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Assessing Community Perceptions about the Contributions and Impacts of Wildlife Tourism to Rural Livelihoods: Wildlife Management Areas Perspective

J.T. Mgonja


Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) refer to protected areas in a village land, set aside for conservation of wildlife and tourism activities. Existing studies on WMAs have focused more on the establishment, governance and conservation consequences of WMAs. Relatively few studies have been conducted on the contributions of wildlife tourism from WMAs perspectives to rural livelihoods in Tanzania. The objective of this study was to assess community perceptions about the contributions of wildlife tourism and conser­vation to livelihoods of communities re­siding in WMA, using Ikona and Makao WMAs as a case study. Crosstabs analysis using Chi-square (c2) was applied to analyse data collected using questionnaires. Overall, the findings indicate that most people (74.1%) are proud of their villages being in WMA, (59.8%) are aware of tourism activities in their WMA, (71.5%) accept wildlife conservation and (33.6%) agree that WMA increases livelihood options. Overall, the findings indicate that wildlife tourism contributes to local peoples’ livelihoods at a community level but not at a household level. The study recommends WMA authorities to integrate local communities at a household level in all facets of wildlife tourism in WMAs so as to enhance the contribution of WMAs and wildlife tourism to sustainable livelihoods.

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eISSN: 2408-8137
print ISSN: 2408-8129