Socio-Economic and Environmental Factors Influencing Human-Wildlife Conflict in Nimule National Park -South Sudan

Authors : Joseph Mayindo Mayele; Victor Stephen Woja

Volume/Issue : Volume 7 - 2022, Issue 4 - April

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In the universe, homo sapiens have ever competed with wildlife species for centuries and still continuing with them for habitat and resources. They have further innovated and adapted to become the dominant ecological force on the planet although their co-existence with other species is inevitable. The limited resources opted for this conflict has contributed to the extinction of numerous wildlife species while others threatened; changes in ecosystem structure and function; and immeasurable loss of human life, crops, livestock, and property. The amelioration and mitigation of this conflict is central to the conservation and restoration of many species, and debates over how and whether to coexist with other animals, drive social, economic, and political conflict within and among human communities. Therefore, wildlife conservation is one of the fundamental aspects of proper management of wildlife resources and resolving conflicts between man and wildlife species. This study examined the attitudes and perception of local communities residing within and around Nimule National Park (NNP) towards wildlife and its conservation, wildlife ownership, and humanwildlife conflict management. In order to identify factors influencing their attitudes and perceptions, purposive sampling method was used to select the respondents within the wildlife administrative areas including areas situated around NNP. A simple random sampling of 50 households’ respondents was chosen from each of the units. Questionnaires were used to collect the data from households’ respondents and then analysis was done in excel spreadsheet and statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) and Minitab v.16majorly computed in descriptive statistics which were then displayed in tables, charts and graphics as frequencies, percentages and significance levels in regression. The study revealed that the communities do not participate in wildlife conservation (64%) and the conflicts occurred as a result of wildlife encroachment into agricultural/farm lands, grazing lands and settlement, but crop raiding was the major source of conflicts in the landscape. The regression results also indicated that communities’ conservation attitudes and perceptions towards wildlife were mainly influenced by access to education with a significance value (p=0.004). Majority of the local people around the park had negative attitudes and perceptions toward the park, its wildlife species and conservation. By restricting access to the park resources, the people feel deprived, hence the occurrence of conflict. Provision of tangible benefits and alternative livelihoods for local people engaged in the subsistence activities in the landscape should be considered as a central point to the park management, protection and conservation of its wildlife species, tourism development initiatives, with a view to alleviating poverty and improving human welfare and livelihoods within the park

Keywords : Human-wildlife conflict, wildlife conservation, Perceptions, impacts of human-wildlife conflict, Nimule National Park


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