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Knowledge, attitude and practice of the local people towards human-carnivore coexistence in Faragosa-Fura landscape, Gamo Zone, Southern Ethiopia

Citation

Gebo, Berhanu; Takele, Serkebirhan; Shibru, Simon (2022), Knowledge, attitude and practice of the local people towards human-carnivore coexistence in Faragosa-Fura landscape, Gamo Zone, Southern Ethiopia , Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.hx3ffbgg7

Abstract

Local people's knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) have played an important role in human-wildlife coexistence and have received increased attention in biodiversity conservation. However, studies on the KAP of local people towards human-carnivore coexistence (HCC) are scarce, species-specific, or limited to the protected areas. Therefore, we investigated the local people's KAP towards carnivores’ coexistence with humans, the problem of livestock, and mitigation practices in a human-dominated landscape of Southern Ethiopia. We collected the data from 352 households’ interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire and photographic sampling. The respondents mentioned 13 carnivores coexisting with local people belonging to six families. Eighty-five percent of the respondents perceived carnivores as problematic species and expressed a negative attitude towards them, primarily due to the damage they caused to their livestock. Respondents who had better knowledge of carnivores also showed a positive attitude towards carnivores. The cluster analysis showed that the spotted hyena, serval, leopard, common genet, and black-backed jackal were grouped under a high-threat cluster. Chickens and goats were the most threatened livestock reported by respondents. The main predation control methods reported were guarding and fencing for larger livestock and keeping chickens indoors during the night. The regression models predicted that males and literate respondents had better knowledge of carnivores than females and illiterates. The respondents who owned more livestock experienced more damage to livestock, and females showed a negative attitude towards carnivores. Although the study area is the critical conservation value of the 13 carnivore species, livestock predation by carnivores, the local people’s negative attitude towards carnivores, and lethal predation control methods practiced by local people were affecting HCC in the area. The findings call for conservation actions such as conservation education to raise awareness and develop a positive attitude and non-lethal predation mitigation measures to promote HCC in consultation with the local community.