Human-wildlife conflict in and around the Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia
Human-wildlife conflict in and around the Simien Mountains National Park was assessed using a questionnaire survey of 300 people living in and around the Park during 2005 and 2006. Logistic regression was used to identify important factors. The result indicated that common jackal caused the most pronounced problems (57.1%) to the local community compared to other animals. Among the respondents, 27% reported loss of oxen, cows, donkeys, mules and horses to spotted hyaenas. The Ethiopian wolf, leopard, vervet monkey, hamadryas baboon and crested porcupine caused minimal problems on the local community in the study area. The Park was utilized by 47.9% of the respondents as grazing land for their livestock. The average period of utilization of the Park as grazing land was 2.03 ± 0.11 months. The duration of grazing in the Park was negatively correlated (r = -0.69, p < 0.05) with distance from the Park. Among the respondents, 19.1% collected firewood from the Park. Collection of firewood was negatively correlated with distance from the Park (r = -0.33, p < 0.001). Conflict resolution will not be possible without voluntary resettlement of people living in and very close to the wildlife habitat; providing an alternative resource to the community living in the study area will also be essential.