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Human-Wild Animals Conflict in and around Amba Forest, Ezha District, Gurage Zone, Southern Ethiopia

Human-Wild Animals Conflict in and around Amba Forest, Ezha District, Gurage Zone, Southern Ethiopia Hindawi International Journal of Zoology Volume 2022, Article ID 7002645, 14 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/7002645 Research Article Human-Wild Animals Conflict in and around Amba Forest, Ezha District, Gurage Zone, Southern Ethiopia 1 1 1 1,2 Demelash Sime , Zemedkun Siraj, Ashenafi Teklemariam , and Belete Tilahun Department of Biology, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Wolkite University, P.O. Box 07, Wolkite, Ethiopia Department of Wildlife and Ecotourism Management, College of Agriculture and NRM, Wolkite University, P.O. Box 07, Wolkite, Ethiopia Correspondence should be addressed to Demelash Sime; demelashsime@gmail.com Received 27 April 2022; Accepted 2 July 2022; Published 29 August 2022 Academic Editor: Joao Pedro Barreiros Copyright © 2022 Demelash Sime et al. �is is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. �e con€icts between humans and wild animals with the same resources are common but seldom reported in Ethiopia. �is study was carried out to assess the causes, impacts, and mitigation strategies of the local communities with human-wild animal con€ict (HWC) in and around Amba forest of Ezha District, Gurage Zone, Ethiopia: implications for wildlife conservation. Cross- sectional study design was applied, and data were collected from November 2019 to July 2020 through a semistructured questionnaire, focus group discussion (FGD), and “eld observation. A total of 53 respondents were randomly selected. �e data were analyzed using SPSS software, and the results were presented using tables, graphs, charts, and text. �e study result revealed that human-wild animal con€ict exists, and it was seriously occurring at various places, time, and seasons. Papio anubis, Potamochoerus larvatus, Cercopithecus aethiops, Hystrix cristata, and Crocuta crocuta were the main con€icting wild animals, respectively. Abundance of wild animals, presence of forest, crop raiding, expansion of agriculture, and livestock predation were the main causes of con€ict in the study area. �ere was a statistically signi“cant relation between con€ict and the cause of con€ict (χ 17.075, p  0.004). Psychological and economic impacts were the main impacts encountered. Most of the respondents (5) = (86.8%) had applied con€ict mitigation strategies, but it was ineŸective, although the trend of con€ict was increasing. Many of the respondents (41.5%) had a negative attitude toward wild animals, but 58.5% encouraged wild animals’ conservation. HWC had increasing trends of con€ict, and thus, a negative attitude was developed by the communities on wild animal coexistence and conservation. �erefore, awareness creation, training, and promoting coexistence mechanisms between humans and wild animals are necessary in the study area. species, starting from grain-eating rodents [4] to man-eating 1. Introduction tigers [5]. Hence, it is rising like a considerable wildlife Historically, there have been strong negative interactions be- management issue [6] for the reason that its eŸect is very tween humans and wildlife that become causes of the no- severe. As it is evidently recognized, HWC occurs while wildlife ticeable problem referred to as human-wildlife con€ict (HWC) requirements overlie with human needs and goals and has costs and consequently are converted into aspects of wildlife man- for both humans and wildlife [7]. �e con€ict can also exist as agement throughout the world and currently a di¢cult chal- the requirements and wildlife behaviors harmfully impact the lenge for conservationists of the Earth [1]. HWC is a universal goals of human beings [8] and aŸect the free movement of phenomenon in both developed and developing countries [2]; wildlife and vice versa. For that reason, human-wildlife con€ict however, it is further practiced within several developing can be expected and measured in all communities where both countries [3]. Presently, HWC is more prevalent, and the issues humans and wildlife commonly exist and share the same of conservation actions are highly associated. HWC and habitat [9]. �e depletion of natural habitats that provide wildlife conservation issue comprises a variety of features and support to wildlife can also cause a con€ict problem. 2 International Journal of Zoology Accepting the factors connected with conflicts and where Globally, HWC is an extremely increasing problem, which occurs in any geographical region or climatic con- they are expected to happen is significant for conservation and conflict [24]. %erefore, the main objective of the ditions and is common in all areas where wildlife and humans coexist and limited resources are shared [10]. In the present study was to study the causes, impacts, and miti- same way, HWC is also common in Africa in all areas where gation strategies of the local communities with human-wild wildlife and human populations coexist and have limited animal conflict in and around Amba forest of Ezha District, resources, and the condition is getting not as good as it costs Gurage Zone, Ethiopia: implications for wildlife individual safety and loss of economy in urban areas [9]. %e conservation. fundamental causes of the problem are the growth of human population and settlements encroaching into formerly un- 2. Materials and Methods inhabited areas in both number and intensity [11]. As a 2.1.DescriptionoftheStudyArea. Gurage Zone, which is part consequence, HWC accuses wildlife and humans of long- of the Southern Nations Nationalities and People’s Region term conservation goals, threatening livelihoods and com- (SNNPR), is located in the southwest part of Ethiopia. %e munities that provide support to biodiversity conservation zone is bounded by Hadiya, Kembata, Alaba, and Tembaro [6], and species involved in the conflict are more prone to zones in the south, Yem special woreda in the southwest, and extinction [12] and result in several resource damage in the Oromia Regional state in the northwest and east [25]. various ways. %e zone is divided into 13 woredas, but currently 16 Conservation biologists of the world face the most woredas and two city administrations, Welkite and Butajira. important challenges from human-wildlife conflict for %e total population in the zone was 1,279,646, of whom wildlife management goals [13]. It is the most repeated 622,078 were males and 657,568 were females [26]. %e problem in countryside areas where most people depend on majority of the people (95%) live in rural areas engaged in farming, animals, goods, and agriculture for their livelihood agriculture [27]. %e remaining 5% live in urban areas [25], and returns [14]. It is more vulnerable in developing cited in [27]. %is study was carried out in and around Amba countries like Ethiopia when compared to developed forest, located in Ezha District of Gurage Zone (Figure 1). countries because livestock and agriculture are an important %e forest (Figure 2) comprises various fauna and flora part of rural livelihoods [11,15]. According to [16–18], re- resources. %e local communities had various interactions ports are few regardless of whether the conflicts are severe in and interferences with the forest and its resources. Ethiopia. In this regard, conservationists and practitioners recommend that local participation and support for a conservation project are necessary for its success and sus- 2.2. Study Design, Periods, Sample Size Determination, tainability. %e distinguished resource damage caused by Sampling Methods, and Study Population. To conduct this wildlife near forest habitats and around the protected areas study, a cross-sectional study design involving qualitative could be an opportunity or a threat [19]. and quantitative data was conducted from November 2019 %e conflict between humans and wildlife ranks among G.C. to July 2020 G.C. A total of 53 study participants/ the main threats to biodiversity conservation and has become households (from four Kebeles Woyiradebane, 21 (39.6%), frequent and severe in diverse sections of Ethiopia [20]. In Yesiray, 15 (28.3%), Agena, 9 (17%), and Gedeb, 8 (15.1%)) different conservation areas of Ethiopia, the competition were involved in this study based on the total population size between local people and wild animals was frequently re- of the study area and areas close to the forest. In the study ported as it was stated in [21,22]. However, the environment area, more than 2400 population and 450 households were and magnitude of the difficulty differ from place to place found. However, the households located around the forest based on the increase in human population rate and shortage and facing the conflict were 128. %e sample size was de- of significant natural resources, especially grazing and termined purposively, and a simple random sampling farmland [22]. Countryside communities with a shortage of technique was used to involve respondents from the source livelihood prospects are regularly the hardest stroke for population, community members who were living close to conflicts with wildlife [1]. Rural communities with restricted and around Amba forest in the district. livelihood chances are repeatedly the hardest stroke by conflicts with wildlife [1]. Without mitigating HWC, the results are further impoverishment of the poor, reduced local 2.3. Data Collection Methods and Analysis. Semistructure support for conservation, and increased retaliatory killing of questionnaires with appropriate variables pertaining to wildlife causing increased vulnerability of wildlife populations human-wild animal conflict causes, impacts, and mitigation [1]. Practical and durable management of wildlife and its strategies used by the local community in the study area as habitats desires the understanding of the ecological and well as background information of respondents were in- socioeconomical perspectives of human-wildlife conflict [23]. cluded to collect data via interviewing [29]. Field observation %e problem of conflict between humans and wildlife can be using a preprepared data collection sheet was used to collect considered the most important fear to the food security and data concerning conflict causes, types of impacts, wildlife income of many rural households. In the current study area, causing conflict, identifying species of wildlife, and so on. there was no previous study on human-wild animals conflict, Focus group discussion (FGD) among selected key infor- and the challenge was relevant from socioeconomic and mants was conducted to supplement the information ob- conservation point of view. tained using other methods of data collection [29]. Prior to International Journal of Zoology 3 37°53′30″E 37°59′0″E 38°4′30″E 38°10′0″E Ethiopian Regions Ezha woreda Bojebar Gurage zone woredas 37°53′30″E 37°59′0″E 38°4′30″E 38°10′0″E 0 20 40 80 km Yoteyet Yewzera Natural Forest Amba Natural Forest Town viserayi kobolo River Geodob kobolo Road Figure 1: Map of Amba forest (study area) [28]. Moreover, 67.9% were farmers, or agriculture was their type of occupation. %is implies that the highest proportion of the respondents was farmers who possess land and perform agricultural activities, so they encountered the conflict. 3.2. Presence of Conflict in the Study Area. All respondents Figure 2: Amba forest (study area) (photo by authors). (100%) replied with the presence of conflict between humans and wild animals in the study area (Figure 3). actual data collection, there was a preliminary survey in the %is was also confirmed by all focus group discussion study area to collect relevant information about the study discussants. %is implies that human-wild animal conflict is area. %e data were analyzed using SPSS software in which a serious issue in the study area and influences the livelihood one-way ANOVA was used to compare the response mean of the local communities and the survival of wild animals. As variation among the causes; types of conflicting wild animals, stated in [2], human-wildlife conflict is a common phe- impact difference, and mitigation strategy differences were nomenon in both developing and developed countries. analyzed. Chi-square (χ2) was used to analyze the response Moreover, according to [3], HWC exists in different forms difference of respondents regarding their academic status, age, all over the world and is more experienced in developing crops grown and damaged, and other relevant variables for countries, and it has been in existence as long as humans this analysis. Additionally, descriptive statistics were used to have existed and wild animals and people have shared the analyze the mean, frequency, and percentage of quantitative same landscapes and resources [30]. HWC occurs when data. In all cases, a 95% level of significance was considered for wildlife requirements overlap with those of human pop- the difference to be observed. %e obtained analysis results ulations, having costs for both residents and wild animals were presented using tables, graphs, charts, and text. [7]. It exists when the needs and behavior of wildlife impact negatively the goals of human beings [8]. As the human population increases and settlements encroach into previ- 3. Results and Discussion ously uninhabited areas, HWC is increasing in both number 3.1. Demographic Characteristics of Study Participants. In and intensity [11]. It was also in line with the study results of this study, 64.2% of the respondents were males, and 41.5% [31], in which the majority of respondents (56%) reported had an age group of 31–40 years. Of the respondents, 39.7% the existence of HWC manifested through both crop damage had a primary education level (Table 1). %e education status and livestock predation. of the respondents had a statistically significant relation (χ 18.98, p< 0.001). (4) � Most of the respondents (71.7%) were married, and 3.3. Occurrence of HWC Time and Severity of Conflict. As the 67.9% had children, of whom 28.3% had 2 to 3 children, results of this study revealed, the conflict between humans while 5.7% had 6 to 7 children per family (Table 1). and wild animals occurs dominantly during the time within 8°5′0″N 8°10′30″N 8°16′0″N 8°5′0″N 8°10′30″N 8°16′0″N 4 International Journal of Zoology Table 1: Demographic characteristics of study participants. Gender/sex Male Female Total N 34 19 53 % 64.2 35.8 100 Marital status Single Married Divorced Total N 15 38 0 53 % 28.3 71.7 0 100 Age category 21–30 31–40 41–50 Above 51 Total N 17 22 11 3 53 % 32.1 41.5 20.7 5.7 100 Education status Degree Diploma 9–12 1–8 Uneducated Total N 4 4 13 21 11 53 % 7.5 7.5 24.6 39.7 20.7 100 Occupation Agriculture Trade No job Private Government Total N 36 6 4 3 4 53 % 67.9 11.4 7.5 5.7 7.5 100 Family size No children 2–3 4–5 6–7 8–9 Total N 17 15 14 3 4 53 % 32.1 28.3 26.4 5.7 7.5 100 120 3.4. Seasons and Places of Conflict. As the respondents re- plied, conflicts between humans and wild animals occurred during all seasons, but the most conflict season was De- cember to February (96.2%), whereas the least serious conflict season was from June to August (66%) (Table 3). %ere was a statistically significant relation between conflict between humans and wild animals and season of a year (χ � 32.358, p< 0.001). %e ANOVA result also showed (3) 20 that there was a statistically significant mean response dif- ference concerning the season of conflict (F (5, 48) � 4.007, p � 0.004). Yes No I don’t know %e result in Table 3 implies that there was conflict in all Frequency seasons, but there was variation in terms of the different Percent seasons. %e communities in the study area encounter the Figure 3: Presence of HWC in the study area. conflict via a year. %is then costs a lot for both humans and wild animals in the area. %is study result was in agreement with the study results of [11], which noted that season, a day (77.4%), but the conflict becomes severe during the day variety and characteristics of crops, food availability, dis- time dawn or early in the morning (84.9%), followed by tance from the park, and farm protection methods will have night time (77.4%) within a day (Table 2). However, conflict impacts on crop raiding and depredation of domestic ani- occurs the least during day time noon (22.6%), and the mals by wildlife. It was also in line with the study results of severity of conflict was the least during day time dusk (69.8% [27] in Midre-Kebid Abo Monastry, Gurage Zone, South- (Table 2). %e time of HWC had a statistically significant 2 west Ethiopia. relation to the time of a day (χ � 58.77, p< 0.001). %e (5) Concerning places of conflict, the conflict between ANOVA result also showed that there was a statistically humans and wild animals occurs mostly around home and significant mean difference among the respondents’ re- garden areas (84.9%), followed by on farmland (75.5%), sponses regarding the time of conflict (F (5, 48) � 3.69, whereas conflict occurs the least on grazing land (22.6%) p � 0.007). %e severity of conflict during the time of a day (Table 4). %ere was a statistically significant relation be- had a statistically significant relation to the particular time of 2 tween conflict and place of conflict (χ � 55.57, p< 0.001). (5) a day (χ � 15.038, p � 0.010). However, the ANOVA (5) %is result implies that the wild animals move to home, result showed that there was no statistically significant mean garden, and farmland areas, and thus, conflict occurs with difference among the respondents’ responses concerning the humans since these areas are not common habitats for wild severity of conflict (F (5, 48) � 1.580, p � 0.184). %is implies animals. However, depletion of food supply in the wild that the conflict occurs during all times of the day, but there forces wildlife to switch to crops and livestock as their food was an association with certain times of the day. %e pre- source [32]. %us, the wild animals move around homes, ferred time of conflict occurrence is related to the suitability gardens, and farmland areas so that conflict arises. Conflict for wild animals to look for food, while humans in the area occurs in various areas in the study area. %is means the may not actively prevent wild animals during that time of the possibility of encountering conflict was high. As wildlife day. International Journal of Zoology 5 Table 2: Time of conflict occurrence and severity between humans and wild animals. Conflict occurrence response Conflict severity time response Time categories N (�53) Percentage (%) N (�53) Percentage (%) DTD (5:30–7:00 AM) 15 28.3 45 84.9 DTM (7:00–12:00 AM) 15 28.3 39 75.5 DTN (12:00–3:00 PM) 12 22.6 41 73.6 DTDK (4:00–7:00 PM) 17 32.1 40 69.8 NT (7:00 PM–5:00 AM) 13 24.5 37 77.4 ALT (24 hours of a day.) 41 77.4 DTD � day time dawn, DTM � day time morning, DTN � day time noon, DTDK � day time dusk, NT �night time, ALT �all time, N � frequency of response, and % � percent of response. Table 3: Ranking seasons of conflict between humans and wild animals. Ranks (response frequency) Seasons Number (total � 53) Percentage (%) 1 2 3 4 September–November 15 10 17 1 43 81.1 December–February 29 16 6 0 51 96.2 March–May 7 17 10 2 36 67.9 June–August 0 0 2 33 35 66 Table 4: Places of occurrence of conflict between humans and wild animals. Ranks (response frequency) Place of conflict Number (total) Percentage (%) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1. Around home and garden 30 10 4 1 0 0 0 45 84.9 2. On farmland 12 19 7 0 0 2 0 40 75.5 3. Around forest 4 7 4 10 1 0 0 26 49.1 4. Adjacent to forest 2 1 1 5 2 4 0 15 28.3 5. Inside forest 3 1 4 2 4 0 0 14 26.4 6. On grazing land 0 2 8 0 1 0 1 12 22.6 7. Everywhere 5 0 1 0 1 2 9 18 34 habitat becomes increasingly fragmented and wildlife gets of wild animals causing conflict and humans in the study confined into smaller pockets of suitable habitat, humans area (χ � 28, p< 0.001). However, there was no statisti- (8) and wildlife are increasingly coming into contact and in cally significant mean response difference among the re- conflict with each other [24, 33]. spondents concerning the species of wild animals causing Furthermore, human population growth and the asso- conflict (F (8, 45) � 0.680, p � 0.707). However, there was a ciated increase in rates of resource use, habitat modification, statistically significant relation between species of wild an- and fragmentation are forcing wildlife to live in increasing imals causing conflict and humans in the study area with proximity to humans [34]. %e highest intensity of conflict particular kebeles (χ � 22.804, p � 0.004). %e mean re- (3) tends to occur where humans live adjacent to protected areas sponse of the respondents also showed that there was a [35]. When humans live adjacent to larger wildlife habitats statistically significant difference among the kebeles re- and increasingly alter their habitat, conflict between humans garding the types of animal species causing conflict with and wildlife may occur [36]. humans ((F (3, 50) � 3.807, p � 0.016). %is study result implies that there were various but some commonly conflicting wild animals in the study area. 3.5. Wild Animals Conflicting with Humans and Causes of Because of this, the communities and wild animals were Conflict. %ere are different wild animals conflicting with experiencing the negative consequences of the conflict. humans in the study area. Regarding wild animals con- According to [4], HWC is one of the most widespread issues flicting with humans, respondents responded that Papio in conservation, encompassing a considerable diversity of anubis (90.6%) were the most conflicting wild animal, fol- situations and species, from grain-eating rodents to man- lowed by Potamochoerus larvatus (71.7%) and Chlorocebus eating tigers [5]. It is emerging as a significant wildlife aethiops (69.8%), respectively (Table 5). Leopards, foxes, management issue [6]. It was also in line with the study various birds, and other wild animals were the least con- results of [30], who did a study on human-wildlife conflict in flicting animals in the study area (Table 5). During FGD, the Choke Mountain, in which most (71%) of the respondents same conflicting wild animals were listed in the study area. identified five wild animals as problematic that caused crop %ere was a statistically significant relation between species damage and livestock predation, namely, Papio anubis, 6 International Journal of Zoology Table 5: Wild animals conflicting with humans in the study area. Ranks (response frequency) Wild animals (species) Number (total � 53) Percentage (%) 1 2 3 4 5 6 1. Papio anubis 46 2 0 0 0 0 48 90.6 2. Potamochoerus larvatus 0 17 11 6 4 0 38 71.7 3. Cercopithecus aethiops 3 18 7 5 3 1 37 69.8 4. Hystrix cristata 0 6 11 9 0 2 28 52.8 5. Crocuta crocuta 0 0 10 8 4 4 26 49.1 Others (leopard, fox, and birds) 0 0 0 3 9 5 17 32.1 Crocuta crocuta, Potamochoerus larvatus, Hystrix cristata, 3.6. Major Crops Grown and Parts and Stages of Crops and Canis aureus. As the study results of [27] revealed, Damaged by Wild Animals. As this study revealed, Ensete Chlorocebus aethiops and Papio anubis were the main ventricosum (81.1%; 88.7%) and Solanum tuberosum (77.4%; conflicting wild animals in Midre-Kebid Abo Monastry, 79.2%) were the first and second major crops grown and Gurage Zone, Ethiopia. Furthermore, it was also in line with damaged by wild animals, while Eragrostis teff (9.4%) was the the study results of [18] on the assessment of HWC in and least grown and damaged crop in the study area (Table 7). around Gemshat Forest Area, Wollo, Amhara Region, Different fruits (avocado, apple, papaya, banana, and mango) and vegetables (cabbage, carrot, and onions) were Ethiopia. %e same result was obtained with the study results of [1] regarding conflicting wild animals in Wondo Genet also grown in the study area, and these were also damaged by district, Ethiopia. wild animals. Crops like coffee, khat, and others are also With reference to the causes of conflict, abundance of grown and damaged by wild animals. %ey grow crops wild animals (100%) and the presence of forest in the area mostly once a year (66.7%). %ere was no statistically sig- (100%) were the first agreed causes of HWC in the study area nificant mean response difference concerning crops grown (Table 6). Moreover, FGD discussants mentioned similar (F (3, 50) � 0.279, p � 0.840) and damaged (F (3, 50) � 0.258, hierarchical conflict causes in the study area. %ere was a p � 0.855) in the study area. statistically significant relation between conflict and the As this result implies (Table 7), the major crops were similarly damaged by wild animals in the study area. %is cause of conflict (χ � 17.075, p � 0.004). However, there (5) was no statistically significant mean response difference situation may intensify the conflict issue. It also implies that the conflicting wild animals were making the communities’ among respondents concerning causes of conflict (F (5, 48) � 0.55, p � 0.737) and among the kebeles (F (3, 50) � difficulty of selecting and cultivation certain crops from others. %is finding was in line with the study results of [27] 1.295, p � 0.287). %is study’s results implied that various causes of conflict in Midre-Kebid Abo Monastry, Gurage Zone, Ethiopia, and were present, but there was a difference in terms of the ranks also in line with the study results of [18], where the same of the causes. To reduce the conflict, focusing on the top crops were grown and damaged by wild animals except causes may be relevant. %is finding was in line with the Ensete crop which is not commonly found in northern study results of [31] and also in agreement with the study Ethiopia (Gemshat Forest Area, Wollo, Amhara Region). results of [27], in which abundance of wild population and Relating to the parts of crops damaged by wild animals, wild animals damaged mostly seeds of crops grown in the resource competition were the main causes of conflict in Midre-Kebid Abo Monastry, Gurage Zone, Southwest study area (71.7%), followed by stem (50.9%), but flowers of the crops were damaged to the least (28.3%) (Table 8). Ethiopia. %is study result was also in agreement with the study results of [18], in which expansion of subsistence Moreover, different parts of crops were affected by wild animals. %is means that the conflicting wild animals had a farming accounts for the highest percent cause of conflict (53.6%), followed by increased population of wild animals preference for certain parts of a crop based on the nature of and expansion of subsistence farming (34.8%). According to the crop and the feeding behavior of the animal. %is again [37], HWC arises mainly because of the loss, degradation, means that communities are involved in protecting the and fragmentation of habitats through human activities such crops, parts, and stages. %ere was a statistically significant as logging, animal husbandry, agricultural expansion, and relation between conflict and parts of crops damaged developmental projects. As the habitat gets fragmented, the (χ � 13, p � 0.023), and there was also a statistically (5) boundary at the interface between humans and wildlife significant mean response difference among the respondents increases, while the animal populations become compressed regarding parts of crops damaged by wild animals (F (3, in insular refuges. Consequently, it leads to greater contact 50) � 0.258, p � 0.855). and conflict with humans as wild animals seek to fulfill their Concerning stages of crops damaged by wild animals, nutritional, ecological, and behavioral needs [23]. %e wild animals damage the mature stage of crops mostly damage to human interests caused by contact with such (83%), followed by all stages of crops without stage selection animals can include loss of life or injury, threats to economic (30.2%) (Table 8). %ere was no a statistically significant security, reduced food security, and livelihood relation between conflict and the stage of crops damaged opportunities. (χ � 5.208, p � 0.267), but there was a statistically (4) International Journal of Zoology 7 Table 6: Cause of human-wild animals conflict. Ranks (response frequency) Causes of human-wild animal conflict (HWC) N % 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 6 1. Abundance of wild animals 7 16 12 4 2 6 1 5 0 53 100 2. Presence of forest 18 7 7 4 3 4 5 0 0 53 100 3. Crop raiding 19 8 3 9 8 3 2 0 0 52 98.1 4. Resource destruction 0 3 8 5 4 10 11 4 0 45 84.9 5. Human injury 0 6 7 9 9 5 7 0 0 43 81.1 6. Forest wood collection 1 8 1 4 1 6 4 14 0 39 73.6 7. Human and domestic animals interference 2 4 0 1 2 3 6 11 8 37 69.8 8. Agriculture expansion 6 2 5 0 4 1 0 9 7 34 64.2 9. Livestock predation 0 5 6 12 5 3 3 0 0 34 64.2 Table 7: Crops grown and damaged in the study area by wild animals. Crops grown in the area Crops damaged by wild animals Crops (species) Number (�53) Percentage (%) Number (�53) Percentage (%) 1. Ensete ventricosum 43 81.1 47 88.77 2. Solanum tuberosum 41 77.4 42 79.2 3. Hordeum vulgare 32 60.4 34 64.2 4. Triticum spp. 31 58.5 32 60.4 5. Zea mays 13 24.5 14 26.4 6. Vicia faba 10 18.9 10 18.9 7. Pisum sativum 8 15.1 8 15.1 8. Eragrostis teff 5 9.4 5 9.4 Table 8: Parts and stages of crops damaged by wild animals. Response (frequency) Response (frequency) Parts of crops damaged Stages of crop damaged N (�53) Percentage N (�53) Percentage 1. Roots 26 49.1 Mature 44 83 2. Stem 27 50.9 Flowering 12 22.6 3. Leaves 19 35.8 Vegetative 5 9.4 4. Flowers 15 28.3 Seedling 14 26.4 5. Fruits 16 30.2 All stages 16 30.2 6. Seeds 38 71.7 significant mean response difference concerning parts of difficulty of rearing domestic animals in the area. Livestock crops damaged by wild animals (F (5, 48) � 2.924, predation follows seasonal patterns [38], and studies at Waza p � 0.022). %is means that the various stages of crops were National Park in Cameroon [39] and Tsavo National Park in damaged by wild animals, but there was a stage preference to Kenya [40] revealed predation of domestic animals by wild attack the crops. %is also means that the community must animals. %is study result was also in line with the study results of [27] in Southwest Ethiopia. %is study result was in protect the various stages of the crops. %is implies depri- vation of time for other private or social activities and line with the study results of [18], in which baboons, hyenas, impacting many aspects of life of the community. and leopards predated many domestic animals by a year. Pertaining to livestock attack and predation by wild Trends of livestock predation had increasing trends, as in- animals, the majority of respondents (96.2%) explained the dicated in the study result of [18]. existence of livestock attack and predation by wild animals, Anubis baboons killed the largest number of domestic whereas 3.8% explained that there was no livestock attack animals in the last two years, followed by spotted hyenas and predation by wild animals. As this study revealed, ba- (Table 9). Totally, 179 animals have been killed in the last two boons mainly attack goats, followed by poultry and sheep, years. %is implies that great economic loss occurred due to respectively, but their attack and predation were on sheep, livestock predation in addition to crop loss in the study area. goats, and poultries in the study area (100%) (Table 9). However, foxes had no attack and predation on goats, but 3.7. Impact and Types of Conflict Impact. Among the re- sheep and poultry were in the least proportion (9.4%). %is implied that the wild animals attack and damage not spondents, 90.6% believed that the conflict had an impact on the area, family, or individuals (Figure 4). %ere was a only crops but also domestic animals in the study area. %is by itself negatively affects the economic activities and the statistically significant relation between impact of conflict 8 International Journal of Zoology Table 9: Livestock attacks and predation by wild animals. Response to domestic Number of domestic animals attacked by wild animals killed by wild Wild animals N � 53 Percentage (%) No. of domestic animals killed animals animals in the past 2 years Sheep Goat Poultry Sheep Goat Poultry Baboons 10 27 16 53 100 18 39 41 98 Hyena 8 7 0 15 28.3 20 15 0 35 Leopard 3 0 3 6 11.3 2 2 0 4 Fox 3 0 2 5 9.4 2 5 10 17 Genet 0 0 8 8 15.1 0 0 25 25 Total 24 34 29 42 61 76 179 Table 10: Types of human-wild animals’ conflict impact encountered. Response to impact type Number Impact types Percentage (%) (ranks) (total) 1 2 3 4 1. Psychological 1 28 15 4 48 90.6 2. Economic 44 3 0 0 47 88.7 3. Social 7 15 11 10 43 81.1 4. Health 0 2 14 21 37 69.8 Yes No I don’t know Total Response Category conservationists around the world [1]. It has a significant social impact which depends on the capacity of a community to support a certain level of conflict [41]. In Africa, it is not restricted to a particular geographical region or climatic Figure 4: Impact of conflict. condition but is common in all areas where wildlife and human populations coexist and have limited resources [9]. and conflict (χ � 78.151, p< 0.001), but there was no (2) %e conflict results in severe impacts on communities in the statistically significant mean response concerning the form of crop depredation, property damage, loss of livestock, presence of conflict impact (F (3, 50) � 1.185, p � 0.326). human injury, and human killing. %e conflict that takes %is implies that the majority of the respondents considered many forms ranges from loss of life or injury to humans and that the conflict had an impact on their various aspects of animals, both wild and domesticated, to competition for life. scarce resources to loss and degradation of habitat and In addition, psychological impact (90.6%) was the first habitat quality [6]. As indicated in [18], the human-wild main impact the communities were encountering, the im- animal conflict has economic, social, and other impacts. pact of wild animals in the study area. Moreover, economic impact was ranked first by most respondents (n � 44), but totally, it was the second main impact (88.7%) (Table 10). 3.8. Types of Mitigation Strategies Applied and Effectiveness of %ere was a statistically significant relation between the types Methods. Most of the respondents, 46 (86.8%), replied that of impact of conflict and conflict (χ � 59.585, p< 0.001), they had applied wild animal and human conflict reducing (2) but there was no statistically significant mean response methods or conflict mitigation strategies. %is result implies concerning types of conflict impact (F (3, 50) � 1.672, that, due to the conflict, the communities in the study area p � 0.186). were applying various methods to reduce the impacts of the %e results obtained from FGD also supported the above conflict. %ey were struggling to solve the problems. results. %is impact result implies that the community in the Various mitigation strategies were applied by the re- spondents to solve the conflict between human and wild study area was influenced by human and wild animal conflict impacts and these impacts challenged their lives. %ey look animals as the respondents replied (73.6%), while 5.7% did not apply any method to solve the problem. %e rest (20.7%) for solutions to get rid of the impacts or reduce the extent of the impacts. Human-wildlife conflict tends to manifest itself of the respondents did not give any response to this issue, so in scenarios where human strategies affect the free move- considered as missing values. However, FGD discussants ment of wild animals and vice versa. As explained in [9], it also mentioned the same list of strategies being exercised in can be considered inevitable in all communities where the study area (Table 11). Guarding mitigation strategy is the humans and wildlife coexist and share the same habitat. mostly and commonly applied mitigation strategy for all Recently, it has become one of the fundamental aspects of wild animals, while the poisoning method is the least and only applied for baboons (Table 11). Moreover, respondents wildlife management as it represents the most widespread and complex challenge currently being faced by replied that numerous mitigation strategies can be applied to Frequency and/or Percent International Journal of Zoology 9 Table 11: Mitigation strategies applied to human and wild animal conflict. Response to mitigation used for wild animals Mitigation strategies Baboons Pigs Porcupine Vervet monkeys 1. Team hunting 5 7 1 3 2. Fencing 0 2 13 0 3. Guarding 10 8 11 15 4. Sounding 10 12 6 5 5. Deforestation 9 9 2 3 6. Exposing to natural enemy 7 5 4 5 7. Fire burning 0 2 13 0 8. Smoking 0 0 16 0 9. Gunshot 10 10 0 2 10. Guarding by dog 8 0 0 10 11. Symbol hanging 6 0 5 7 12. Poisoning 2 0 0 0 13. Team journey 8 0 0 0 baboons to reduce the conflicts except methods such as N=53 smoking, fencing, and fire burning (Table 11). %e mitigation method applied so far to reduce human and wild animal conflict was effective according to certain respondents (36%), while 40% of the respondents replied that the applied methods were not effective (Figure 5). %is result implies that community in the study area used n= 13, 24% various methods of conflict impact reducing methods or mitigation strategies for different conflicting wild animals. n= 19, 36% %is also implies that they realized certain behavioral aspects of the conflicting wild animals from experience in the study area, and thus, they tried to use it to avoid the impact of those wild animals. %ey applied their indigenous knowl- edge of preventing or reducing human-wild animals’ con- n=21, 40% flict. Communities are essential to better prevent and mitigate human-wildlife conflict in a safe way [42]. For any human-wildlife conflict management strategy to succeed, it must be sustainable and is therefore ideally administered by the local community itself [43]. Moreover, conflict mitiga- tion requires a comprehensive record of crop raiding ac- Yes tivity, including patterns of raiding, farmer and raider No behavior, crop losses, and the parameters of raiding events No response [44]. According to the study results of [18], the respondents explained that they had the experience of applying various Figure 5: Effectiveness of mitigation methods applied so far. traditional methods of mitigating conflict to reduce the impact of conflict. attention to shift the trends of conflict in the study area via Regarding the trends of the conflict, most of the re- sounding methods of intervention. %is study result was in spondents (88.7%) replied that the conflict situation was line with the study results of [27]. As [45] explained, with becoming serious from time to time, whereas 7.5% of the increasing human population and pressure on forest areas, respondents replied that the conflict situation was not be- human-wildlife interaction and resultant conflict are also coming serious from time to time. Furthermore, the increasing. It occurs when growing human populations remaining respondents (3.8%) did not give any response to overlap with established wildlife territories, increasing the this issue. As most of the study participants (95.8%) replied, interaction of man and wild animals and thus resulting in the trend of conflict was increasing (Figure 6). %ere was a increased levels of conflict. statistically significant relation between conflict and conflict trends (χ � 114.623, p< 0.001), but there was no statis- (3) tically significant mean response difference among re- 3.9. Conservation of Wild Animals and Forests Conservation spondents concerning trends of conflict (F (3, 50) � 0.842, and Its Benefits. Regarding the conservation of wild animals, p � 0.478). %is implies that appropriate intervention was many respondents (50.9%) replied that the survival of wild not taken by the concerned bodies, and the magnitude of the animals was not important in the study area, while only problem was intensified from time to time. It requires 28.4% of the respondents supported the importance of the 10 International Journal of Zoology 120 100 95.8 100 80 50.9 28.4 80 27 9.4 11.3 5 6 47 0 Yes No I don’t know No Total response Response 2.1 2.1 Increasing Unknown I don’t know Total Trends of conflict Figure 7: Response to the importance of wild animals’ survival in the study area. Figure 6: General trends of human-wild animal conflict in the study area. 47.2 28.3 50 25 18.9 5.6 survival of wild animals in the study area (Figure 7). %ere 3 was a statistically significant mean response difference Yes No I don’t know No Total response among respondents concerning the importance of the Response survival of conflicting wild animals in the area (F (3, 50) � 2.899, p � 0.045). %is implies the respondents had differ- ences in their support of the importance of wild animals in % the area. Many of them did not support the survival of wild Figure 8: Response of killing of all wild animals to solve the conflict animals. problem. Killing all conflicting wild animals was considered a solution to solve the conflict problem by many of the re- spondents (47.2%), whereas 5.6% of the study participants Table 12: Study response to conserving wild animals using ap- replied that they did not know whether killing was a solution propriate methods. or not (Figure 8). %ere was no statistically significant mean Study participant responses to response difference among study participants (F (3, 50) � conserving wild animals using 1.308, p � 0.283) regarding whether killing all conflicting Response options appropriate methods wild animals should be considered as a solution to solve the N (total) Percentage (%) problem. %is implies that many of the study participants 1. Yes 32 60.4 agreed that all conflicting wild animals should be killed to 2. No 10 18.9 avoid the conflict problem. %is means that they did not 3. I do not know 11 20.7 have a positive concern for the conflicting wild animals, and Total 53 100 they consider the animals as pests due to the negative conflict consequences they were encountering. Among the respondents, 60.4% considered that wild increased [46], but global biodiversity continues to decline animals should be conserved using an appropriate method, [47]. Conflict between wildlife and humans costs many lives, while 18.9% of respondents replied that wild animals should both human and wildlife, threatens livelihoods, and jeop- not be conserved using appropriate methods (Table 12). ardizes long-term conservation goals such as securing %ere was a statistically significant mean response difference protected areas and building constituencies in support of among respondents (F (3, 50) � 7.856, p< 0.001) regarding biodiversity conservation [6]. Species involved in conflict are conserving wild animals using appropriate methods. more prone to extinction [12] and create a basis for re- %is result implies that the respondents concerned with sentment due to undermined welfare of the people through wild animal conservation in the study area were influenced crop damage and livestock predation. If serious solutions to by the conflict impact they were facing. As a result, their conflicts are not adequate, local support for conservation support for the survival of wild animals was negative, and also declines [48]. Habitat destruction is forcing animals to even they considered killing all conflicting wild animals as a move through human settlements [48], and habitat loss is solution to mitigate the problem. %is means that the extent one of the greatest obstacles to biodiversity conservation in of the problem is high and needs attention. Furthermore, the tropics. awareness of the issue of conflict management and wild Concerning the benefits of forest conservation to the animals’ importance was relevant for the community in the respondents, the majority of respondents (96.2%) explained study area. However, the community seems to support the that the forest in the study area was important, while 3.8% conservation of wild animals in appropriate ways in general. replied that they did not know whether the forest was Over the past decades, biodiversity conservation has re- important or not. However, 90.6% of the respondents ceived increasing attention, and protected area coverage has explained that the forest should be conserved. %ere was no Frequency (n) and/or % Frequency (n) Frequency (n) and/or % and/or % International Journal of Zoology 11 Table 13: Benefits of the forest to study participants. statistically significant mean response difference among the respondents (F (3, 50) � 0.171, p � 0.915) regarding the Study participants’ importance of conserving forest in the study area. %e response Benefit types gained from forest importance of forest conservation was related to the benefits N (total) Percentage (%) of forest to the communities (χ � 78.151, p< 0.001). (2) 1. Soil conservation 34 64.2 Moreover, there was no statistically significant mean re- 2. Suitable climate and environment 30 56.6 sponse difference among respondents (F (3, 50) � 1.721, 3. Rainfall 22 41.5 p � 0.176) concerning forest conservation activities. %is 4. Firewood collection 10 18.9 implies that they had a similar view of conserving the forest, 5. House construction 4 7.5 and this might be related to the benefits they were obtaining 6. Food income 7 13.2 from forests. 7. Water resource 2 3.8 8. Shading 4 7.5 In this study, most of the respondents (64.2%) believed 9. Aesthetic value 7 13.2 that they obtain soil conservation benefits from the forest. 10. Future tourism 9 17 %is was followed by suitable climate and environment 11. Timber production 4 7.5 benefits (56.6%), whereas 3.8% of the respondents explained 12. Habitat for wild animals 10 18.9 that they got water resources (Table 13). 13. Medicine 4 7.5 %e response of the respondents implied that the 14. Keeping domestic animal 4 7.5 community in the study area had adequate know-how on forest importance and the need to conserve forest. %is might be related to the benefits they were obtaining from the Table 14: Response to importance of coexistence of human and forest in the area. %is could be used as a good base for wild animals. further conservation work on forest and natural resources, Study participants’ response to and thus, it contributes to wild animals’ conservation. importance of coexistence of human Formal efforts to involve local communities in natural re- Response options and wild animals (HWC) source management and promote community-based natural Number (total) Percentage (%) resource management and related approaches in East Africa 1. Yes 25 47.2 have been diverse and have included wildlife, forestry, 2. No 21 39.7 marine, and lake fisheries [49]. East Africa is also charac- 3. I do not know 4 7.5 terized by the persistence of long-term community-based 4. No response 3 5.6 resource management systems used by resident communi- Total 53 100 ties, such as pastoralists in the Rift Valley of southern Ethiopia [50]. As explained in [6], wildlife-human conflicts are a serious obstacle to wildlife conservation and the livelihoods of people worldwide and are becoming more 41.5 35.9 13.2 5 9.4 7 prevalent as human population increases, development expands, and global climate change and other human and Positive Negative Neutral No Total environmental factors put people and wildlife in greater response direct competition for a shrinking resource base. Response In relation to attitudes of community toward wild an- imals, even though 47.2% of the respondents considered the importance of the coexistence of humans and wild animals Figure 9: Attitude of study participants toward wild animals. in the study area, 39.7% of the respondents did not consider the importance of coexistence of human and wild animals (Table 14). %ere was a statistically significant relation be- results of [51], in which 62% of the respondents had a tween supporting the importance of coexistence of humans negative attitude to wild animals. %e current study result and wild animals and conflict in the study area was in contradiction with the study results of [27] in Midre- (χ � 29.340, p< 0.001), but there was no statistically Kebid Abo Monastry, Gurage Zone, Ethiopia, in which (3) significant mean response difference (F (3, 50) � 0.605, 64.4% of the respondents had a positive attitude about wildlife, that they thought wildlife conservation is important. p � 0.615) among respondents in supporting coexistence of humans and wild animals in the study area. %e difference might be related to the study area, sample size, Many of the respondents (41.5%) had a negative attitude and extent of conflict impact in the study area. toward wild animals, while 9.4% had neither positive nor In this study, 58.5% of respondents explained that they negative attitudes toward wild animals (Figure 9). %ere was encourage conservation activities on wild animals, whereas a statistically significant relation between attitude of re- 30.2% did not encourage conservation activities. Moreover, spondents and the conflict in the study area (χ � 16.057, 11.3% of the study participants did not give any response to (3) p< 0.001). However, there was no statistically significant this issue. %ere was a statistically significant relation be- mean response difference among respondents concerning tween encouraging conservation activities on wild animals their attitude toward wild animals (F (3, 50) � 1.942, and conflict situations (χ � 17.925, p< 0.001), but there (2) p � 0.136). %is study result was in agreement with the study was no statistically significant mean response difference Frequency (n) and/or % 12 International Journal of Zoology between respondents (F (3, 50) � 0.202, p � 0.894) regarding creation training and ways of promoting coexistence be- encouraging conservation activities of wild animals. tween human and wild animals are necessary in the study area to achieve conservation activities successfully. %e finding concerning attitude implied that even though there was support for the importance of coexistence of humans and wild animals, there could be a lot of work to Data Availability be done to have adequate attitudinal support on the issue. %e datasets generated and analyzed during the current Moreover, many of the respondents had a negative attitude study are included in the manuscript. toward wild animals. %is might be related to the various impacts they were encountering in the study area. However, Ethical Approval a better proportion of the study participants encouraged conservation activities on wild animals. %is implies that if %e ethical approvals were approved by Wolkite University, more work on awareness and other coexistence methods as Ezha District Administrative Office, Ezha District Agricul- well as the value of wild animals is offered, there will be a tural Office, and Ezha District Wildlife and Ecotourism better change for the community. %e conflict between Offices prior to data collection. people and wildlife is one of the main threats to the con- tinued survival of many species in different parts of the Consent world and is also a significant threat to local human pop- ulations. If serious solutions to conflicts are not adequate, Written consent was gained from the respective kebeles local support for conservation also declines. administrators and respondents for making discussions on the objectives of the study before actual data collection 4. Conclusions and Recommendations processes. Human-wild animal conflict exists, and it was becoming Conflicts of Interest serious from time to time occurring in various places, time, and seasons in Amba forest/in the study area. Conflict %e authors have declared that there are no conflicts of occurs mostly around home and garden areas, followed by interest between them. on farmland. %e most conflict season was December to February. Anubis baboon, Potamochoerus larvatus, Chlor- Acknowledgments ocebus aethiops, and Hystrix cristata were the most con- %is research was funded by Wolkite University (Wku/RDd/ flicting wild animal, respectively. Abundance of wild 436/05/12), Ethiopia. %e funding body has provided fi- animals, presence of forest in the area, crop raiding, ex- nancial support in the process of data collection, analysis, pansion of agriculture, and livestock predation were the and interpretation. %e authors would like to acknowledge main causes of HWC in the study area. Ensete ventricosum the Research and Community Service Office of Wolkite and Solanum tuberosum were the first and second major University for financial support. %e authors also extend crops grown and damaged by wild animals. Wild animals their gratitude to the Ezha District Administrator, Biodi- damage various stages and parts of crops. Psychological versity and Environment Protection Office of Ezha District, impact and economic impacts were the main impacts en- kebele administrators, and study participants for their countered. Most of the respondents had applied wild animal hospitality, respect, and genuine response to successfully and human conflict mitigation strategies, but many con- complete our study. sidered that it was not effective, and the conflict situation was becoming serious from time to time. %e trends of the References conflict were increasing. Many of the respondents replied that the survival of wild animals was not important in the [1] F. M. 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Pfliegner, J. Isango, E. Zahabu, A. Ahrends, and N. Burgess, “Seeing the Wood for the Trees: An Assessment of the Impact of Participatory Forest Management on Forest Condition in Tanzania,” 2008, https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/ viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.934. 2936&rep=rep1&type=pdf. [51] G. Gizachew, “Human wildlife conflict and its implication for conservation around chebera churchura national park, konta special district in southern Nations Nationalities and peoples region(SNNPR), southern Ethiopia,” M.Sc. %esis, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2016. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Zoology Hindawi Publishing Corporation

Human-Wild Animals Conflict in and around Amba Forest, Ezha District, Gurage Zone, Southern Ethiopia

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Abstract

Hindawi International Journal of Zoology Volume 2022, Article ID 7002645, 14 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/7002645 Research Article Human-Wild Animals Conflict in and around Amba Forest, Ezha District, Gurage Zone, Southern Ethiopia 1 1 1 1,2 Demelash Sime , Zemedkun Siraj, Ashenafi Teklemariam , and Belete Tilahun Department of Biology, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Wolkite University, P.O. Box 07, Wolkite, Ethiopia Department of Wildlife and Ecotourism Management, College of Agriculture and NRM, Wolkite University, P.O. Box 07, Wolkite, Ethiopia Correspondence should be addressed to Demelash Sime; demelashsime@gmail.com Received 27 April 2022; Accepted 2 July 2022; Published 29 August 2022 Academic Editor: Joao Pedro Barreiros Copyright © 2022 Demelash Sime et al. �is is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. �e con€icts between humans and wild animals with the same resources are common but seldom reported in Ethiopia. �is study was carried out to assess the causes, impacts, and mitigation strategies of the local communities with human-wild animal con€ict (HWC) in and around Amba forest of Ezha District, Gurage Zone, Ethiopia: implications for wildlife conservation. Cross- sectional study design was applied, and data were collected from November 2019 to July 2020 through a semistructured questionnaire, focus group discussion (FGD), and “eld observation. A total of 53 respondents were randomly selected. �e data were analyzed using SPSS software, and the results were presented using tables, graphs, charts, and text. �e study result revealed that human-wild animal con€ict exists, and it was seriously occurring at various places, time, and seasons. Papio anubis, Potamochoerus larvatus, Cercopithecus aethiops, Hystrix cristata, and Crocuta crocuta were the main con€icting wild animals, respectively. Abundance of wild animals, presence of forest, crop raiding, expansion of agriculture, and livestock predation were the main causes of con€ict in the study area. �ere was a statistically signi“cant relation between con€ict and the cause of con€ict (χ 17.075, p  0.004). Psychological and economic impacts were the main impacts encountered. Most of the respondents (5) = (86.8%) had applied con€ict mitigation strategies, but it was ineŸective, although the trend of con€ict was increasing. Many of the respondents (41.5%) had a negative attitude toward wild animals, but 58.5% encouraged wild animals’ conservation. HWC had increasing trends of con€ict, and thus, a negative attitude was developed by the communities on wild animal coexistence and conservation. �erefore, awareness creation, training, and promoting coexistence mechanisms between humans and wild animals are necessary in the study area. species, starting from grain-eating rodents [4] to man-eating 1. Introduction tigers [5]. Hence, it is rising like a considerable wildlife Historically, there have been strong negative interactions be- management issue [6] for the reason that its eŸect is very tween humans and wildlife that become causes of the no- severe. As it is evidently recognized, HWC occurs while wildlife ticeable problem referred to as human-wildlife con€ict (HWC) requirements overlie with human needs and goals and has costs and consequently are converted into aspects of wildlife man- for both humans and wildlife [7]. �e con€ict can also exist as agement throughout the world and currently a di¢cult chal- the requirements and wildlife behaviors harmfully impact the lenge for conservationists of the Earth [1]. HWC is a universal goals of human beings [8] and aŸect the free movement of phenomenon in both developed and developing countries [2]; wildlife and vice versa. For that reason, human-wildlife con€ict however, it is further practiced within several developing can be expected and measured in all communities where both countries [3]. Presently, HWC is more prevalent, and the issues humans and wildlife commonly exist and share the same of conservation actions are highly associated. HWC and habitat [9]. �e depletion of natural habitats that provide wildlife conservation issue comprises a variety of features and support to wildlife can also cause a con€ict problem. 2 International Journal of Zoology Accepting the factors connected with conflicts and where Globally, HWC is an extremely increasing problem, which occurs in any geographical region or climatic con- they are expected to happen is significant for conservation and conflict [24]. %erefore, the main objective of the ditions and is common in all areas where wildlife and humans coexist and limited resources are shared [10]. In the present study was to study the causes, impacts, and miti- same way, HWC is also common in Africa in all areas where gation strategies of the local communities with human-wild wildlife and human populations coexist and have limited animal conflict in and around Amba forest of Ezha District, resources, and the condition is getting not as good as it costs Gurage Zone, Ethiopia: implications for wildlife individual safety and loss of economy in urban areas [9]. %e conservation. fundamental causes of the problem are the growth of human population and settlements encroaching into formerly un- 2. Materials and Methods inhabited areas in both number and intensity [11]. As a 2.1.DescriptionoftheStudyArea. Gurage Zone, which is part consequence, HWC accuses wildlife and humans of long- of the Southern Nations Nationalities and People’s Region term conservation goals, threatening livelihoods and com- (SNNPR), is located in the southwest part of Ethiopia. %e munities that provide support to biodiversity conservation zone is bounded by Hadiya, Kembata, Alaba, and Tembaro [6], and species involved in the conflict are more prone to zones in the south, Yem special woreda in the southwest, and extinction [12] and result in several resource damage in the Oromia Regional state in the northwest and east [25]. various ways. %e zone is divided into 13 woredas, but currently 16 Conservation biologists of the world face the most woredas and two city administrations, Welkite and Butajira. important challenges from human-wildlife conflict for %e total population in the zone was 1,279,646, of whom wildlife management goals [13]. It is the most repeated 622,078 were males and 657,568 were females [26]. %e problem in countryside areas where most people depend on majority of the people (95%) live in rural areas engaged in farming, animals, goods, and agriculture for their livelihood agriculture [27]. %e remaining 5% live in urban areas [25], and returns [14]. It is more vulnerable in developing cited in [27]. %is study was carried out in and around Amba countries like Ethiopia when compared to developed forest, located in Ezha District of Gurage Zone (Figure 1). countries because livestock and agriculture are an important %e forest (Figure 2) comprises various fauna and flora part of rural livelihoods [11,15]. According to [16–18], re- resources. %e local communities had various interactions ports are few regardless of whether the conflicts are severe in and interferences with the forest and its resources. Ethiopia. In this regard, conservationists and practitioners recommend that local participation and support for a conservation project are necessary for its success and sus- 2.2. Study Design, Periods, Sample Size Determination, tainability. %e distinguished resource damage caused by Sampling Methods, and Study Population. To conduct this wildlife near forest habitats and around the protected areas study, a cross-sectional study design involving qualitative could be an opportunity or a threat [19]. and quantitative data was conducted from November 2019 %e conflict between humans and wildlife ranks among G.C. to July 2020 G.C. A total of 53 study participants/ the main threats to biodiversity conservation and has become households (from four Kebeles Woyiradebane, 21 (39.6%), frequent and severe in diverse sections of Ethiopia [20]. In Yesiray, 15 (28.3%), Agena, 9 (17%), and Gedeb, 8 (15.1%)) different conservation areas of Ethiopia, the competition were involved in this study based on the total population size between local people and wild animals was frequently re- of the study area and areas close to the forest. In the study ported as it was stated in [21,22]. However, the environment area, more than 2400 population and 450 households were and magnitude of the difficulty differ from place to place found. However, the households located around the forest based on the increase in human population rate and shortage and facing the conflict were 128. %e sample size was de- of significant natural resources, especially grazing and termined purposively, and a simple random sampling farmland [22]. Countryside communities with a shortage of technique was used to involve respondents from the source livelihood prospects are regularly the hardest stroke for population, community members who were living close to conflicts with wildlife [1]. Rural communities with restricted and around Amba forest in the district. livelihood chances are repeatedly the hardest stroke by conflicts with wildlife [1]. Without mitigating HWC, the results are further impoverishment of the poor, reduced local 2.3. Data Collection Methods and Analysis. Semistructure support for conservation, and increased retaliatory killing of questionnaires with appropriate variables pertaining to wildlife causing increased vulnerability of wildlife populations human-wild animal conflict causes, impacts, and mitigation [1]. Practical and durable management of wildlife and its strategies used by the local community in the study area as habitats desires the understanding of the ecological and well as background information of respondents were in- socioeconomical perspectives of human-wildlife conflict [23]. cluded to collect data via interviewing [29]. Field observation %e problem of conflict between humans and wildlife can be using a preprepared data collection sheet was used to collect considered the most important fear to the food security and data concerning conflict causes, types of impacts, wildlife income of many rural households. In the current study area, causing conflict, identifying species of wildlife, and so on. there was no previous study on human-wild animals conflict, Focus group discussion (FGD) among selected key infor- and the challenge was relevant from socioeconomic and mants was conducted to supplement the information ob- conservation point of view. tained using other methods of data collection [29]. Prior to International Journal of Zoology 3 37°53′30″E 37°59′0″E 38°4′30″E 38°10′0″E Ethiopian Regions Ezha woreda Bojebar Gurage zone woredas 37°53′30″E 37°59′0″E 38°4′30″E 38°10′0″E 0 20 40 80 km Yoteyet Yewzera Natural Forest Amba Natural Forest Town viserayi kobolo River Geodob kobolo Road Figure 1: Map of Amba forest (study area) [28]. Moreover, 67.9% were farmers, or agriculture was their type of occupation. %is implies that the highest proportion of the respondents was farmers who possess land and perform agricultural activities, so they encountered the conflict. 3.2. Presence of Conflict in the Study Area. All respondents Figure 2: Amba forest (study area) (photo by authors). (100%) replied with the presence of conflict between humans and wild animals in the study area (Figure 3). actual data collection, there was a preliminary survey in the %is was also confirmed by all focus group discussion study area to collect relevant information about the study discussants. %is implies that human-wild animal conflict is area. %e data were analyzed using SPSS software in which a serious issue in the study area and influences the livelihood one-way ANOVA was used to compare the response mean of the local communities and the survival of wild animals. As variation among the causes; types of conflicting wild animals, stated in [2], human-wildlife conflict is a common phe- impact difference, and mitigation strategy differences were nomenon in both developing and developed countries. analyzed. Chi-square (χ2) was used to analyze the response Moreover, according to [3], HWC exists in different forms difference of respondents regarding their academic status, age, all over the world and is more experienced in developing crops grown and damaged, and other relevant variables for countries, and it has been in existence as long as humans this analysis. Additionally, descriptive statistics were used to have existed and wild animals and people have shared the analyze the mean, frequency, and percentage of quantitative same landscapes and resources [30]. HWC occurs when data. In all cases, a 95% level of significance was considered for wildlife requirements overlap with those of human pop- the difference to be observed. %e obtained analysis results ulations, having costs for both residents and wild animals were presented using tables, graphs, charts, and text. [7]. It exists when the needs and behavior of wildlife impact negatively the goals of human beings [8]. As the human population increases and settlements encroach into previ- 3. Results and Discussion ously uninhabited areas, HWC is increasing in both number 3.1. Demographic Characteristics of Study Participants. In and intensity [11]. It was also in line with the study results of this study, 64.2% of the respondents were males, and 41.5% [31], in which the majority of respondents (56%) reported had an age group of 31–40 years. Of the respondents, 39.7% the existence of HWC manifested through both crop damage had a primary education level (Table 1). %e education status and livestock predation. of the respondents had a statistically significant relation (χ 18.98, p< 0.001). (4) � Most of the respondents (71.7%) were married, and 3.3. Occurrence of HWC Time and Severity of Conflict. As the 67.9% had children, of whom 28.3% had 2 to 3 children, results of this study revealed, the conflict between humans while 5.7% had 6 to 7 children per family (Table 1). and wild animals occurs dominantly during the time within 8°5′0″N 8°10′30″N 8°16′0″N 8°5′0″N 8°10′30″N 8°16′0″N 4 International Journal of Zoology Table 1: Demographic characteristics of study participants. Gender/sex Male Female Total N 34 19 53 % 64.2 35.8 100 Marital status Single Married Divorced Total N 15 38 0 53 % 28.3 71.7 0 100 Age category 21–30 31–40 41–50 Above 51 Total N 17 22 11 3 53 % 32.1 41.5 20.7 5.7 100 Education status Degree Diploma 9–12 1–8 Uneducated Total N 4 4 13 21 11 53 % 7.5 7.5 24.6 39.7 20.7 100 Occupation Agriculture Trade No job Private Government Total N 36 6 4 3 4 53 % 67.9 11.4 7.5 5.7 7.5 100 Family size No children 2–3 4–5 6–7 8–9 Total N 17 15 14 3 4 53 % 32.1 28.3 26.4 5.7 7.5 100 120 3.4. Seasons and Places of Conflict. As the respondents re- plied, conflicts between humans and wild animals occurred during all seasons, but the most conflict season was De- cember to February (96.2%), whereas the least serious conflict season was from June to August (66%) (Table 3). %ere was a statistically significant relation between conflict between humans and wild animals and season of a year (χ � 32.358, p< 0.001). %e ANOVA result also showed (3) 20 that there was a statistically significant mean response dif- ference concerning the season of conflict (F (5, 48) � 4.007, p � 0.004). Yes No I don’t know %e result in Table 3 implies that there was conflict in all Frequency seasons, but there was variation in terms of the different Percent seasons. %e communities in the study area encounter the Figure 3: Presence of HWC in the study area. conflict via a year. %is then costs a lot for both humans and wild animals in the area. %is study result was in agreement with the study results of [11], which noted that season, a day (77.4%), but the conflict becomes severe during the day variety and characteristics of crops, food availability, dis- time dawn or early in the morning (84.9%), followed by tance from the park, and farm protection methods will have night time (77.4%) within a day (Table 2). However, conflict impacts on crop raiding and depredation of domestic ani- occurs the least during day time noon (22.6%), and the mals by wildlife. It was also in line with the study results of severity of conflict was the least during day time dusk (69.8% [27] in Midre-Kebid Abo Monastry, Gurage Zone, South- (Table 2). %e time of HWC had a statistically significant 2 west Ethiopia. relation to the time of a day (χ � 58.77, p< 0.001). %e (5) Concerning places of conflict, the conflict between ANOVA result also showed that there was a statistically humans and wild animals occurs mostly around home and significant mean difference among the respondents’ re- garden areas (84.9%), followed by on farmland (75.5%), sponses regarding the time of conflict (F (5, 48) � 3.69, whereas conflict occurs the least on grazing land (22.6%) p � 0.007). %e severity of conflict during the time of a day (Table 4). %ere was a statistically significant relation be- had a statistically significant relation to the particular time of 2 tween conflict and place of conflict (χ � 55.57, p< 0.001). (5) a day (χ � 15.038, p � 0.010). However, the ANOVA (5) %is result implies that the wild animals move to home, result showed that there was no statistically significant mean garden, and farmland areas, and thus, conflict occurs with difference among the respondents’ responses concerning the humans since these areas are not common habitats for wild severity of conflict (F (5, 48) � 1.580, p � 0.184). %is implies animals. However, depletion of food supply in the wild that the conflict occurs during all times of the day, but there forces wildlife to switch to crops and livestock as their food was an association with certain times of the day. %e pre- source [32]. %us, the wild animals move around homes, ferred time of conflict occurrence is related to the suitability gardens, and farmland areas so that conflict arises. Conflict for wild animals to look for food, while humans in the area occurs in various areas in the study area. %is means the may not actively prevent wild animals during that time of the possibility of encountering conflict was high. As wildlife day. International Journal of Zoology 5 Table 2: Time of conflict occurrence and severity between humans and wild animals. Conflict occurrence response Conflict severity time response Time categories N (�53) Percentage (%) N (�53) Percentage (%) DTD (5:30–7:00 AM) 15 28.3 45 84.9 DTM (7:00–12:00 AM) 15 28.3 39 75.5 DTN (12:00–3:00 PM) 12 22.6 41 73.6 DTDK (4:00–7:00 PM) 17 32.1 40 69.8 NT (7:00 PM–5:00 AM) 13 24.5 37 77.4 ALT (24 hours of a day.) 41 77.4 DTD � day time dawn, DTM � day time morning, DTN � day time noon, DTDK � day time dusk, NT �night time, ALT �all time, N � frequency of response, and % � percent of response. Table 3: Ranking seasons of conflict between humans and wild animals. Ranks (response frequency) Seasons Number (total � 53) Percentage (%) 1 2 3 4 September–November 15 10 17 1 43 81.1 December–February 29 16 6 0 51 96.2 March–May 7 17 10 2 36 67.9 June–August 0 0 2 33 35 66 Table 4: Places of occurrence of conflict between humans and wild animals. Ranks (response frequency) Place of conflict Number (total) Percentage (%) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1. Around home and garden 30 10 4 1 0 0 0 45 84.9 2. On farmland 12 19 7 0 0 2 0 40 75.5 3. Around forest 4 7 4 10 1 0 0 26 49.1 4. Adjacent to forest 2 1 1 5 2 4 0 15 28.3 5. Inside forest 3 1 4 2 4 0 0 14 26.4 6. On grazing land 0 2 8 0 1 0 1 12 22.6 7. Everywhere 5 0 1 0 1 2 9 18 34 habitat becomes increasingly fragmented and wildlife gets of wild animals causing conflict and humans in the study confined into smaller pockets of suitable habitat, humans area (χ � 28, p< 0.001). However, there was no statisti- (8) and wildlife are increasingly coming into contact and in cally significant mean response difference among the re- conflict with each other [24, 33]. spondents concerning the species of wild animals causing Furthermore, human population growth and the asso- conflict (F (8, 45) � 0.680, p � 0.707). However, there was a ciated increase in rates of resource use, habitat modification, statistically significant relation between species of wild an- and fragmentation are forcing wildlife to live in increasing imals causing conflict and humans in the study area with proximity to humans [34]. %e highest intensity of conflict particular kebeles (χ � 22.804, p � 0.004). %e mean re- (3) tends to occur where humans live adjacent to protected areas sponse of the respondents also showed that there was a [35]. When humans live adjacent to larger wildlife habitats statistically significant difference among the kebeles re- and increasingly alter their habitat, conflict between humans garding the types of animal species causing conflict with and wildlife may occur [36]. humans ((F (3, 50) � 3.807, p � 0.016). %is study result implies that there were various but some commonly conflicting wild animals in the study area. 3.5. Wild Animals Conflicting with Humans and Causes of Because of this, the communities and wild animals were Conflict. %ere are different wild animals conflicting with experiencing the negative consequences of the conflict. humans in the study area. Regarding wild animals con- According to [4], HWC is one of the most widespread issues flicting with humans, respondents responded that Papio in conservation, encompassing a considerable diversity of anubis (90.6%) were the most conflicting wild animal, fol- situations and species, from grain-eating rodents to man- lowed by Potamochoerus larvatus (71.7%) and Chlorocebus eating tigers [5]. It is emerging as a significant wildlife aethiops (69.8%), respectively (Table 5). Leopards, foxes, management issue [6]. It was also in line with the study various birds, and other wild animals were the least con- results of [30], who did a study on human-wildlife conflict in flicting animals in the study area (Table 5). During FGD, the Choke Mountain, in which most (71%) of the respondents same conflicting wild animals were listed in the study area. identified five wild animals as problematic that caused crop %ere was a statistically significant relation between species damage and livestock predation, namely, Papio anubis, 6 International Journal of Zoology Table 5: Wild animals conflicting with humans in the study area. Ranks (response frequency) Wild animals (species) Number (total � 53) Percentage (%) 1 2 3 4 5 6 1. Papio anubis 46 2 0 0 0 0 48 90.6 2. Potamochoerus larvatus 0 17 11 6 4 0 38 71.7 3. Cercopithecus aethiops 3 18 7 5 3 1 37 69.8 4. Hystrix cristata 0 6 11 9 0 2 28 52.8 5. Crocuta crocuta 0 0 10 8 4 4 26 49.1 Others (leopard, fox, and birds) 0 0 0 3 9 5 17 32.1 Crocuta crocuta, Potamochoerus larvatus, Hystrix cristata, 3.6. Major Crops Grown and Parts and Stages of Crops and Canis aureus. As the study results of [27] revealed, Damaged by Wild Animals. As this study revealed, Ensete Chlorocebus aethiops and Papio anubis were the main ventricosum (81.1%; 88.7%) and Solanum tuberosum (77.4%; conflicting wild animals in Midre-Kebid Abo Monastry, 79.2%) were the first and second major crops grown and Gurage Zone, Ethiopia. Furthermore, it was also in line with damaged by wild animals, while Eragrostis teff (9.4%) was the the study results of [18] on the assessment of HWC in and least grown and damaged crop in the study area (Table 7). around Gemshat Forest Area, Wollo, Amhara Region, Different fruits (avocado, apple, papaya, banana, and mango) and vegetables (cabbage, carrot, and onions) were Ethiopia. %e same result was obtained with the study results of [1] regarding conflicting wild animals in Wondo Genet also grown in the study area, and these were also damaged by district, Ethiopia. wild animals. Crops like coffee, khat, and others are also With reference to the causes of conflict, abundance of grown and damaged by wild animals. %ey grow crops wild animals (100%) and the presence of forest in the area mostly once a year (66.7%). %ere was no statistically sig- (100%) were the first agreed causes of HWC in the study area nificant mean response difference concerning crops grown (Table 6). Moreover, FGD discussants mentioned similar (F (3, 50) � 0.279, p � 0.840) and damaged (F (3, 50) � 0.258, hierarchical conflict causes in the study area. %ere was a p � 0.855) in the study area. statistically significant relation between conflict and the As this result implies (Table 7), the major crops were similarly damaged by wild animals in the study area. %is cause of conflict (χ � 17.075, p � 0.004). However, there (5) was no statistically significant mean response difference situation may intensify the conflict issue. It also implies that the conflicting wild animals were making the communities’ among respondents concerning causes of conflict (F (5, 48) � 0.55, p � 0.737) and among the kebeles (F (3, 50) � difficulty of selecting and cultivation certain crops from others. %is finding was in line with the study results of [27] 1.295, p � 0.287). %is study’s results implied that various causes of conflict in Midre-Kebid Abo Monastry, Gurage Zone, Ethiopia, and were present, but there was a difference in terms of the ranks also in line with the study results of [18], where the same of the causes. To reduce the conflict, focusing on the top crops were grown and damaged by wild animals except causes may be relevant. %is finding was in line with the Ensete crop which is not commonly found in northern study results of [31] and also in agreement with the study Ethiopia (Gemshat Forest Area, Wollo, Amhara Region). results of [27], in which abundance of wild population and Relating to the parts of crops damaged by wild animals, wild animals damaged mostly seeds of crops grown in the resource competition were the main causes of conflict in Midre-Kebid Abo Monastry, Gurage Zone, Southwest study area (71.7%), followed by stem (50.9%), but flowers of the crops were damaged to the least (28.3%) (Table 8). Ethiopia. %is study result was also in agreement with the study results of [18], in which expansion of subsistence Moreover, different parts of crops were affected by wild animals. %is means that the conflicting wild animals had a farming accounts for the highest percent cause of conflict (53.6%), followed by increased population of wild animals preference for certain parts of a crop based on the nature of and expansion of subsistence farming (34.8%). According to the crop and the feeding behavior of the animal. %is again [37], HWC arises mainly because of the loss, degradation, means that communities are involved in protecting the and fragmentation of habitats through human activities such crops, parts, and stages. %ere was a statistically significant as logging, animal husbandry, agricultural expansion, and relation between conflict and parts of crops damaged developmental projects. As the habitat gets fragmented, the (χ � 13, p � 0.023), and there was also a statistically (5) boundary at the interface between humans and wildlife significant mean response difference among the respondents increases, while the animal populations become compressed regarding parts of crops damaged by wild animals (F (3, in insular refuges. Consequently, it leads to greater contact 50) � 0.258, p � 0.855). and conflict with humans as wild animals seek to fulfill their Concerning stages of crops damaged by wild animals, nutritional, ecological, and behavioral needs [23]. %e wild animals damage the mature stage of crops mostly damage to human interests caused by contact with such (83%), followed by all stages of crops without stage selection animals can include loss of life or injury, threats to economic (30.2%) (Table 8). %ere was no a statistically significant security, reduced food security, and livelihood relation between conflict and the stage of crops damaged opportunities. (χ � 5.208, p � 0.267), but there was a statistically (4) International Journal of Zoology 7 Table 6: Cause of human-wild animals conflict. Ranks (response frequency) Causes of human-wild animal conflict (HWC) N % 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 6 1. Abundance of wild animals 7 16 12 4 2 6 1 5 0 53 100 2. Presence of forest 18 7 7 4 3 4 5 0 0 53 100 3. Crop raiding 19 8 3 9 8 3 2 0 0 52 98.1 4. Resource destruction 0 3 8 5 4 10 11 4 0 45 84.9 5. Human injury 0 6 7 9 9 5 7 0 0 43 81.1 6. Forest wood collection 1 8 1 4 1 6 4 14 0 39 73.6 7. Human and domestic animals interference 2 4 0 1 2 3 6 11 8 37 69.8 8. Agriculture expansion 6 2 5 0 4 1 0 9 7 34 64.2 9. Livestock predation 0 5 6 12 5 3 3 0 0 34 64.2 Table 7: Crops grown and damaged in the study area by wild animals. Crops grown in the area Crops damaged by wild animals Crops (species) Number (�53) Percentage (%) Number (�53) Percentage (%) 1. Ensete ventricosum 43 81.1 47 88.77 2. Solanum tuberosum 41 77.4 42 79.2 3. Hordeum vulgare 32 60.4 34 64.2 4. Triticum spp. 31 58.5 32 60.4 5. Zea mays 13 24.5 14 26.4 6. Vicia faba 10 18.9 10 18.9 7. Pisum sativum 8 15.1 8 15.1 8. Eragrostis teff 5 9.4 5 9.4 Table 8: Parts and stages of crops damaged by wild animals. Response (frequency) Response (frequency) Parts of crops damaged Stages of crop damaged N (�53) Percentage N (�53) Percentage 1. Roots 26 49.1 Mature 44 83 2. Stem 27 50.9 Flowering 12 22.6 3. Leaves 19 35.8 Vegetative 5 9.4 4. Flowers 15 28.3 Seedling 14 26.4 5. Fruits 16 30.2 All stages 16 30.2 6. Seeds 38 71.7 significant mean response difference concerning parts of difficulty of rearing domestic animals in the area. Livestock crops damaged by wild animals (F (5, 48) � 2.924, predation follows seasonal patterns [38], and studies at Waza p � 0.022). %is means that the various stages of crops were National Park in Cameroon [39] and Tsavo National Park in damaged by wild animals, but there was a stage preference to Kenya [40] revealed predation of domestic animals by wild attack the crops. %is also means that the community must animals. %is study result was also in line with the study results of [27] in Southwest Ethiopia. %is study result was in protect the various stages of the crops. %is implies depri- vation of time for other private or social activities and line with the study results of [18], in which baboons, hyenas, impacting many aspects of life of the community. and leopards predated many domestic animals by a year. Pertaining to livestock attack and predation by wild Trends of livestock predation had increasing trends, as in- animals, the majority of respondents (96.2%) explained the dicated in the study result of [18]. existence of livestock attack and predation by wild animals, Anubis baboons killed the largest number of domestic whereas 3.8% explained that there was no livestock attack animals in the last two years, followed by spotted hyenas and predation by wild animals. As this study revealed, ba- (Table 9). Totally, 179 animals have been killed in the last two boons mainly attack goats, followed by poultry and sheep, years. %is implies that great economic loss occurred due to respectively, but their attack and predation were on sheep, livestock predation in addition to crop loss in the study area. goats, and poultries in the study area (100%) (Table 9). However, foxes had no attack and predation on goats, but 3.7. Impact and Types of Conflict Impact. Among the re- sheep and poultry were in the least proportion (9.4%). %is implied that the wild animals attack and damage not spondents, 90.6% believed that the conflict had an impact on the area, family, or individuals (Figure 4). %ere was a only crops but also domestic animals in the study area. %is by itself negatively affects the economic activities and the statistically significant relation between impact of conflict 8 International Journal of Zoology Table 9: Livestock attacks and predation by wild animals. Response to domestic Number of domestic animals attacked by wild animals killed by wild Wild animals N � 53 Percentage (%) No. of domestic animals killed animals animals in the past 2 years Sheep Goat Poultry Sheep Goat Poultry Baboons 10 27 16 53 100 18 39 41 98 Hyena 8 7 0 15 28.3 20 15 0 35 Leopard 3 0 3 6 11.3 2 2 0 4 Fox 3 0 2 5 9.4 2 5 10 17 Genet 0 0 8 8 15.1 0 0 25 25 Total 24 34 29 42 61 76 179 Table 10: Types of human-wild animals’ conflict impact encountered. Response to impact type Number Impact types Percentage (%) (ranks) (total) 1 2 3 4 1. Psychological 1 28 15 4 48 90.6 2. Economic 44 3 0 0 47 88.7 3. Social 7 15 11 10 43 81.1 4. Health 0 2 14 21 37 69.8 Yes No I don’t know Total Response Category conservationists around the world [1]. It has a significant social impact which depends on the capacity of a community to support a certain level of conflict [41]. In Africa, it is not restricted to a particular geographical region or climatic Figure 4: Impact of conflict. condition but is common in all areas where wildlife and human populations coexist and have limited resources [9]. and conflict (χ � 78.151, p< 0.001), but there was no (2) %e conflict results in severe impacts on communities in the statistically significant mean response concerning the form of crop depredation, property damage, loss of livestock, presence of conflict impact (F (3, 50) � 1.185, p � 0.326). human injury, and human killing. %e conflict that takes %is implies that the majority of the respondents considered many forms ranges from loss of life or injury to humans and that the conflict had an impact on their various aspects of animals, both wild and domesticated, to competition for life. scarce resources to loss and degradation of habitat and In addition, psychological impact (90.6%) was the first habitat quality [6]. As indicated in [18], the human-wild main impact the communities were encountering, the im- animal conflict has economic, social, and other impacts. pact of wild animals in the study area. Moreover, economic impact was ranked first by most respondents (n � 44), but totally, it was the second main impact (88.7%) (Table 10). 3.8. Types of Mitigation Strategies Applied and Effectiveness of %ere was a statistically significant relation between the types Methods. Most of the respondents, 46 (86.8%), replied that of impact of conflict and conflict (χ � 59.585, p< 0.001), they had applied wild animal and human conflict reducing (2) but there was no statistically significant mean response methods or conflict mitigation strategies. %is result implies concerning types of conflict impact (F (3, 50) � 1.672, that, due to the conflict, the communities in the study area p � 0.186). were applying various methods to reduce the impacts of the %e results obtained from FGD also supported the above conflict. %ey were struggling to solve the problems. results. %is impact result implies that the community in the Various mitigation strategies were applied by the re- spondents to solve the conflict between human and wild study area was influenced by human and wild animal conflict impacts and these impacts challenged their lives. %ey look animals as the respondents replied (73.6%), while 5.7% did not apply any method to solve the problem. %e rest (20.7%) for solutions to get rid of the impacts or reduce the extent of the impacts. Human-wildlife conflict tends to manifest itself of the respondents did not give any response to this issue, so in scenarios where human strategies affect the free move- considered as missing values. However, FGD discussants ment of wild animals and vice versa. As explained in [9], it also mentioned the same list of strategies being exercised in can be considered inevitable in all communities where the study area (Table 11). Guarding mitigation strategy is the humans and wildlife coexist and share the same habitat. mostly and commonly applied mitigation strategy for all Recently, it has become one of the fundamental aspects of wild animals, while the poisoning method is the least and only applied for baboons (Table 11). Moreover, respondents wildlife management as it represents the most widespread and complex challenge currently being faced by replied that numerous mitigation strategies can be applied to Frequency and/or Percent International Journal of Zoology 9 Table 11: Mitigation strategies applied to human and wild animal conflict. Response to mitigation used for wild animals Mitigation strategies Baboons Pigs Porcupine Vervet monkeys 1. Team hunting 5 7 1 3 2. Fencing 0 2 13 0 3. Guarding 10 8 11 15 4. Sounding 10 12 6 5 5. Deforestation 9 9 2 3 6. Exposing to natural enemy 7 5 4 5 7. Fire burning 0 2 13 0 8. Smoking 0 0 16 0 9. Gunshot 10 10 0 2 10. Guarding by dog 8 0 0 10 11. Symbol hanging 6 0 5 7 12. Poisoning 2 0 0 0 13. Team journey 8 0 0 0 baboons to reduce the conflicts except methods such as N=53 smoking, fencing, and fire burning (Table 11). %e mitigation method applied so far to reduce human and wild animal conflict was effective according to certain respondents (36%), while 40% of the respondents replied that the applied methods were not effective (Figure 5). %is result implies that community in the study area used n= 13, 24% various methods of conflict impact reducing methods or mitigation strategies for different conflicting wild animals. n= 19, 36% %is also implies that they realized certain behavioral aspects of the conflicting wild animals from experience in the study area, and thus, they tried to use it to avoid the impact of those wild animals. %ey applied their indigenous knowl- edge of preventing or reducing human-wild animals’ con- n=21, 40% flict. Communities are essential to better prevent and mitigate human-wildlife conflict in a safe way [42]. For any human-wildlife conflict management strategy to succeed, it must be sustainable and is therefore ideally administered by the local community itself [43]. Moreover, conflict mitiga- tion requires a comprehensive record of crop raiding ac- Yes tivity, including patterns of raiding, farmer and raider No behavior, crop losses, and the parameters of raiding events No response [44]. According to the study results of [18], the respondents explained that they had the experience of applying various Figure 5: Effectiveness of mitigation methods applied so far. traditional methods of mitigating conflict to reduce the impact of conflict. attention to shift the trends of conflict in the study area via Regarding the trends of the conflict, most of the re- sounding methods of intervention. %is study result was in spondents (88.7%) replied that the conflict situation was line with the study results of [27]. As [45] explained, with becoming serious from time to time, whereas 7.5% of the increasing human population and pressure on forest areas, respondents replied that the conflict situation was not be- human-wildlife interaction and resultant conflict are also coming serious from time to time. Furthermore, the increasing. It occurs when growing human populations remaining respondents (3.8%) did not give any response to overlap with established wildlife territories, increasing the this issue. As most of the study participants (95.8%) replied, interaction of man and wild animals and thus resulting in the trend of conflict was increasing (Figure 6). %ere was a increased levels of conflict. statistically significant relation between conflict and conflict trends (χ � 114.623, p< 0.001), but there was no statis- (3) tically significant mean response difference among re- 3.9. Conservation of Wild Animals and Forests Conservation spondents concerning trends of conflict (F (3, 50) � 0.842, and Its Benefits. Regarding the conservation of wild animals, p � 0.478). %is implies that appropriate intervention was many respondents (50.9%) replied that the survival of wild not taken by the concerned bodies, and the magnitude of the animals was not important in the study area, while only problem was intensified from time to time. It requires 28.4% of the respondents supported the importance of the 10 International Journal of Zoology 120 100 95.8 100 80 50.9 28.4 80 27 9.4 11.3 5 6 47 0 Yes No I don’t know No Total response Response 2.1 2.1 Increasing Unknown I don’t know Total Trends of conflict Figure 7: Response to the importance of wild animals’ survival in the study area. Figure 6: General trends of human-wild animal conflict in the study area. 47.2 28.3 50 25 18.9 5.6 survival of wild animals in the study area (Figure 7). %ere 3 was a statistically significant mean response difference Yes No I don’t know No Total response among respondents concerning the importance of the Response survival of conflicting wild animals in the area (F (3, 50) � 2.899, p � 0.045). %is implies the respondents had differ- ences in their support of the importance of wild animals in % the area. Many of them did not support the survival of wild Figure 8: Response of killing of all wild animals to solve the conflict animals. problem. Killing all conflicting wild animals was considered a solution to solve the conflict problem by many of the re- spondents (47.2%), whereas 5.6% of the study participants Table 12: Study response to conserving wild animals using ap- replied that they did not know whether killing was a solution propriate methods. or not (Figure 8). %ere was no statistically significant mean Study participant responses to response difference among study participants (F (3, 50) � conserving wild animals using 1.308, p � 0.283) regarding whether killing all conflicting Response options appropriate methods wild animals should be considered as a solution to solve the N (total) Percentage (%) problem. %is implies that many of the study participants 1. Yes 32 60.4 agreed that all conflicting wild animals should be killed to 2. No 10 18.9 avoid the conflict problem. %is means that they did not 3. I do not know 11 20.7 have a positive concern for the conflicting wild animals, and Total 53 100 they consider the animals as pests due to the negative conflict consequences they were encountering. Among the respondents, 60.4% considered that wild increased [46], but global biodiversity continues to decline animals should be conserved using an appropriate method, [47]. Conflict between wildlife and humans costs many lives, while 18.9% of respondents replied that wild animals should both human and wildlife, threatens livelihoods, and jeop- not be conserved using appropriate methods (Table 12). ardizes long-term conservation goals such as securing %ere was a statistically significant mean response difference protected areas and building constituencies in support of among respondents (F (3, 50) � 7.856, p< 0.001) regarding biodiversity conservation [6]. Species involved in conflict are conserving wild animals using appropriate methods. more prone to extinction [12] and create a basis for re- %is result implies that the respondents concerned with sentment due to undermined welfare of the people through wild animal conservation in the study area were influenced crop damage and livestock predation. If serious solutions to by the conflict impact they were facing. As a result, their conflicts are not adequate, local support for conservation support for the survival of wild animals was negative, and also declines [48]. Habitat destruction is forcing animals to even they considered killing all conflicting wild animals as a move through human settlements [48], and habitat loss is solution to mitigate the problem. %is means that the extent one of the greatest obstacles to biodiversity conservation in of the problem is high and needs attention. Furthermore, the tropics. awareness of the issue of conflict management and wild Concerning the benefits of forest conservation to the animals’ importance was relevant for the community in the respondents, the majority of respondents (96.2%) explained study area. However, the community seems to support the that the forest in the study area was important, while 3.8% conservation of wild animals in appropriate ways in general. replied that they did not know whether the forest was Over the past decades, biodiversity conservation has re- important or not. However, 90.6% of the respondents ceived increasing attention, and protected area coverage has explained that the forest should be conserved. %ere was no Frequency (n) and/or % Frequency (n) Frequency (n) and/or % and/or % International Journal of Zoology 11 Table 13: Benefits of the forest to study participants. statistically significant mean response difference among the respondents (F (3, 50) � 0.171, p � 0.915) regarding the Study participants’ importance of conserving forest in the study area. %e response Benefit types gained from forest importance of forest conservation was related to the benefits N (total) Percentage (%) of forest to the communities (χ � 78.151, p< 0.001). (2) 1. Soil conservation 34 64.2 Moreover, there was no statistically significant mean re- 2. Suitable climate and environment 30 56.6 sponse difference among respondents (F (3, 50) � 1.721, 3. Rainfall 22 41.5 p � 0.176) concerning forest conservation activities. %is 4. Firewood collection 10 18.9 implies that they had a similar view of conserving the forest, 5. House construction 4 7.5 and this might be related to the benefits they were obtaining 6. Food income 7 13.2 from forests. 7. Water resource 2 3.8 8. Shading 4 7.5 In this study, most of the respondents (64.2%) believed 9. Aesthetic value 7 13.2 that they obtain soil conservation benefits from the forest. 10. Future tourism 9 17 %is was followed by suitable climate and environment 11. Timber production 4 7.5 benefits (56.6%), whereas 3.8% of the respondents explained 12. Habitat for wild animals 10 18.9 that they got water resources (Table 13). 13. Medicine 4 7.5 %e response of the respondents implied that the 14. Keeping domestic animal 4 7.5 community in the study area had adequate know-how on forest importance and the need to conserve forest. %is might be related to the benefits they were obtaining from the Table 14: Response to importance of coexistence of human and forest in the area. %is could be used as a good base for wild animals. further conservation work on forest and natural resources, Study participants’ response to and thus, it contributes to wild animals’ conservation. importance of coexistence of human Formal efforts to involve local communities in natural re- Response options and wild animals (HWC) source management and promote community-based natural Number (total) Percentage (%) resource management and related approaches in East Africa 1. Yes 25 47.2 have been diverse and have included wildlife, forestry, 2. No 21 39.7 marine, and lake fisheries [49]. East Africa is also charac- 3. I do not know 4 7.5 terized by the persistence of long-term community-based 4. No response 3 5.6 resource management systems used by resident communi- Total 53 100 ties, such as pastoralists in the Rift Valley of southern Ethiopia [50]. As explained in [6], wildlife-human conflicts are a serious obstacle to wildlife conservation and the livelihoods of people worldwide and are becoming more 41.5 35.9 13.2 5 9.4 7 prevalent as human population increases, development expands, and global climate change and other human and Positive Negative Neutral No Total environmental factors put people and wildlife in greater response direct competition for a shrinking resource base. Response In relation to attitudes of community toward wild an- imals, even though 47.2% of the respondents considered the importance of the coexistence of humans and wild animals Figure 9: Attitude of study participants toward wild animals. in the study area, 39.7% of the respondents did not consider the importance of coexistence of human and wild animals (Table 14). %ere was a statistically significant relation be- results of [51], in which 62% of the respondents had a tween supporting the importance of coexistence of humans negative attitude to wild animals. %e current study result and wild animals and conflict in the study area was in contradiction with the study results of [27] in Midre- (χ � 29.340, p< 0.001), but there was no statistically Kebid Abo Monastry, Gurage Zone, Ethiopia, in which (3) significant mean response difference (F (3, 50) � 0.605, 64.4% of the respondents had a positive attitude about wildlife, that they thought wildlife conservation is important. p � 0.615) among respondents in supporting coexistence of humans and wild animals in the study area. %e difference might be related to the study area, sample size, Many of the respondents (41.5%) had a negative attitude and extent of conflict impact in the study area. toward wild animals, while 9.4% had neither positive nor In this study, 58.5% of respondents explained that they negative attitudes toward wild animals (Figure 9). %ere was encourage conservation activities on wild animals, whereas a statistically significant relation between attitude of re- 30.2% did not encourage conservation activities. Moreover, spondents and the conflict in the study area (χ � 16.057, 11.3% of the study participants did not give any response to (3) p< 0.001). However, there was no statistically significant this issue. %ere was a statistically significant relation be- mean response difference among respondents concerning tween encouraging conservation activities on wild animals their attitude toward wild animals (F (3, 50) � 1.942, and conflict situations (χ � 17.925, p< 0.001), but there (2) p � 0.136). %is study result was in agreement with the study was no statistically significant mean response difference Frequency (n) and/or % 12 International Journal of Zoology between respondents (F (3, 50) � 0.202, p � 0.894) regarding creation training and ways of promoting coexistence be- encouraging conservation activities of wild animals. tween human and wild animals are necessary in the study area to achieve conservation activities successfully. %e finding concerning attitude implied that even though there was support for the importance of coexistence of humans and wild animals, there could be a lot of work to Data Availability be done to have adequate attitudinal support on the issue. %e datasets generated and analyzed during the current Moreover, many of the respondents had a negative attitude study are included in the manuscript. toward wild animals. %is might be related to the various impacts they were encountering in the study area. However, Ethical Approval a better proportion of the study participants encouraged conservation activities on wild animals. %is implies that if %e ethical approvals were approved by Wolkite University, more work on awareness and other coexistence methods as Ezha District Administrative Office, Ezha District Agricul- well as the value of wild animals is offered, there will be a tural Office, and Ezha District Wildlife and Ecotourism better change for the community. %e conflict between Offices prior to data collection. people and wildlife is one of the main threats to the con- tinued survival of many species in different parts of the Consent world and is also a significant threat to local human pop- ulations. If serious solutions to conflicts are not adequate, Written consent was gained from the respective kebeles local support for conservation also declines. administrators and respondents for making discussions on the objectives of the study before actual data collection 4. Conclusions and Recommendations processes. Human-wild animal conflict exists, and it was becoming Conflicts of Interest serious from time to time occurring in various places, time, and seasons in Amba forest/in the study area. Conflict %e authors have declared that there are no conflicts of occurs mostly around home and garden areas, followed by interest between them. on farmland. %e most conflict season was December to February. Anubis baboon, Potamochoerus larvatus, Chlor- Acknowledgments ocebus aethiops, and Hystrix cristata were the most con- %is research was funded by Wolkite University (Wku/RDd/ flicting wild animal, respectively. Abundance of wild 436/05/12), Ethiopia. %e funding body has provided fi- animals, presence of forest in the area, crop raiding, ex- nancial support in the process of data collection, analysis, pansion of agriculture, and livestock predation were the and interpretation. %e authors would like to acknowledge main causes of HWC in the study area. Ensete ventricosum the Research and Community Service Office of Wolkite and Solanum tuberosum were the first and second major University for financial support. %e authors also extend crops grown and damaged by wild animals. Wild animals their gratitude to the Ezha District Administrator, Biodi- damage various stages and parts of crops. Psychological versity and Environment Protection Office of Ezha District, impact and economic impacts were the main impacts en- kebele administrators, and study participants for their countered. Most of the respondents had applied wild animal hospitality, respect, and genuine response to successfully and human conflict mitigation strategies, but many con- complete our study. sidered that it was not effective, and the conflict situation was becoming serious from time to time. %e trends of the References conflict were increasing. Many of the respondents replied that the survival of wild animals was not important in the [1] F. M. 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Journal

International Journal of ZoologyHindawi Publishing Corporation

Published: Aug 29, 2022

References