of the meat, skin, ivory etc. of the problem-causing animals shot can bring an
additional income to the communities.
39
In Namibia, where this method is commonly used and has been labelled “shoot and sell”, the
Government registered crocodile as a protected species in 1975, but, as part of the
conservancy’s right to benefit from their wildlife, two crocodiles per year have recently been
acquired as part of the trophy-hunting quota from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
For example, the Kasika Conservancy Committee has chosen, through a tendering process, a
professional hunter who will bring his clients to their conservancy to hunt crocodile, but also
elephant, hippo and buffalo. In addition to paying a hunting fee to the conservancy,
employment is provided to a few local people and meat from the trophy-hunted animals is
supplied to the villages (Murphy, 2007).
Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM)
In Namibia, CBNRM was established in 1998 through the conservancy program in the Caprivi
region where the eco-tourism industry and hunting concessions are potentially valuable for
developing a local economy based on wildlife related revenues. The aim was to entail a
system of returning benefits to rural communities in order to motivate them to protect wildlife
outside protected areas and to discourage poaching (O’Connell-Rodwell et al., 2000). In
2007, the conservancy program, counted 50 conservancies encompassing 14% of the national
territory and involving 60 communities representing more than 200,000 people, i.e. 10% of the
whole Namibian population and ca 20% of the rural population. For the single year 2004, the
conservancies earned more than US$ 2,335,000 dollars US through wildlife valorisation by
sport hunting, subsistence hunting, viewing tourism and sale of game meat and live animals.
As an example, in 2003, the Nyae-Nyae conservancy bordering the Khaudom National Park
was already economically sustainable; its income from tourism and hunting covered its
running cost and allowed it to pay dividends to community’s members of ca US$ 67,5 per
person at the end of the year (Skyer, 2004).
In Benin, Community associations for wildlife reserves’ management (AVIGREF) has been
set up by the ECOPAS project in the villages neighbouring national parks. In this framework,
the AVIGREF of the villages bordering the Djona hunting area are associated to the
management of the Alfakoara elephant tourist zone and receive the income from the site’s
exploitations as well as from the adjacent hunting zones. A part of this income is used to
compensate the victims of elephant crop-raiding (Alfa Gambari Imorou et al., 2004).
3.1.3. Voluntary relocation
Where alternative land and incentives are available, voluntary relocation of local communities
to areas offering better access to natural resources and socio-economic opportunities can be an
adequate solution to managing HWC (Madhusudan, 2003). In fact, resettlement schemes aiming
to prevent the overlap of wildlife and people, can be successful in the long run if some essential
assumptions are met: (i) the villagers should gain substantial benefits, such as better access to
resources; (ii) they should be relocated to an area where the risk of losing property is lower and
(iii) they should not face any political, social and cultural opposition (Treves and Karanth,
2003).
When socially acceptable, this option is very expensive. As an example, the amount paid by
the donors for the relocation of the 6,000 people living within the Limpopo National Park in
Mozambique, was approximately US$ 16 millions.
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3.2. Production management
Different methods used to protect human productions against wildlife adverse effects are
presented below. However, given the inadequate resources of most subsistence farmers in Africa,
effective protection of crops or livestock is often unaffordable and the opportunity costs in time
and risk are high.
3.2.1. Intensifying Human vigilance
Vigilance is an important component of crop or livestock protection and HWC management.
The fear for man normally prevents the animals from committing damage. In Kibale National
Park, Uganda, elephants were found to wait at the forest edge until farmers left the fields
before they would enter (Naughton-Treves, 1998), suggesting an aversion to human presence.
Elephants around Kakum Conservation Area, Ghana, appear to avoid farms where people are
present (Barnes et al, 2003).
Guarding herds and active defence are essential features of animal husbandry. Where
herdsmen are present, predation rate is generally lower than in free-ranging herds (Kaczensky,
1996; Ogada et al., 2003; Breitenmoser et al., 2005). In East Africa, where human herders are
effective and fearless in warding off predators, herders are reported to challenge and scare
away dangerous carnivores such as lions, hyenas and cheetahs with nothing more than simple
weapons like spears, knifes or firearms (Patterson et al. 2004).
On the other hand, some species like baboons show less fear and the simple vigilance gives
thus mitigated results. Determined troops of baboons can intimidate the guardians,
particularly women who are often chased off. In addition, they rapidly adapt to measures
taken against them and are remarkably quick to find weaknesses in the guarding of crops.
Watchtowers that provide good vantage points, built around fields of crops, increase the
farmers’ chances of their being alerted to the presence of potentially harmful wildlife before
damage has occurred. There is need for co-operation between farmers to manage the
watchtowers and set up duty rosters as it is widely practiced in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and
Zambia for instance (WWF SARPO, 2005). Farmers can cooperate by a system of rotating
“guard duty” whereby only a few farmers patrol during the night; when an elephant is sighted,
other farmers are woken to chase them away (Thouless, 1994). In addition, simple alarm
systems, using a network of cowbells or tins filled with stones all connected by twine, can
also be effective and avoid the farmer having to be alert all night long (Muruthi 2005).
Vigilance can be carried out by teams specifically constituted. The FAO project in Kakum
(Ghana) set up a cadre of community scouts to provide vigilance and promote communitybased problem animal control in an area of high human-elephant conflict. A total of 11
communities were grouped into a community scout cadre with an average membership of 5
scouts per community. Each group had a leader and a secretary who was responsible for the
custody and updating of the patrol record book which is available for inspection by other
community members and other stakeholders.
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3.2.2. Guard animals
Guard animals provide an alternative to having a human shepherd monitor a flock, which is
labour-intensive, time-consuming and costly. To be successful, a guard animal must develop an
attachment to or bond with the animals they are to guard. This bonding, combined with the guard
animal’s natural aggression toward predators, can make a guard animal an effective protector.
Dogs can be effective in protecting homesteads and livestock from attack by predators (see
Box n°27). The role of dogs is to alert people to predator presence. They are not trained to
chase predators. These dogs are raised from puppy-hood with sheep or cattle and live with the
herd full time. Technology has made available several training aids to the dog handler
including "shock collars" to provide stimuli to the animal for training in obedience used in
conjunction with whistles and GPS collars in the advent of animals becoming lost (La Grange,
2005).
Donkeys have also been used in many parts of the world including Africa (see Box n°27). The
use of both dogs and donkeys to accompany livestock has recently been applied in Namibia and
Botswana. This has shown a reasonable degree of success in reducing incidences of humanwildlife conflict where cheetah and spotted hyena are concerned (WWF SARPO, 2005).
Box n°27: Effect of guard animals on predators' attacks
In Northern Kenya, the presence of shepherds, dogs and human activity were associated with
lower rates of livestock attacks by large predators However, the presence of dogs was only
associated with reduced rates of lion depredation upon cattle but not upon sheep and goats
(Ogada et al., 2003). Under a specific guard dog programme in Namibia, Anatolian sheep
dogs were used for protecting livestock (WWF SARPO, 2005). A study carried out between
January 1994 and November 2001 in 117 Namibian farms having domestic dogs
accompanying a herd, showed that guard dogs were very successful in terms of reducing
livestock losses, with 73% of responding farmers reporting a large decline in losses since
acquisition of a dog (Marker et al., 2005).
In some areas of Kenya one or two donkeys per herd of cattle have been used to guard livestock
against lions. With an apparently higher instinct of defence than cattle, donkeys are naturally
more alert and aware of predators than cattle, they are not afraid of them, they find them and
chase them away, even by biting and kicking, making formidable opponents. Mares with foals
are extremely protective and make an added advantage. Foals should be raised with livestock,
similarly to Anatolian dogs. However, stallions tend to break fences and become aggressive
during breeding (Schumann, 2004).
3.2.3. Fencing
If they are properly designed, constructed and maintained, fences can be almost completely
effective in preventing conflict between people and wild animals.
Several types of fences are used throughout Africa for various purposes.
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 Crop protection
Diverse types of fences have been successfully used to protect crops against a wide variety of
mammals including elephants (see Box n°28). On the other hand, for some species like
baboons, classical wire fencing is ineffective.
 Protection of people and livestock from wildlife attacks
Some fences are primarily aimed at avoiding attacks by mammalian carnivores or crocodiles.
Examples are provided in Box n°29.
 Prevention of contagious diseases' transmission
Fences can be used when dealing with the threat of certain endemic African diseases such as
FMD, African swine fever and theileriosis. The set up of control zones/areas, game-proof
fences, sanitary cordons and movement control, which separate wildlife from domestic
livestock, thus effectively blocking the interface, has frequently given the best results. This
option is generally used in countries with an advanced land use policy and where nomadic
pastoralism does not occur. These options are less likely to succeed when dealing with
endemic arthropod-borne infections such as trypanosomiasis, epizootic hemorrhagic disease,
African horse sickness, Rift Valley fever for which vaccination and vector control may thus
be included to reduce transmission (Bengis et al., 2002).
 Insulation of protected areas
Finally, fences can be erected around protected areas. Indeed, as a result of increasing humanwildlife conflicts and in the absence of greater involvement in and direct benefit from
conservation, communities seem to be increasingly opting for “separation” rather than
“integration” of culture and nature in the landscape. Most people support the creation of
“fenced in” wildlife sanctuaries where they can benefit, yet be separated, from wildlife, so
that they can practise other land uses such as pastoralism and agriculture.
However, albeit being a good way to managing HWC, fencing is not a panacea; it has also a
few ecological and economic disadvantages and is never 100% efficient (see Box n°30).
Box n°28 : Some types of fences used to protect crops in Africa
Traditional barriers: Plant hedges of various spiny cacti (e.g. Caesalpinia decapetala,
Euphorbia sp., Opuntia sp., Agave sp.) have the positive aspects of being a low cost solution
effective with both carnivores and ungulates. On the other hand, they are very slow to
establish, do not deter baboons and elephants and are often made of exotic species which can
spread uncontrollably. Although less permanent, fences made of dead thorny branches are
erected as kraals for cattle but also against elephants like in the Malian Gourma where they
represent 32% of the protective measure implemented against 28% for moats (Maïga, 1999).
Trenches, covered or not, have been widely used in Africa to keep elephants from cultivated
areas with considerable success. Stone walls have been used to exclude buffalo from invading
cultivated areas in the AWF Virunga Heartland (Muruthi, 2005). Large, sharp rocks act as a
very effective elephant barrier in some parts of Namibia (Hanks, 2006).
43
In some areas, farmers simply run bark or sisal ropes from tree to tree or using 3-metre long
poles placed 30 metre apart and hang pieces of white cloth attached to the twine at 5 metre
intervals. This is done in conjunction with grease and hot pepper oil, which, when applied to
the twine acts as a waterproofing media and causes irritation to any animal (elephants)
making contact with the fence (see Box n°31) (WWF SARPO, 2005).
Wildlife fences using strong (artificial) material like galvanized steel wire are set up when
possible. Actually, the major factor limiting the wider use of wildlife fences is their cost. This
will vary depending on many factors like: topography, type of fence and the species it is
designed to contain. The important maintenance cost is another limiting factor explaining that
fences are effective when managed by commercial farmers for high-value crops such as sugar
cane or citrus. On the other hand, for the emerging farmer, or subsistence grower, the option is
beyond their means and cannot be considered.
Electric fencing can be considered as a more sophisticated and efficient solution: (i) it is more
durable, due to the reduced physical pressure from animals; (ii) it deters a wider range of
species and (iii) it is more aesthetically appealing. However, the cost of installation is higher
compared to the simple fences and the maintenance implies a need for constant insulation
(Hoare, 1992). For instance, the 3.3 metre-tall, electrified fence currently being constructed
around Aberdare National Park in Kenya costs on average US$ 20,000 per kilometre
(Muruthi, 2005); in Namibia, the cost of a kilometre of electrified fence is US$ 10,000
compared to US$ 600 for a non electrified wildlife fence.
In Kenya, in Endarasha and Ol Moran villages located in Nyeri and Laikipia Districts, electric
fencing is successfully being used to separate wildlife from human settlements and
agricultural areas (Kenya Wildlife Service 1996). The electric fencing-in of the cultivated areas
of Kimana and Namelok in Kilimanjaro AWF Heartland has notably significantly reduced levels
of elephant crop damage; however, fence maintenance and proximity of fences to areas of high
elephant concentration appeared to be significant determinants of long term performance of
electric fences in mitigating elephant crop-raiding (Kioko et al., 2007). In Namibia, in the East
Caprivi region, electric fencing is an effective strategy in reducing the human-elephant conflict on
a large-scale. Electric fencing has proved to be the only long-term deterrent to elephants. Despite
the high cost of maintenance and installation, it was demonstrated that electric fencing is costeffective to the community by means of reduced elephant attacks, which in turn resulted in crop
increases and increased income for farmers. It is anticipated that it will take four years for a return
on investment to be realised (O’Connell-Rodwell et al., 2000).
Electric fencing can be adapted to rural conditions. For example, it is possible to construct a fence
with just a single live strand at 1.5 m above the ground in order to stop the elephants while letting
the other species pass through. This cuts costs considerably; in Mozambique for instance, the cost
per kilometre of a single strand electrified fence is US$ 900-1,000 compared to US$ 9,000 for a
classic elephant-proof fence. Other possibility to decrease the cost is to hang this single strand
fence from bush poles instead of metal stanchions. Nevertheless, the theft of the solar panels,
batteries and energizers to power television sets, noted for instance in Botswana and
Mozambique, means that electric fences can only be considered where the security to guard them
is adequate.
44
Box n°29: Examples of fences used against carnivores’ attacks
To prevent crocodile attacks, the Namibian Kasika conservancy used traditionally thorn bushes
placed in the river at cattle drinking points to offer protection from crocodiles. These were
replaced with stronger materials such as wire fencing with funds from the Global Environmental
Facility (GEF). Ten such crocodile-proof fences were thus constructed at village harbours for a
cost of about US$ 286 each (Murphy, 2007). Elsewhere, the construction and maintenance of
palisades or barriers needing a continued effort, there is little evidence of communities making
efforts now to erect the kinds of protective barriers found in pre-colonial times (Musambachime,
1987), particularly at often frequented places such as watering points.
To protect their livestock, herders traditionally resort to several fencing devices. In Northern
Kenya, Laikipia District, pastoralists use different traditional techniques, which are popular
among Maasai and Samburu local communities. The enclosures can be made of: (i) stone or
wooden posts (solid); (ii) Acacia brush (acacia); (iii) branches woven around cedar poles
(wicker) or (iv) 10 cm wire mesh (wire). The effectiveness of the different enclosures types in
defending livestock from predator attacks was investigated; it was discovered that not only
did domestic animals experience a lower depredation rate when penned in corals over night,
but also that the type of pen was a significant factor associated with a lower total loss for
sheep and goats, being kept in wire, acacia, wicker or solid enclosures (listed from the most
effective to the least) (Ogada et al., 2003).
Carnivore proof fencing that would deter or keep out large carnivores and allow livestock to graze
freely, are erected by farmers. This technique is used extensively in Namibia and some parts of
Botswana, to assist farmers in controlling predation on their livestock by lion, spotted hyena, wild
dog and cheetah. In addition some farmers in northern Namibia erect smaller fenced camps (210 hectares) near their settlements, where they keep some animals, like cows with small
calves. This has been a very successful option that has reduced predation on calves during the
vulnerable stage of their growth (WWF SARPO, 2005). However, these predator-proof
barriers require more maintenance than normal livestock-proof ones.
Box n°30: Some inconvenients of fencing
In Kenya, the fencing of farms has created physical barriers to migratory species like zebras,
topis and wildebeest or to species making seasonal displacements like elephants. Fencing
reserves may affect wildlife's populations dynamics and hinder their natural migratory and
dispersal behaviour, especially in the case of highly territorial species like lions. It is also
essential to take into consideration the different, unexpected effects that fencing may have on
a wide range of non-target species (Hoare, 1992).
Physical barriers are not always an economical management practice. They frequently require
additional labour from farmers and their family members and never ensure complete
protection. The reason for this failure can be explained by the behaviour of different animal
species. Burrowing animals for instance, breach the barrier and permit access to other species,
as Hoare (1992) mentions; for instance, lions can use holes that have been dug by warthogs.
In Zimbabwe, in the areas neighbouring the Sengwa Wildlife Research Area, there are still
cases of livestock predation despite the reserve being fenced and livestock being penned into
fortified enclosures at night. This is because baboons, lions and leopards can pass through the
reserve fence and jump into the enclosures. Improving fences with the addition of a roof
(chain link ceilings for instance) would substantially reduce the economic loss (Butler, 2000).
45
3.2.4. Crop or herd management
Human-wildlife conflicts can be reduced, perhaps in some cases totally prevented, by
implementing changes to the resource/production that causes the conflict. This can be achievable
by altering the resource itself, the way it is managed or making changes to the surrounding
landscape so that the problem-causing animal be more vulnerable to predation, easier to spot by
people and dogs, and generally less at ease in the area (Muruthi, 2005).
These possibilities can be applied to the different productions affected by HWC:
 Agriculture
Little research exists on wildlife preferences for particular crops, but there are a few crops that
are less palatable to wildlife and notably that elephants appear not to eat. Alternative crops such
as ginger and chilli have been encouraged around Kakum National Park (Ghana) and several
farmers who were considered to be in high-conflict areas have shifted from cultivating food
crops to growing cash crops. As well as the inevitable cocoa farm, they cultivated ginger to sell
at the local market in Foso. From an acre of land it is possible to harvest 30 or so baskets of
ginger. Each basket is worth a minimum of Ghana cedis 60,000 which makes cedis 1,800,000 in
total (US$ 205). These prices can double towards the end of the season. Growing chilli peppers
around the lands has been encouraged in Namibia, in Salambala Conservancy in Caprivi where
the first two sales of chillies in 2006 bought a total amount of US$ 925 to about 50 farmers
(Hanks, 2006) and in Zimbabwe where a program to grow this crop for export was set up to
make it lucrative for farmers while also repelling elephants.
Other agricultural practices like changing the timing when a crop is planted or harvested can
also result in a decrease in crop-raiding. This can be done trough the use of special varieties
like open pollinated maize varieties which can be harvested earlier than other food crops and
consequently be less vulnerable to crop damage which tends to occur late in the growing
season. (WWF SARPO, 2005). In addition, by intensifying agriculture, increasing inputs and
boosting yields, farmers could maximise their returns from smaller plots of land which would
also be much easier to defend against crop-raiding elephants. Intensification would be
facilitated through the introduction of practical, environmentally sensitive practices such as
mulching, organic fertilisers and liquid dung.
Small islands of crops scattered across a wildlife inhabited landscape are more vulnerable to
destruction than those that are clustered together. A landscape approach to reducing humanwildlife conflicts might therefore involve growing crops in large communal fields with
straight edges, fences or thorny or spiny hedges, and also removing nearby cover and habitat
for wildlife (Muruthi, 2005). In that respect, a cleared margin of about 50 metres around crops
does help as a preventive measure as both baboon and bush pig are wary of crossing these
open areas (La Grange, 1984).
 Forestry
The owners of commercial afforested areas having money are not very interested in
management options to alleviate baboon's damages in the long term. However, there are
several possible silvicultural methods to mitigate the damage caused by baboons in timber
plantations, like: (i) eliminating damaged trees by thinning; (ii) reducing pruning and
weeding; (iii) limiting branches big enough to support baboons; (iv) planting other species;
46
(v) clearing and replanting; (vi) planting larger compartments; (vii) integrating natural
vegetation. All these methods have advantages, but also important disadvantages in terms of
yield and productivity.
 Husbandry
Livestock predation can be minimized through good husbandry practices, such as herding
during the day, keeping the livestock in a predator proof enclosure at night or avoiding
predators' home territory. Additionally, a livestock keeper can remove thick cover from near
animal holding areas. This also applies to the water points where the herder takes livestock,
those which are known to have a large crocodile should systematically be avoided. It also
means vigilance and a willingness on the part of the owner to confront predators when the
need arises. This is a daunting task when one is not properly equipped for it and if the
occasion is, as usual, at night.
In addition, farmers can actively manage their herds to protect them against predation by
controlling the breeding times. By directing the movement of the bull, the farmer can plan and
synchronise when cows give birth. This will aid protecting the cows and their calves against
carnivores during the most vulnerable days/months for predation and mean that protection of
animals can be seasonally managed (WWF SARPO, 2005).
With regard to diseases that threaten wildlife populations, such as bovine tuberculosis,
rinderpest and canine distemper, containment and control should be best effected by addressing
the disease in the domestic compartment by test-and-slaughter and mass vaccination. For
example, rinderpest control has been based on vaccination (Bengis et al., 2002).
3.3. Problem Animal management
3.3.1. Non lethal
With reduced wildlife populations and a North-oriented media that is critical to the killing of
species such as elephant, baboons and lion, non-lethal methods are preferred options
provided: (i) they can solve or mitigate HWC problems and not simply move it somewhere
else; (ii) they represent a permanent solution.
The use of non lethal methods described below can be effective if rural people around the
reserve are involved in their implementation and beyond in the conservation and sustainable
utilisation of wildlife resources.
 Deterrent methods
Deterrent methods aim at repelling the animals from the targeted resource. They can be
grouped into several categories according to the sense they regard: hearing, sight, smell, taste,
touch (see Box n°31).
Deterrent techniques may have some success. For instance, the deterrent created by chilliimpregnated twine, and by burning balls of elephant dung containing chillies, has had some
success in Zimbabwe (Osborn and Parker, 2002, Parker and Osborn, 2006).
47
Given the good results of this technique, the Kakum project (Ghana) designed a chilli-dung
brick easy to make by farmers described in a farmers’ manual entitled: “Protecting crops
from damage by Elephants - A farmer's manual” (FAO, in prep.). The use of these bricks
and of other chilli deterrents were successful. As an example, it is estimated for instance that
in 2001, farms close to the eastern wing of Kakum national park (Ghana) where elephant
activities were highest, recorded between 0-0.5bags of maize/ha during the main season
depending on the number of wildlife damage the farm had. In 2003, such farms recorded up
to 7 bags/ha after anti-crop raiding deterrents were put in place to scare off wildlife.
On the other hand, there are no known and proven deterrent methods for some species like
crocodiles. This is not because achieving deterrence is impossible but simply because it has
been simpler to remove the crocodile than to investigate this option. Potentially a suite of
possible methods exists. For example, crocodilians have acute senses and perceive sounds and
smell/taste in the water at very low volume or concentration. They also sense and respond to
pressure, electrical impulses and salinity using integumentary sense organs in the skin. Some
success has been achieved in South Africa in deterring shark attacks with an electric
field(Dudley et al., 2006) and the same principles could be applied to crocodiles although
these species are behaviourally very different.
Additionally, though widely used, deterrent techniques face a common problem because
animals soon learn that they pose no real threat and then ignore them. Modern or traditional
methods face the same problem of habituation and become less effective over time (Muruthi,
2005). It is thus recommended that a combination of techniques be employed in order to
minimize the risk of wildlife becoming used to any single method.
Finally, deterrent techniques present several disadvantages that could limit their successful use:
(i) they can have adverse effects by displacing the problem to other areas; (ii) some methods
needing to come up close to the animal expose the operator to an actual danger; (iii) in many
cases, Government or NGO support is required to maintain the deterrent [Over most of the more
remote areas where human-elephant conflict occurs, this support is difficult to provide. In
northern Mozambique for instance, in a region where chilli-pepper has been tried, villagers very
rapidly lost confidence in its efficacy once NGO support ceased (FAO, 2005)]; (iv) external
factors can lessen the efficiency of deterrents as shown by the following example: in Zimbabwe,
wildlife is the natural resource that becomes targeted in an economic decline and as more and
more people are unable to crop, they turn to wildlife for bush meat including the problem
species. Even projects to deter animals from crops using repellents are now in jeopardy as
people would rather have the meat from an elephant rather than scaring them from their crops.
Box n°31: Some deterrents used in Africa
Acoustic deterrents
They are based on noises which are able to deter wildlife, either by the shock value of an
unexpected loud noise, or by specific sounds that are known to scare wildlife.
Traditional methods are widely used by the farmers throughout Africa mainly against
elephants: (i) beating drums, tins and trees; (ii) whips in addition to shouting, yelling and
whistling; (iii) explosive devices like “bamboo blasters” using calcium carbide or fertilisers,
“pipe bombs” (Zimbabwe), homemade gunpowder (Zambia).
48
Disturbance shooting (firing of gunshots over the heads of crop-raiding elephants) has been a
long standing deterrent, but it needs the intervention of Problem Animal Control units or
Administration's representatives.
Alarm systems established at the boundary of the farms and set off by a tripwire (e.g. electric
sirens in Namibia) or set up directly on fences (e.g. cowbells in Zimbabwe) alert farmers to
the presence of elephants, but also have some deterrent effect.
At last, some more sophisticated techniques using tape recordings are being tested in Kenya
where play-back of Massaï cattle noise to elephants in Amboseli NP scared off elephants
which are periodically hunted or injured by the local Massaï tribesman, and Namibia where
researchers recorded elephant warning calls, and played these back to elephants in order to
scare them away.
To scare off lions in commercial ranches in Laikipia, Kenya, people use a shotgun blast.
Cracker shells are 12 bore cartridges which launch a small charge that explodes near the
predator, presumably providing greater shock value than a gunshot coming from a boma
(Frank and Woodroffe, 2002).
To scare baboons, the use of shots, cannon noise or predator sounds can be used. Sound
aversion barriers generating a frequency that causes pain has also been considered but this
technique, impractical for large areas, has several disadvantages: (i) it is difficult to trigger;
(ii) the signal generation is expensive and (iii) it can cause possible auditory damage to nontarget species. Disturbance shooting at roost sites is a method easy to implement once all roost
sites are known. However, baboons may return to their roost sites when disturbance ends. The
destruction of roosts is a more permanent solution, but as the disturbance shooting, it may
cause major change of range use and transfer the problem to a new area.
Visual deterrents
Visual deterrents are traditionally used. Brightly coloured cloths and plastic may be hung from a
simple fence at the edge of the fields. Scarecrows could have a potentially deterrent effect, but
they are not as successful against lions as they may be against the leopard (Woodroffe et al.,
2006). Fires lit on the boundaries of fields or carried as burning sticks by the farmers can deter
wildlife by the flames and the smoke. Burning tyres produces a very lasting and noxious smoke
which affecting both visual and olfactory senses, increases the deterrent effect.
Olfactory deterrents
Chemical compound(s) with potential deterrent capabilities may prove an effective way to
deter elephants, either as an unpleasant or painful smell, or as a targeted compound such as a
hormone, which creates fear.
In the first group, the capsaicin, resin extracted from chilli peppers (Capsicum sp.) causing an
extremely unpleasant irritation and burning is the most efficient and widespread. Actually,
repellents based on this resin have been used to alter animal behaviour for a variety of species,
including bears, ungulates, dogs, and humans (Bullard, 1985).
49
Capsicum deterrent is employed under different forms: (i) chilli-impregnated twine (grease and
extract of hot chillies mixed together and applied to string); (ii) chilli-dung bricks (made of dry
chilli mixed with elephant or cattle dung and compressed into bricks which are then sun-dried
and burnt slowly at the edge of the fields producing a strong smelling cloud of chilli smoke);
(iii) pepper spray (capsaicin mixed with soybean oil and inserted into an aerosol can with a
modified spray nozzle); (iv) chilli “bombs” which can be shot at elephants and burst upon
impact, delivering the capsicum to the skin (delivery system under development in Zimbabwe).
Trial results suggest a possible short term effect of chilli based olfactory deterrents on
baboons. Nevertheless, primates are not primarily affected by olfactory deterrents that limits
the effectiveness. In addition, the delivery system has not been fully developed.
Tobacco is also efficient as a deterrent either in conjunction with chilli or alone. Trials funded
by WWF in Mozambique and Kenya’s Trans-Mara District have shown that a concoction of
used vehicle oil, ground chilli and tobacco, smeared on ropes surrounding fields, barred
elephants from crop raiding. Similar results have been observed in Zimbabwe. (AERP HEC,
2006). In Tanzania, it was shown that when the supply of chillies, used as an olfactory
deterrent for elephant, was insufficient, tobacco dust obtained from a local cigarette factory
proved as effective (Hoare, 2007).
Field trials carried out in a number of areas in the Namibian Caprivi Region, showed a certain
deterrent effect on elephants of granules of REVIRA®, a compound, made of citronella, used
as a game repellent in Scandinavia. The tests suggested that elephants failed to cross a line of
REVIRA granules placed around a field. This chemical barrier would work, at least, up to a
month (Hanks, 2006).
Compounds from musth secretions seem to have a potential as olfactory deterrent. Recent
trials with one ketone in particular seem to prevent elephants from consuming food items
encircled by rings of dilute concentrations of this naturally occurring ketone. This method
may have great potential, but at present, there is no practical application for the approach.
Some empiric methods based on olfaction have also been tested. Some experimentation was
done for example in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe to deal with baboons, using a
method developed by a traditional healer. This involved taking soil where baboons had
urinated and then making up a solution (water mix) and spraying it along the edge of the field.
On sniffing the ground the baboons retreated. This method has not yet been scientifically
proven (WWF SARPO, 2005).
Taste deterrents
The existence of unpalatable crops has already been evocated. These crops which include
sisal, chilli, tea, ginger or oilseed may not necessarily deter the elephants. The experimental
use of conditioned taste aversion on Carnivores at Loisaba Ranch in Samburu Heartland
(Kenya) failed to reduce livestock predation (Forthman-Quick, 1999). There is a need to look
for chemical repellents effective against African carnivores as lithium chloride, though
effective against coyotes in the USA, has not proven to be effective (Forthman-Quick et al.
1985). Conditioned Taste Aversion with lithium chloride or cyclophosphamide would be
effective on baboons which, as primates, are physiologically very close to man. It would
require repeated exposure or large initial dose to cause and maintain aversion. Compounds
that are extremely bitter like Bitrex or irritating like chilli (see above) could also have a
possible short term deterrent effect on baboons.
50
Contact deterrents.
Traditional methods can be quoted in this category which regards the sense of touch. Farmers
throw rocks, burning sticks and, occasionally, spears at crop-raiding elephants. East-African
herders challenge and scare away dangerous carnivores (see 3.2.1.) This usually involves
getting close to the animals, and therefore the danger level is high. Experiments have been
carried out in Kenya on the use of bees in problem-causing animal control. Beehives are
placed on the edge of the fields and the bees are conditioned to react to approaching animals.
This can be used not only for the big herbivores like elephants which are scared of bees, but
even for smaller problem animals (WWF SARPO, 2005).
 Translocations
Translocation consists of moving a certain number of animals from a problematic zone to a
new site. In spite of the risk of exporting the problem to another site, it may be a practical and
politically correct approach in some cases and where there is the availability of a suitable
habitat with territorial vacancies.
In some situations, translocation can be a pre-emptive action before HWC occurs. For
instance, the presence of a lion in cattle ranching area or large crocodiles in water bodies in
human dominated landscapes is often detected before the animals have caused a problem.
These potential problem-causing animals could then be removed and translocated before they
take livestock or people. In addition, the sale of live animals to private reserves or crocodile
farming could provide a consequent income.
This technique has been employed for elephants, carnivores and crocodiles more or less
successfully (see box n°32). Trapping and translocating baboons is feasible and potentially
solves bark stripping problem within the troops range immediately. But, as baboons are
abundant and widespread, there are few interested recipients. On the other hand, removing the
problem troop potentially leaves an empty range that may be occupied by another stripping or
non-stripping troop.
In conclusion, translocation is a controversial means of resolving human-wildlife conflicts,
associated with a number of problems as shown by the examples of Box n°32 (see also
Conover, 2002): (i) the problem-causing animal must be identified without doubt prior to
capture. This is at best difficult and often impossible to achieve; (ii) it is quite common for
translocated animals to return to the site from where they were originally captured; (iii)
following translocation, immigration of new animals may occur to take advantage of empty
territories, so that the problem can persist (see the example of baboons); (iv) translocated
animals can also recreate the same problem at their release site; (v) translocation is a risky
procedure and it is normal for a proportion of translocated animals to die either due to the stress
of capture, or soon after release (see Omondi, 2002); (vi) translocated individuals can endanger
a resident population through introduction of disease or they may destabilise a population
through increased competition for territory (Carnivores) or food (elephant); (vii) for species
such as large carnivores and elephants there needs to be a large area, up to hundreds or
thousands of square kilometres, without potential for conflict with people, where the individuals
can be released for the strategy to work (Stander, 1990); (viii) the cost-effectiveness of
translocation has been questioned since the cost is extremely high and the operation involves
specialist equipment and skills.
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Box n°32: Some data on wildlife translocations
Elephant
Elephant translocation, formerly unsuccessful, improved significantly at the beginning of the
1990s when it was shown that only family groups or solitary males should be moved (Coetsee,
1996). From this date, more than 1,000 elephants had been translocated successfully to 58
reserves in South Africa up to 2004; 141 individuals were translocated in Kenya between 1996
and 2002 with a mortality rate of 9.2% (Omondi et al., 2002). Nevertheless, in some cases,
elephant translocations are still unsuccessful. Out of the first 3 family groups of 7 animals each
and 4 bulls of different ages translocated in September 2001 from the northern parts of Kruger to
the Limpopo National Park (Mozambique), 3 out of the 4 bulls returned to Kruger within 4 weeks
to 3 months after being released in Mozambique. All 3 family groups remained in Mozambique
for at least 9 months, when one family group returned to Kruger. The other 2 groups remained for
almost another year in Limpopo when both returned to Kruger in early 2003 (Hofmeyr, 2004).
Mammalian carnivores
The translocation of carnivores, although technically feasible, meet little success except for
leopards in South Africa. Out of over 38 translocations of male lions carried out between
1997 and 2001 in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (South Africa and Botswana), 14 males
were translocated more than once during the four-year period study. The territorial males
were translocated to areas about 50 km away from their territory, but always returned to the
latter (FAO, 2008). In Namibia 16 leopards and 22 lions were relocated, marked with radio
collars and then followed, in a study to test the success of relocations. All the leopards, and
many of the lions, returned to the area where they were captured (WWF SARPO, 2005).
Furthermore, translocation of Carnivores can cause numerous problems notably because most
species are territorial. The following example illustrates the effects of territoriality: during an
earlier ban on lion's hunting in Botswana, a cattle-killing male was captured and translocated
seven times (I. Khama, pers. comm.) presumably because he was being evicted from areas of
suitable lion habitat to which he had been moved at each occasion. In addition, translocation
into areas already occupied by individuals of the same species can lead to aggression and
infanticide and a much higher death rate (Treves and Karanth, 2003).
Crocodile
Capture of live wild adult crocodilians is possible by a variety of methods (boma traps, cage
traps, rope traps, whip traps, nooses, harpoons, baited snares, etc) and is routinely carried out
for research and commercial purposes, albeit with some difficulty and danger. Translocation
of adult and juvenile crocodilians from one wild population to another has been tried for
academic and management purposes with Nile crocodiles (Fergusson, 2000). This species has
demonstrated an ability and motivation to return to the originating point. As wild crocodiles
are relatively widespread, it is unlikely that any conservation benefit can be achieved from
translocation; on the opposite, potentially significant damage could be done by introducing
animals to a locally adapted gene pool in the wild. Translocation from the wild to captivity is
a more potentially useful solution. Although captive held crocodiles do little for the
conservation of the species in the wild, this has the advantage of permanently removing
crocodiles that are believed to be problem animals. In captivity adult female crocodiles,
together with a smaller number of males are a biological asset and they continue to produce
eggs which are one of the key inputs for the crocodile production industry. As such, crocodile
producers are prepared to cover the costs of capture and removal of problem crocodiles.
 Contraception
52
Fertility control of wild animals can, at least in theory, be achieved by a variety of
mechanical, surgical, endocrine disruptive or immuno-contraceptive methods. One problem
limiting many such methods is the difficulty of administering drugs to or capturing free
ranging animals. In addition, before contraception is acceptable, several health-related issues
are to be resolved. The contraceptive used must not have harmful effects on the target
animals, non-target wildlife, or humans who could consume the carcasses.
Contraception as a wildlife management tool is still largely at an experimental stage and, to
date, cannot be considered as an available option to manage HWC (see Box n°33).
Box n°33: Contraception in free ranging wildlife
Attempts to utilise immuno-contraceptive methods in elephants began in Kruger National
Park in 1996 (Butler, 1998) with a contraceptive vaccine elaborated with antigens from pork
zona pellucida. This vaccine to date has met with little success. Furthermore, it was an
difficult procedure (several repeated injections, mandatory monitoring of the vaccinated
females) and seemed to generate aggressive behaviour both in treated females and rutting
males which were chassed off by the females (Delsink et al., 2003).
A second solution that was explored is the chemical castration by destructing selectively the
pituitary gland cells that product gonadotrophin. This system would stop spermatogenesis in
male and ovulation in females and inhibit the sexual behaviour. The chemical castration, still
experimental, would need a single injection; its side-effects are unknown.
A third theoretical solution considered is the surgical vasectomy in dominant males (Bokhout
et al., 2005).
Contraception of wild crocodiles is technically possible but impractical in the wild. Essentially
this is futile in a species that has evolved to survive through the loss of more than 97% of its
possible offspring before reaching reproductive age/size.
For Baboons, contraception or sterilisation, surgical or chemical, is also theoretically feasible
since this method was successful in Brazil with capuchin monkeys engaged in bark stripping of
commercial timber species (Rocha, 2000). But, this method would have unknown socioecological effects. Furthermore, a lag period would be necessary before effect (reduced damage)
be seen. In addition, it would act also on whole population and not only damaging individuals
or troops.
3.3.2. Lethal
In simple terms, this option means killing the problem-causing animals concerned since,
generally, shooting a problem-causing animal is believed to be the best way to show the others to
stay away. In lethal control it is obviously desirable to focus on those individuals actually causing
the problem or at least to target the group of animals whose home range includes the site where
the problem is occurring. In reality, it is often difficult for wildlife managers to obtain permission
to shoot an animal quickly, thus making killing the culprit virtually impossible. Any individual is
then killed to satisfy the demand for action and revenge by the aggrieved community especially in
the case of loss of human life or the killing of livestock.
53
In those conditions, the result of killing some animals has often only a short-term effect as it
was noted in Ghana where, after the elimination of raiding elephants the problem of crop
damage ceases only for a period of time but bounces back after about 3-5 years. Sometimes it
has no effect at all as shown by the following example. In Malawi, a total of 55 baboons,
mainly immature animals, were killed by shooting in 1977 along with the use of guards to
deter the baboons from entering the forest. By 1978, these measures were seen to have been
ineffective as damage continued to spread.
In addition, the reduction of wildlife population can have adverse effects on the very species
eliminated, sympatric species or even the environment : (i) it often results in an increase in birth
rate, a decrease in other causes of mortality, and an increase in immigration of naïve animals into
the area; (ii) the possible consequences of eradicating certain species from a locality include
upsetting ecosystem function and dramatic changes in the populations of other species. A
phenomenon called "mesopredator release" can arise; for example, when small to medium sized
carnivores proliferate following removal of large carnivores (Crooks, 2002). Similarly, profound
changes to the local flora and landscape can occur as a result of eliminating elephants.
Finally, this method is more and more criticised by the public opinion. So, in South Africa,
there has been no lethal control of baboon populations since the voluntary moratorium in May
2006 which followed a public and media outcry at implementation of the “trap and shoot”
protocol. Elephant culling has been abandoned to pursue the use of non-lethal techniques. On
the other hand, in Zimbabwe, there are several discussions underway between the Parks
Management and Wildlife Authority (PWMA), CIRAD and private enterprise to introduce
mini elephant cropping campaigns to the areas surrounding state owned wildlife areas to
reduce the conflict there and provide cheap meat to the rural inhabitants.
In conclusion, lethal control appears to be still widely used un Africa but rather with a
purpose of maintaining social peace than resolving definitively the HWC problem.
The killing of problem-causing animals can be carried out by three main groups of actors:
 Off take by Public Services
Generally, the Department in charge of Wildlife management is the most involved in
the killing of problem-causing animals. For some species like crocodile, Wildlife
department can delegate its implementation to private operators. Other State
departments, namely Animal Husbandry, use to realize the lethal control mainly for
the predators. In a few occasion, the Army has been required to kill problem-causing
animals (see Box n°34).
 Off take by local populations/farmers, herders
Farmers, herders are regularly involved in the elimination of problem-causing animals.
Sometimes local hunters may be requested; for instance, traditional hunters with dogs
and/or traditional guns have been involved in the reduction of baboons' populations in
Southern Africa. This local lethal control be made legally (see Box n°35).
54
 Off take by trophy hunters
In different regions, HWC is managed by hunting (see Box n°36). This is a low cost
technique which has the potential to raise public tolerance towards wildlife, mainly if
sport hunting involves (or is managed by) local people (Muruthi, 2005). The money
provided by the sale of licences or trophy fees can fund conservation activities and the
protection of human settlements (Treves and Karanth, 2003) or bring direct income to
the communities. This option has however several limits.
In general, the elimination of the problem-causing animal is made by shooting, but poisoning
was used for baboons (see Box n°37). Diffusion of diseases or parasitic infestations could be
foreseen to eliminate problem-causing animals as it has been done in Australia for rabbits
with myxomatosis. Biological control by diseases and predators was, for instance, considered
as an option to reduce the number of elephants during a scientific workshop on elephant
overpopulation in South Africa (Mabunda, 2005). This "biological" solution has never been
carried out given the multiple dangers of unintentional crossover to non-target species or even
humans.
Box n°34: Involvement of Public Services in lethal control of Problem-causing animals
Wildlife department
The killing is made directly by: (i) Wildlife officers; (ii) specialist Problem Animal Control
(PAC) Units or (iii) honorary conservation officers, who are experienced individuals who can
be delegated the responsibility for Problem Animal Control when needed.
Problem Animal Control units have all the needed clearances and the necessary material
available to solve HWC. Thus, they are supposed to be able to respond rapidly to reports on
the occurrence of HWC. Unfortunately, their effective deployment is often jeopardized by a
lack of material and capacity.
Problem Animal Control activities are particularly used for larges carnivores like lion. In
Namibia, around Etosha National Park, more than 30 lions are killed every year through
Problem Animal Control activities (Stander, 2000). In Botswana, in 1999-2000, an average of
25 lions per year used to be controlled through Problem Animal Control in the Okavango
Delta, and an average of 7 lions per year in the Pan region (Vernon Booth, pers. comm.)
Culling has been used in South Africa to avoid both damages on national parks’ biodiversity
and the problems associated with elephants wandering outside of the park to surrounding
communities in search of food. So, a total of 14,562 elephants were killed during culls in
South Africa between 1967 and 1994 when a moratorium on culling was set up. In 2005, the
Kruger National Park was thought to have a population of 12,467 elephants. Had the culling
not taken place there would be 80,000 (SAPA, 2005).
The off-take of either individual crocodiles or larger numbers of adult crocodiles in a
prescribed area can be carried out by officials from the relevant section of government but is
more frequently contracted out to the private sector. Ideally this follows from surveys of the
wild population to determine the number of crocodiles present and the age/size structure of
the population. When delegated to private operators, the field implementation of the killing
should be observed and controlled by wildlife officials. Without this, and when the product is
the skins, there is an incentive to shoot many animals but only recover or process those that
will provide the best return.
55
Husbandry Service
In Kenya, on Galana Ranch, between 1968 and 1988, roughly 1 lion was shot for every 10
cattle killed, i.e. approximately 25 lions per year out of a stable population of 150. In West
and Central Africa, not long ago, poisoning campaigns with strychnine were organised
annually by the administration in charge of livestock development. For example, between
1970 and 1972 in the then Haute Volta (Burkina Faso), 55 lions were poisoned with
strychnine (Chardonnet et al., 2005). Indeed, poisoning is frequently used throughout Africa
to kill lions that have been stock raiding. Until recently, the Kenya Wildlife Service and the
Kenya Veterinary Department have widely poisoned hyenas, which certainly affected other
scavengers like lions.
Army
In Ghana, in the early 70s, it was a common practice for rampaging elephants to be killed by a
team of military personnel to reduce crop damage within the Kakum conservation area. The
meat of these elephant was often shared among community members as a way of compensating
them for their crop losses.
Box n°35: Lethal control of Problem-causing animals by local populations
Animal species killed or injured by local farmers or herders can be divided into two main
groups: (i) those species that are killed or injured during crop protection. This group includes
African elephant, buffalo, hippopotamus, bush pig, yellow baboon, vervet monkey, warthog
and rats; (ii) those species that are killed or injured during domestic animals and human life
protection. This group includes lion, leopard, crocodile, and spotted hyena. Some species are
found in both groups as they cause crop damage and loss of human life.
These killings may be carried out legally since in most African countries, wildlife laws
address the issue of the protection of people from wildlife damages in at least one law article
related to the defence of human life and property from wildlife attack. Generally, the principle
of self defence is considered legitimate and legal whatever category the animal belongs to,
either protected or non-protected.
However, there are some countries where it is illegal to kill protected species even for selfdefence. This is for example the case in Namibia for elephant, rhinoceros and hippo. On the
other hand, by Law, each farmer must control baboons, hyraxes, black-backed jackals and
caracals' populations on his farm. The lack of control of these "pest animals" is liable to a fine
of ca US$ 30 per animal. In addition, the Namibian government may, under certain
conditions, delegate authority to specific conservancies to destroy problem-causing animals
and to use the products derived from animal (Government of Namibia, 2007).
In any case, the law stipulates that, when a culprit animal is killed it must be reported to the
Wildlife Authority. There is however a difference concerning the time of report and who
benefits from the animal killed between countries.
This intents to avoid that local populations revenge themselves eliminating the accused
wildlife by poisoning (e.g. with soil insecticides that are cheaper than strychnine) or poaching.
56
Actually, illegal practices are common and widespread particularly when the offended human
population perfectly know that, for various reasons, the people officially habilitated to kill the
problem-causing animal will be unable to do it in reasonable delay if ever.
This legal opportunity which is more relevant for predators than for elephant may be seen
from 2 perspectives: (i) as local communities are the most exposed to lion damages, it looks
appropriate to state that killing of a culprit animal by the offending stakeholder is not an offence.
It looks also relevant given that local communities are often the quickest stakeholders to react to
lion attacks and many times with the highest chance to target the culprit; (ii) leaving the offended
stakeholder solving the problem by itself without any control raises concerns of potential abuses
such as biased evaluation of damages or overreaction by killing non-culprit lions.
Finally, it must be stressed that wild animals are dangerous and many farmers, in Botswana,
Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia, for example, who decided to take matters into the their
own hands, have been mauled and even killed by lions, leopards and crocodile (WWF
SARPO, 2005).
Box n°36: Regulation of problem-causing animals by trophy hunting
Whenever possible, problem-causing animals could be offered to trophy hunters. That is the
case in Namibia’s Kunene and Caprivi regions for instance. A substantial sum of the trophy fee
is then paid to the community and distributed to those that have suffered the losses through the
Conservancy Committee. So, in one area of the Kunene region where lions killed approximately
8 cattle, 12 donkey and 16 goats over a three-year period, amounting to an estimated loss of
about US$ 1,700, two male lions were shot by trophy hunters during this period and the
community earned about US$ 4,200 from the fees paid by the hunter. The same system is used
in Zimbabwe and Zambia (WWF SARPO, 2005).
For a valuable species like crocodile, the option of using trophy hunters to kill specific “problem”
crocodiles could be relevant if permits for this are issued by the administration to private sector
operators for large numbers of crocodiles so as to make the hunting or capture economically
viable. The existence of a market for the skins of wild crocodiles provides an incentive for the
harvest of wild crocodile populations in the short term. Nile crocodiles are however listed on
Appendix I of the CITES with a derogation for eight “ranching” countries which have effectively
unlimited quotas for specimens produced through ranching and an additional wild quota for
control of problem-causing animals and for trophy hunting (Botswana, Ethiopia, Madagascar,
Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe).
In practice, the withdrawal of problem-causing animals has several limits: (i) it is often
difficult to designate specific problem causing animal to be shot by a sports hunter; (ii) most
incidents need for a rapid response and the logistics involved for the sports hunter to get to the
exact location can be lengthy; (iii) trophy hunters seek the largest animals and the culprit in
HWC incidents may not be the largest animal.
Additionally, to be viewed as a legitimate management practice, hunting needs to be based on
scientific monitoring that ensures sustainable harvests and needs to be ruled by policies and
regulations that address the timing, location and methods of hunting, as well as the
distribution of benefits, including meat, to all stakeholders.
57
Furthermore, regulated harvest through hunting is not always effective in reducing crop and
livestock losses since the method does not ensure that the "culprit" is removed and so, that
future problems with that individual are avoided. In addition, it is also likely to increase the
risk of further losses when dangerous carnivores are wounded instead of being killed (Treves
and Karanth, 2003).
Finally there has been regrettably many illegal off takes of elephants, lions, hippos, crocodiles
and buffalos by emergent safari outfitters operating under the guise of Problem Animal
Control with an apparent unlimited quota system bought from the respective authorities. To
avoid that incentives are created for the hunting of animals other than those that caused
problems, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Namibia is establishing a guideline
price for the trophy hunting of problem-causing animals which makes provision for variation
in the quality of trophies (Government of Namibia, 2007).
Box n°37: Regulation of bark stripping baboons
Sporadic control of depredating baboons by poisoning was introduced in 1982/83 in
Zimbabwe using ™ Telodrin (an organochlorine insecticide), then ™ Papiol (Brodifacoum, a
highly toxic anticoagulant).
Through trials, a disciplined protocol was developed and adhered to concentrating on careful
pre-baiting to habituate the baboon troops prior to applying the toxicant. The toxicant was
delivered in closed boxes that baboons only can open to minimise feeding by other non-target
species. Over the derogation period approximately 5,000 baboon carcasses were recovered
reducing the conflict considerably.
The poisoning was accompanied by an important ethological study to better understand the
behaviour of the troops. It was so showed that there were troops that damaged the trees, while
other did not. It was also discovered that, due to the social organisation, the success of the
control operation is dependent on not capturing the dominant troop males, nor the favoured
females in oestrus first but rather concentrating on the less important individuals. Finally, the
study concluded that to solve the problem the totality of the troop that damages the trees and
the groups of bachelors are to be removed. The conclusions of this study were further used to
control baboons' populations by trapping.
This system was carried out from 1997 to December 2004 when the derogation permit
accorded by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to use the toxicant expired. Thereafter, its
use was prohibited to be replaced by other lethal mechanical devices, mainly trapping using
baited cages. Since early 2007, one of the companies has employed a full time baboon control
officer with responsibility for baiting and controlling baboons in selected areas of the
plantations (Van der Lingen, pers. comm.).
In South Africa, the “trap and shoot” method has been employed with some success for
several years. This method following a detailed written protocol, was selected after
consideration of previous attempts at poisoning, shooting and trapping (Fergusson, 2005) and
was considered to be the most effective and humane way of reducing or eliminating entire
troops of damaging baboons.
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3.4. Environmental management
3.4.1. Increase alternate crops, preys or water points
The use of diversionary tactics, i.e. providing an alternate source of food or water, in an
attempt to lessen competition with people for crops or water sources is a less commonly used
approach.
The successful use of diversionary fields to reduce crop damage which has been reported in
USA (Conover, 2002) and in Europe (Granval et al., 1999), does not seems very pertinent in
Africa where a part of the population is undernourished. On the other hand, the improvement
of the habitat in the protected areas and their buffer zones could retain wildlife longer and so
decrease the intensity of crop-raiding. Similarly, the provisioning of baboons that could be
imagined to reduce damage in the afforested areas could attract other troops increasing the
number of baboons and correlatively the damages in short or long term. In addition, the cost
of this solution could be high depending on food provided.
The most promising solutions appear therefore to be: (i) for wild carnivores, the protection of
prey that they depend on; (ii) for both herbivores and carnivores, the provision of alternative
water sources to reducing conflict with people (see Box n°38).
Box n°38: A few examples of possible management of wildlife’s natural requirements
Protection of the principal prey of wild carnivores
Preventing poaching and the commercial harvest of natural prey would maintain adequate
populations and restore the natural balance between predator and prey, thus preventing
carnivores from relying on a diverse diet that includes domestic livestock (Polisar et al 2003).
In Tanzania, the most likely maintenance diet of lions in highly disturbed agricultural areas
appears to be the bush pig. Pigs also cause farmers to sleep in their fields, and this seems the
most likely situation where lions learn to eat people. Pig-control strategies in village
farmlands, could thus potentially reduce the lions' attraction to populated areas in the first
place (Packer et al., 2006).
For crocodile, any environmental management that improves the status of the fish resource
will have a beneficial effect on reducing HWC by increasing fish catches. So, fishermen will
have less incentive to move into new areas that are less heavily exploited and thus prone to
higher concentrations of crocodiles.
Provision of alternative water sources to wildlife species
This option is practiced in a few areas. In Kilimanjaro Heartland, AWF rehabilitated the water
supply at Imbaringoi in 2004, to serve the livestock and people in the Kitirua Concession
Area and prevent livestock from going to the Amboseli National Park in search of water. This
has had the immediate effect of reducing encounters between livestock and wildlife in the
Park and consequently reduced the level of conflicts in the area. The same year, a water point
was also rehabilitated in the Samburu Heartland to supply water to community areas, to create
separate drinking points for wildlife and livestock and to help boost the tourism potential of
the community areas (Muruthi, 2005).
59
The creation of new water points was also proposed in Mali by the local populations of the
Gourma region who wanted to conserve “their” elephants while improving the cohabitation
(Alfa Gambari Imorou et al., 2004). The provision of water points is also under consideration
in Mozambique for encouraging the movement of people living in Gorongosa National Park
to the periphery while making natural water available for wildlife in the park.
The development of alternative water supplies from boreholes and wells would also reduce
the number of activities exposing people to hazardous encounters with crocodiles (e.g.
bathing/washing and collecting water) while reducing disease risk through the provision of
potable groundwater.
Water management can finally be a good means to reduce wildlife populations whose
exceeding number generates HWC. So, a scientific workshop held in March 2005 at
Johannesburg University identified the closure of water points in the protected areas on a
temporary or permanent basis, as an option to decrease the number of elephants. This would
oblige the elephants to make longer movements to feed and drink while increasing mortality
in younger individuals (Mabunda, 2005). Restricting the access to water has also been
foreseen to control baboons’ populations.
3.4.2. Land use planning
Land use planning is a fundamental human-wildlife conflict management strategy which
offers possibly the best chance of overall and long term success. Indeed, unlike protection and
mitigation methods, it tackles the root of the problem. It is therefore a preventive approach the
goal of which is to create landscapes where people and wildlife can co-exist and have as little
negative impact on each other as possible in order to alleviate human-wildlife conflict
(Muruthi, 2005).
Land-use planning is typically a long term process that requires government support, often
legislative and/or policy changes, and can be extremely expensive to implement. Land-use
plans are therefore rarely implemented at large-scales in Africa. On the other hand, the local
level can be very useful to develop and implement land-use plans efficient to reduce losses to
wildlife (Muruthi, 2005).
National land use planning should be designed through a coordinated approach involving all
the Government's departments concerned including notably Wildlife and National parks as
well as relevant development projects. Uncoordinated planning could lead to increase the
HWC instead of mitigating it (see Box n°39).
Box n°39: Adverse effect of land-use planning on HWC
In Botswana, veterinary zoning regulations has placed a ban on cattle keeping to the north of the
Southern Buffalo Fence erected to separate buffalo and other wildlife from cattle herds to the
south. This caused an important decrease in livelihoods of local populations since previously
cattle keeping was of major importance for the villages of this area where, on the other hand,
agriculture is made difficult due to the threat of crop-raiding elephants (AWF, 2005).
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In Namibia, the "Green Scheme" was established in 2002 under the Ministry of Agriculture,
Water and Rural Development with the mission to enhance socio-economic development and
upliftment of Namibia’s rural communities, notably by supporting the development of a
sustainable and competitive agricultural sector and facilitating the empowerment of smallscale irrigation farmers (Botschaft von Namibia, 2008). The resulting land use planning is
based on the analysis of the quality of the soils. Where the results of the analysis meets the
standards, the area is devoted to agriculture leading to potential conflicts between wildlife and
newly settled farmers.
We will consider hereafter two possible options of land-use planning used to prevent and/or
mitigate Human-Wildlife conflict.
 Planning/manipulating human activities’ distribution
For crop-raiding, the underlying land use problem is that farmers are growing food crops
close to the wildlife areas. The most practical land use planning techniques to managing
human-wildlife conflicts with farming communities are therefore: (i) relocating agricultural
activity out of wildlife range; (ii) changing the location of crop fields from the forest edge to
close proximity with dwellings; and, in a general way, (iii) reducing human settlement
encroachment into wildlife range for instance by repositioning the boundaries of Protected
Areas or creating buffer zones (WWF SARPO, 2005).
The same applies to livestock predation: to reduce carnivore-human conflict, carnivore attacks
and long-term costs of carnivore conflicts and management, new human settlements should
avoid those areas where lions are likely to be present (Quigley and Herrero, 2005).
Obviously, areas which are important for cattle or agriculture and not for wildlife should be
devoted to animal husbandry or crops, while areas of particular wildlife importance such as
strongholds, corridors, and economically viable wildlife use areas, should be dedicated to
wildlife conservation.
The clear designation of areas suitable for human activities and areas exclusively devoted to
wildlife does certainly help mitigating HWC while being the first step to resolve it on the long
term. A few examples of what is already done or could be realized are provided in box n° 40.
Development of improved transport options could also reduce the risk of fatal encounters with
wildlife which exists currently by circulating on foot or on bicycle at night in areas where
dangerous animals like lion, hippo or elephants are known to occur, or crossing rivers with
dugout canoes or wading across. Similarly, where dangerous animals occur, toilets must be
close to houses and should not be used at night time.
 Zoning around Protected Areas
Zoning has been widely used in biodiversity conservation and for the creation of national
parks, natural reserves and other protected areas (see Box n°41). It refers to any form of
geographically differentiated land management where different forms of potentially
conflicting land use are given priority in different areas. If a zoning approach is chosen, it is
vital to scale management zones to the size of the biological process that they are designed to
manage. For instance, for carnivore zones, it must be thought in terms of bigger land areas
than for any other terrestrial species group (Linnell et al., 2005).
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Zoning includes differences in: (i) degrees of protection; (ii) thresholds for initiation of
control actions; (iii) hunting regimes; (iv) implementation of compensation and (v) economic
incentives to mitigate conflicts.
Thus, regarding HWC mitigation, the advantages of zoning are obviously multiple: (i) it
concentrates the resources for costly conflict reduction and intensive conservation measures
into limited areas; (ii) when responses depend on where conflicts occur, it provides for simplified
management procedures which can be initiated without time-consuming investigation; (iii) it
provides predictability for people, so that they can make long-term plans and economic
investments knowing to what extent wildlife will be part of their future; (iv) it may allow
people to become accustomed to the presence of wild animals, and thereby reduce fear levels.
However, there are a number of sociological, political and ethical disadvantages to zoning that
must be considered (Linnell et al., 2005). For instance, a disadvantage of zoning is that it may
decrease the tolerance carrying capacity of people towards wildlife, notably among people left
outside the area where wildlife damages are compensated. This situation could be alleviated
by integrating these people in CBNRM programmes (see 3.1.2.2.) as a form of land use
planning and land use change (WWF SARPO, 2005).
In addition, to achieve such an integrated landscape, legal and institutional development will
be necessary, and should be faced and tackled upfront, as any agreement on land use changes
will take several years (WWF SARPO, 2005).
The design of a specific policy dealing with HWC management can be a very useful tool to
this respect. That is the case in Namibia, where the recently adopted policy considers the
following as part of its strategic approach to manage HWC : (i) give preference to allocating
concessions to protected areas neighbours such as conservancies to help offset livestock and
crop losses as a result of HWC and (ii) promote the adoption of compatible land uses such as
wildlife and tourism on land adjoining protected areas in order to reduce HWC (Government
of Namibia, 2007).
Box n°40: Some examples of distribution of Human activities likely to mitigate HWC
In Namibia, in the framework of the new policy on HWC management, the Ministry of
Environment and Tourism will declare areas with chronic problems as HWC zones. Specific
regulations will be developed for such zones providing for appropriate assessments to be
carried out and management plans to be in place before new developments may take place,
e.g. new water points, agricultural schemes. In addition, the Ministry of Environment and
Tourism will advise and assist the Ministry of Lands and Resettlements to ensure that the
planning of resettlements scheme and land-use planning at local, regional and national levels
take into account HWC. For example, land use planning should consider agricultural schemes
and the distribution of crop fields in a manner that leaves corridors for wildlife movements
(Government of Namibia, 2007).
The creation of wildlife corridors linking wildlife areas, forbidden to human activities and
allowing wildlife to move freely between human settlements has been considered for
elephants whose seasonal movements are a major cause of HWC (Alfa Gambari Imorou et al.,
2004; Mabunda, 2005; WWF SARPO, 2005) and for carnivores (Quigley and Herrero, 2005).
62
This option can mitigate HWC but also have major consequences for people living in and near
these corridors where there will be an escalation of HWC.
Similarly, the zoning of lakes and dams into areas designated for fishing and others closed to
fishing to ensure successful spawning and recruitment of juvenile fish, as well as effectively
policing and control of the gill net fishery as a whole, would reduce the frequency of
crocodiles’ incidents considerably. This however requires skill and resources beyond the
means of most African fisheries or wildlife authorities.
Box n°41: Two examples of zoning around protected areas
For reducing Human-Elephant Conflict in Ghana, a zoning of farming land has been
suggested whereby farmers with land within 1 km from park boundary would be discouraged
from growing food crops over time, and would be encouraged to cultivate crops that are
unpalatable to elephants (Barnes et al., 2003). This would reduce the attractiveness of the land
immediately adjacent to park boundary to elephants. In the second zone, more than 2 km from
the park boundary, farmers could cultivate subsistence food crops.
The creation of hunting blocks, Wildlife or Game Management Areas (WMAs/GMAs), either
state or private land, on the boundaries of protected areas is a form of zoning widely set up in
Africa. One advantage is that the interface of HWC is displaced from the park 's boundaries to
the boundaries of the blocks which are acting as a buffer zone (Loveridge, 2002). Another
advantage lies in the fact that, the management of wildlife in these zones through consumptive
and, to a lesser extent, non consumptive uses reduces HWC both by controlling wildlife
populations and providing income.
4. Decisional framework
Clear policies dealing with human-wildlife conflict help to set the options that can be
implemented by either the administrations (national or local), the wildlife authorities, the
farmers and communities and/or the private sector.
In order to be effective, policies need to include: (i) a clear definition of the roles of the
various stakeholders quoted above; (ii) a distinct definition of a “problem-causing animal”;
(iii) guidelines on human-wildlife conflict, the means to measure the extent and nature of such
conflict and the management methods available/authorized (WWF SARPO, 2005).
The policy is to be designed through a bottom-up approach involving all the stakeholders and
particularly local communities and supported by the appropriate government departments, i.e.
Wildlife but also: Agriculture, Water, Infrastructures, etc. This approach seems to be the best
way to design transparent and workable policies on managing human-wildlife conflict. Such
policies can then lead the way to sound legislation and contribute to the success of HWC
management.
To date, a few African countries have designed national policies on HWC. The case of the
"National Policy on Human-Wildlife Conflict Management" that was adopted by the
Government of Namibia in December 2007, is a good example which could be fruitfully used
as a basis by other countries.
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From a practical point of view, in order to carry out informed and cost-effective management
decisions, a three-phase approach may be implemented: (i) collection of information on
HWC; (ii) analyse of the information and decision-making; (iii) choice and implementation of
the management option.
4.1. Phase 1: Investigation
In order to react quickly, one obvious requirement is to have an efficient information system
to report incidents, and in addition, a centralized database to identify hot spots, recurrent
animal problems, etc. The long-term success of an information system will depend on the
enumerators collecting the basic information who must be properly chosen, trained and
employed. In addition, the methodology and the format for the collection of information must
be agreed by all the involved parties (WWF SARPO, 2005).
The systematic and objective gathering of information allows responsible authorities to put
the problems and threats caused by human-wildlife conflict into context and perspective with
other problems faced by local communities. It also ensures that resources are correctly
directed, i.e. at solving the real issues rather than the perceived problems.
In the absence of good information, the scale and nature of human-wildlife conflict becomes a
matter of personal opinion. Conflict between people and wildlife is an emotional issue and, as
a result, reports and opinions can be biased, creating a false impression of the size of the
problem (WWF SARPO, 2005).
The collection of reliable data is complicated by the fact that the real extent of the conflict is
often obscured by the publicity and the agendas of many interested parties. Actually, there are
several factors that may affect the accuracy of the information collected, for instance: (i) agropastoralists are not always able to determine the exact cause of death of an animal (diseases,
poor nutrition, poisonous bites) and may blame predators instead; (ii) the local government
may underestimate the problem whilst not taking into account isolated and unreported attacks
(Polisar et al., 2003); (iii) farmers may intentionally exaggerate the information for various
reasons (e.g. in several countries, HWC are often used as a pretext to slaughter an elephant to
have meat). This issue of broad concern is quite common but can be easily overcome by
cross-checking suspicious declarations with field assistants’ local knowledge or field quadrant
sampling survey (Sekhar, 1998)
In addition, there is no simple universal reporting system in place to capture and collate
information on HWC. Problems sometimes happen in remote places and never get reported at
all. Those incidents that are reported may go to a number of different institutions – traditional
tribal leadership, police and/or army or security organisations, hospitals, mission stations, local
government, wildlife authority etc, or any combination of these. The details of the incident that
are captured at the time will vary between organisations and between incidents.
A universal reporting format introduced and circulated to all possible entities that may receive
future reports, has proved useful in some cases to obtain this information retrospectively by
employing local enumerators to canvas all of the above sources and record this into the
universal format. This reporting form also provides information that can be used to analyse the
data for biological, spatial, temporal, cultural and other patterns and determinants. For crocodile
conflict, for instance, this is done from an existing database currently holding over 500 records
of attacks worldwide which is an increasingly valuable research and management tool.
64
In a general way, good-quality and high-value information should be gathered to develop and
maintain an updated database containing the broadest array of records documenting the type
and location of the incidents (see Box n°42).
When the occurrence of an HWC is confirmed, its reality and extent is to be objectively checked
before any management measure can be considered. At the same time, complementary
investigations likely to help to better understand and appraise the intensity of the conflict can be
carried out (see Box n°43). This is not easy because, on the one hand, logistics are often lacking
preventing the relevant authorities to go in the field and on the other hand, the victims sometimes
tend to exaggerate voluntarily or not, the importance of the conflict.
Box n°42: Interest of a HWC Database
A Human-Conflict database would: (i) provide a detailed overview of the impact on local
populations; (ii) better identify which geographical zones are more vulnerable to HWC and
which species are commonly involved in the conflict. As a result, it would ensure adequate
use of resources, help identify high-risk areas and the most relevant species and allow
effective responses to emergencies (Nyhus and Tilson, 2004).
This database could even be used to prevent or at least anticipate HWC. Results of past research
(Sitati et al. 2003) suggest that spatial correlates of conflict can be identified, and areas of
vulnerability mapped, to enable the development and deployment of appropriate conflict
management measures. Innovative method employing participatory Geographic Information
Systems to design maps have been developed using local landmarks and features; these are
being used to document distribution and type of conflict, species involved, severity, causal
factors of conflict, to produce predictor variables for conflict and to develop options with
communities for wildlife conflict mitigation (Muruthi, 2005). Such information will be useful to
local farmers, who often feel powerless to combat the problem, and also the authorities who
want to help but have inadequate information to carry out targeted prompt action.
Box n°43: Investigations likely to be made in case of HWC
Checking the reality of the Conflict
For example, when a livestock depredation case occurs, the first step before choosing any of
the possible management methods is to investigate the specific identification of the “killer”. Is
it a lion or not? Here, the five step investigation procedure proposed by Bowland, Mills and
Lawson (1994) and developed for caracal, brown hyena, cheetah, leopard, black-backed
jackal and domestic dog, could be adapted: (i) determine whether the prey animal was killed
by a predator or had died from other causes; (ii) define the size of the prey, i.e. small, medium
or large as only the lion can prey on very large species; (iii) examine the various parts of the
carcass carefully and systematically; (iv) look for specific behavioural traits of predators like
claw marks on the carcass, bites on the throat, etc.; (v) search clues in the area surrounding
the carcass (tracks, droppings, hair, etc.) or observe the behaviour of the herd (e.g. obvious
signs of nervousness among the remaining animals on the morning following the attack.)
65
Complementary investigations
The understanding of the ecological, social and cultural dimensions of conflict situations is
useful to better integrate the general overview of HWC at present. Understanding the context
in which the conflict is embedded, requires the exploration of different aspects of regions and
countries where it occurs; some elements such as human population density, proportion of
urban and rural population and religious beliefs are often overlooked and would be helpful in
identifying appropriate solutions.
As well as having detailed information about the nature of the conflict, it is useful to have
knowledge of local perceptions of the severity of damage, how and whether people use
particular strategies to try to minimize the levels of crop damage occurring and who actually
makes formal complaints about crop raiding by elephants. Such information will help: (i)
identify which methods will be suitable to communities; (ii) whether crop damage per se is
the important issue; or (iii) whether it is a proxy for another issue. In addition, this
information will help to identify target groups for consultation in any intervention program.
Another key point that can be investigated is the populations’ assessment of the effectiveness
methods of HWC management measures. This can help in educating the farmers and
promoting the adoption of the most effective techniques. This assessment has been conducted
by the FAO Kakum project (Ghana), and showed for instance that farmers ranked the elephant
deterrent techniques as follows (from the better to the worse: (i): disturbance shooting at
equality with burning fibres; (ii) shouting; (iii) beating drums; (iv) burning tyres; (vi) bamboo
bombs.
Other investigations are useful to guide management decisions. The status of the wild
population, for instance, is instrumental to choose between lethal or non-lethal techniques. For
some species, like crocodile, the status of the population is not difficult to obtain through a
programme of aerial surveys coupled with nocturnal “spotlight” surveys from a boat and use
of data from the ranching operations where these exist. The methodologies and analyses of
these data are well established. On the other hand, it could be more complicated for species
like baboons that are more widespread and less linked to a specific habitat.
For baboons, investigation on the behaviour has thus proved more pertinent to better understand
why there was a conflict, how it started and how it could be managed in the future to sustain
viability of exotic timber plantations without removing baboon populations in large numbers.
This investigation allowed reversing the problem on three Border Timber Estates in Zimbabwe.
4.2. Phase 2: Problem analysis and decision making
Besides the list of management methods, the policy should provide a decisional framework in
case of human-wildlife conflict to the authorities, managers and local populations. Such a
framework must help people to identify and implement the appropriate management strategy
which may differ depending on the conditions (ecological, socio-economic, etc.)
It is also necessary that the policy establish a threshold level of damage which may be zero or
some higher level. Mitigation is then only considered when this level is exceeded.
A decision-tree process has been proposed to help decision-makers to make up their mind and
determine which actions to conduct for mitigating HWC (FAO, 2005). They are simple flow
charts that will cover the likely situations and so, can increase the likelihood of the correct
decision being taken and also give the staff confidence in carrying out their task.
66
A decision tree has been designed for each problem-causing animal species. As an example,
the model for elephant is shown in Figure 1.
The decision in reaction to an HWC situation is most often made at the central level, but it can
be delegated to the lowest appropriate institutional level to ensure that decision-making is
quick, efficient and based on the best available information. That is the case in Mozambique
where the decision is made at the district level or in Namibia where the decision has been
transferred at the regional level to Chief Control Wardens of the Directorate of Parks and
Wildlife Managements. This allows better reporting and monitoring as well as a very quick
reaction so that the identified problem causing animal can be speedily dealt with.
At the same time, safeguards need to set up to ensure that, if necessary, wildlife is destroyed
for good reason. In Namibia for instance, the national policy on HWC established guidelines
concerning: (i) delegation of authority to determine when to destroy a problem-causing
animal; (ii) destruction of a problem-causing animal by a authorized conservancy; (iii) the
framework for deciding when a problem-causing animal should be destroyed (Government of
Namibia, 2007).
Ideally, the decision should be taken in collaboration with all the involved stakeholders, who
are: (i) primarily the local populations, possibly structured in community-based organisation;
(ii) local government representatives; (iii) any private sector tourism operators (wildlife
viewing and hunting) involved within the areas where conflicts occur; and (iv) scientists.
Also, the same stakeholders should have agreed upon mechanism for reporting and the
implementation of actions (see Box n°44).
Finally, the decision making may deal both with the cause and the effect as shown by the
following example. For mitigating baboons' damages in afforested areas, it may be decided to
address the problem by managing both the damage itself and the causative agent (identified
baboon troops or individuals). At each level from this point onward, the choice of possible
management activities may be constrained by their economic or practical feasibility, as well
as by the constraints imposed by lack of knowledge, legislation, certification programmes
and/or public opinion.
Box n°44: An example of integrated decision-making
The following situation regarding crocodiles gives a practical example of the possible
involvement of various stakeholders. The decision to remove individual crocodile(s) or to
authorise a mass operation is associated with the decisions on how this operation is to be
carried out: (i) how many animals (a quota), any age/size limitations; (ii) who (government,
private sector or other); (iii) when (immediate, at next optimal seasonal opportunity, delayed);
(iv) how [lethal (i.e. slaughter and recover skins) only or non lethal (capture into captivity)].
Additionally management actions may need to be provided for within legislation and
regulations to control such operations gazetted accordingly. The disposal of the products
(skins or live animals) may need to be approved, subject to the constraints of national or
international obligations (e.g. CITES), etc. The decision to select and implement other
relevant management activities in the education/awareness sector and in the development of
alternative water supplies and transport/communications options must be made at this time.
This decision will require negotiation and agreement at national and regional scales and will
involve partnerships with the developed world.
67
Fig. 1: Decision support process to determine appropriate management actions in areas with
Human-elephant conflict (FAO, 2005)
Is there a Human-Elephant problem in
the area?
Yes
No
No action necessary
Is the area a Conservation area?
Yes
No
Can elephants be managed in the area so
that benefits with elephants are greater
than without elephants ?
a. Implement community
awareness and
protection strategies.
b. Remove problem
individuals.
Yes
No
Can land use be planned to
cost-effectively
accommodate elephants?
Yes
a
Develop and implement plans to sustainably
manage elephants in the area.
b Implement community awareness and
protection strategies.
c Remove problem individuals.
d Monitor
No
Remove
elephants
68
4.3. Phase 3: Choice and implementation of the management option(s)
The choice and implementation of the management options belongs to the State which is
generally the "owner" of Wildlife. As seen before they may be delegated to local levels.
The criteria for an ideal choice of the options for HWC management and their implementation
would include:
(i)
the management response should be swift and the results effective and permanent,
it should not simply displace the problem to somewhere else.
Any efforts at management that are not implemented in an absolutely rigorous and committed
manner could result in failure, and possibly in exacerbation of the problem. For baboons for
instance, this may happen through inadvertently teaching the baboons how to avoid the
controls, or by disruption of the social structure of the target troops which may result in
greater reproduction and/or damage.
(ii)
the management option must be compatible with the current legislation and local
culture and be "politically correct".
In many situations, strategies or methods for addressing the HWC issue are constrained by
local, national or international regulations, laws or treaties. Moreover, the ineffectiveness of
some of the management practices is directly dependent on the establishment and application
of policies and guidelines on a wide range of human activities. In various countries, existing
wildlife policies are outdated, contradictory and require clarification, in particular those
regarding land development planning and its impact on wildlife habitats. As mentioned
before, policies on land tenure, controlled utilisation of wildlife through hunting and the trade
of wildlife products, game farming, tourism development and compensation schemes, should
be strengthened and made to conform to the present national state of affairs and population
requirements (Hoare, 1992).
Local culture, religious and traditional beliefs should be taken into account as they can
prevent the implementation of some management techniques. For instance, the fact that some
species are taboo like crocodiles in Burkina Faso (see Box n°10) or the interdiction for
Muslims to consume pork and the related species, forbids the use of lethal methods in some
parts of Africa.
The whole mitigation process must be properly documented in a manner that will satisfy
international scrutiny and public opinion often prone to animal welfare consideration. The
South-African moratorium on lethal control of baboon populations since May 2006 illustrates
the weight of public and media powers.
(iii)
the implementation of HWC management measures should be cost-effective,
implemented at the appropriate level (family, village, national, regional) and
involve the relevant stakeholders
Human-wildlife conflict mitigation measures need to be managed at a relevant scale and
sometimes within a transboundary natural resource management approach. Regarding baboon
damages, for instance, the implementation of mitigation should regard both the range of the
baboons and the occurrence of the problem.
69
It is ineffective for a single plantation to implement mitigation where it is surrounded by other
stakeholders pursuing different strategies, or not participating at all.
It is of fundamental importance to include those who are most affected by the problem in the
solution. This is best achieved by transferring ownership of the management strategies to the
local communities that are affected.
For example, communities who engage in crop protection and have ownership over the
methods they use are more likely to succeed than those who do not engage in the problem (see
Box n°45).
(iv)
any management measure should have simple and reliable monitoring procedures.
The results of each wildlife problem management initiative should be monitored to determine
how effective it is for the people (see Box n°46). There is also a need to test it against any
possible side effects on wildlife, such as the restriction of animals' requirements, effects on
non-target species and the environment as a whole and, last but not least, its costeffectiveness. This monitoring of the management activities as well as their cost effectiveness
is necessary to form a feedback loop to either end, continue or modify the mitigation. This is
particularly important in the case of timber plantations where the harvestable product takes
more than one season or year to reach suitable size for harvest, exposing it to repeated and
accumulative incidents.
To summarize, the overall HWC management is an adaptive process which includes the
following phases: (i) Determine HWC status (information gathering); (ii) Set objectives
(policy/option to reduce conflict); (iii) Implement HWC management (policy/options); (iv)
Monitor to see if the objective is achieved (information gathering: Is there reduction on
HWC? What is the impact?); (v) Modify the objective if necessary (policy/options).
Box n°45: Community-Based Problem-Elephant Control.
This concept, developed in Zimbabwe by the Mid-Zambezi Elephant Project, stemmed from
the understanding that current Problem Elephant Control techniques did not effectively assist
communities living alongside elephants (Osborn and Parker, 2003). The system enables rural
communities to take control of the elephant conflict in their areas by providing farmers with
the necessary skills, resources and confidence to defend their crops.
It was then rather successfully implemented around Kakum Conservation Area (Ghana) as a
result of the three-year FAO TCP project implemented by Conservation International.
Community-Based Problem-Elephant Control provides respite for farmers when used in
combination with other methods, however it does not necessarily offer a 100% solution to the
problem of elephant crop damage in fields. Based on the finds of the Kakum project, the
adoption a multi-stage approach to implement management measures, beginning with lowtech methods and graduating to higher-tech methods if necessary can be recommended. The
most sustainable approach will be to utilise methods that farmers can take full responsibility
for. These will be far more robust than high-tech, high cost interventions and therefore
represent a good starting point. If low-tech methods are considered to fail after a period of
time, then a suite of high-tech methods should be implemented. No single method works in
isolation, but rather combinations provide the best chance of success.
70
Box n°46: The Event Book: an example of simple HWC monitoring system
The “Event Book” approach developed in Namibia by WWF, Namibia Nature Foundation,
and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, is a very simple HWC monitoring system
which can be carried out by the communities themselves. Presently introduced in Botswana
and Zambia, it has already been successfully used and gained wide acceptance in Namibia and
Mozambique. Basically, the community decides what they want to monitor. Technicians
develop the monitoring structure accordingly and the entire process, including analysis,
happens locally. The approach concentrates on measuring effort and is based, like Cyber
Tracker, on the use of icons and visual displays that allow illiterate people to participate. For
each incident of human-wildlife conflict that occurred, one cell is marked. This simple
approach soon displays very valuable information directly usable by communities (WWF
SARPO, 2005).
5. Conclusion
The overview presented above shows that HWC is a significant problem in Africa. The conflict
has important consequences in terms of: (i) food security (ii) safety and well-being for local
populations; (iii) micro and macro economy; but also (iv) wildlife conservation.
Considering the current human population growth rate, the increasing demand for natural
resources and the growing pressure for access to land, it is clear that the human wildlife
conflict will not be eradicated in the near future and on the opposite, will grow continuously.
This is particularly true in Africa where subsistence agriculture will continue to play a
dominant role in supporting the continent’s growing populations. This applies also in
countries having developed a modern agriculture like Zimbabwe and South Africa where
recent government policies have favoured a switch from modern commercial agricultural
practices to a return to subsistence agriculture. The fact that most African economies will
continue to be driven by the production of resources to supply to more industrialized nations
(Friedman, 2007) will exemplify the phenomenon.
The overview shows also that a panel of measures able to prevent or mitigate HWC, is
available. Even though there is no panacea for the management of HWC, well-designed
human-wildlife conflict management plans which integrate different techniques and are
adjusted to the nature of the problem can be successful. The potential solutions can be
selected based on their effectiveness, cost and human and social acceptability.
The most sensible approach to addressing HWC is to implement a combination of two different
approaches: short-term mitigation tools along with long-term preventive strategies, so as to reduce
the current problems while fostering the rapid development and use of innovative approaches to
address future issues and eradicate the problem. When low environmental impact strategies and
traditional low cost deterrents are not successful, some invasive approaches, such as regulated
harvest, wildlife translocation or human relocation may need to be implemented. Among the
various strategies, settlement of rights, benefice sharing, CBNRM, insurance programmes and
land use planning seem to be the most sustainable.
Conflict alleviation is a two-sided equation. Both wildlife and people are in conflict. The goal
is thus to enable coexistence and sharing of resources on some scale. This is best achieved by
addressing both sides of the equation and finding a balance between conservation priorities
and the needs of people who live with wildlife. Increasing local community’s tolerance for
wildlife and adapting the human landscape is essential but will always be the most difficult.
71
It is of paramount importance to promote information sharing on HWC through the set up of
an international forum (see Box n°47) and the development of a Web-based portal including
conflict databases, remedial technologies, good management practices, innovative solutions
and their outcomes.
The portal should also provide educational material, information on high-risk areas and links
to other relevant and useful web sites like IUCN and WWF. It would provide valuable support
to different partners dealing with the problem, granting access to information,
recommendations and effective management principles.
Given the results of this survey, the key question can be address as follows: is cohabitation
between Humans and Wildlife still possible in the twenty-first Century ruled by economic
profit and Globalisation?
This raises the following underlying questions:
 Should poor rural communities in the developing world be expected to bear the burden
of conflict with wildlife, when there are other options available? For example, must
rural populations have to put up with crocodiles living amongst them?
 Given that most African countries do not have the resources to effectively manage
their protected areas, is it reasonable to expect them to also manage wildlife living in a
human dominated landscape?
 Can greater sustainable value be created from wildlife in poor rural communities so
that it becomes a useful profitable resource, rather than a liability ?
 With the growing Animal Rights lobby opposed to wildlife utilization and its success
in preventing the use of this resource in a few countries, is it now time to lobby
responsible donors to direct greater resources towards planning and managing wildlife
as an asset to rural communities?
Reducing conflicts between wildlife and people is certainly a key issue to answer to these
questions as it is likely to improve both food security by reducing wildlife's impacts on crops
and livestock and Biodiversity Conservation by modifying the negative attitudes that many
communities have towards wildlife.
Box n°47: The Human-Wildlife Conflict Collaboration (HWCC)
The Human-Wildlife Conflict Collaboration (HWCC) has been established following a
recommendation of the IUCN World Park Congress in 2003. It is an international forum that
acts as a global network for sharing information and expertise in addressing HWC. Initiated
by TILCEPA (Strategic Direction on Governance, Communities, Equity, and Livelihoods in
Relation to Protected Areas), it was formally launched in November 2006 in Washington DC.
The Wildlife Society, committed to host the HWCC office and serve as fiscal agent. The
HWCC is a global partnership that supports greater collaboration on HWC across disciplines,
sites and policy areas. Its mission is to prevent and mitigate HWC through a global network
and partnership that facilitates collaborative learning, innovation, scientific analysis and the
development and improvement of best practices and policies. It seeks to promote adoption of
best practices for HWC management by conservation, development and planning
professionals and institutions.
72
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