Human-wildlife interaction in Serengeti and Ngorongoro districts of Tanzania: A case study on small mammals

  • FJ Magige

Abstract

In the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Districts, small mammals are said to provide protein and income to the local people. However, they are simultaneously reported to conflict with farming activities. These conflicting aspects have not been investigated there. The present article considers humansmall mammal interactions in six villages adjacent to the protected areas. Data were obtained through questionnaire administration to the local people in the districts. Small mammals were hunted in the two districts for food purposes and some villagers declared that they were earning income from selling small mammals products. Seventy percent of the respondents in Serengeti District claimed that among the hunted small mammals, the rabbits were the most preferred animals whereas <5% of the respondents in Ngorongoro Districts declared to prefer rabbits. In terms of gender, there was no significant difference between males and females in the preference of rabbits in both districts. However, the frequency of hunting was higher in Serengeti District than in Ngorongoro District and dogs were significantly more used for hunting than were other means of hunting. Some small mammals, such as rodents, were a nuisance in raiding crop fields and food stores. In attempting to protect their crops and other properties against small mammal destruction, villagers used various strategies including trapping and poisoning although these methods were often ineffective. Some villagers suggested extermination of the small mammals as a control measure. Despite the fact that small mammals were destructive, about 26% (n =150) of respondents disagreed with the proposal of animal extermination, instead they suggested establishment of conservancies or seeking for the government intervention. Domestication of small animals for reptile farms, ecologically focused small mammal management techniques and improved storage structures might reduce the conflict.
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Articles

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eISSN: 2507-7961
print ISSN: 0856-1761