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Population Dynamics of Large Herbivores and the Framing of Wildlife Conservation in Zimbabwe

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Abstract

This article reviews: (i) the role of natural and human-induced controls in influencing large her-bivore populations, (ii) how human controls (i.e., policy instruments, incentives and provisions) influence human activities and wildlife conservation, and (iii) media framing of wildlife conservation using Zimbabwe as a case study, in particular Gonarezhou National Park and adjacent areas. The review shows that: droughts are important in influencing large herbivore populations in semi-arid ecosystems; political instability and economic collapse does not necessarily lead to increased illegal hunting in situations where policy instruments, such as laws, are enforced; a higher perceived effectiveness of Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources was partly associated with a decline in human-wildlife conflicts; and there was a spill-over effect of frames from the political domain into wildlife conservation following Zimbabwe’s land reforms in 2000. It is concluded that natural bottom-up processes (e.g., droughts) influence large herbivore population dynamics whereas policy instruments, incentives, provisions and societal frames mainly have a top-down effect on wild large herbivore populations in savanna ecosystems.
Open Journal of Ecology, 2014, 4, 411-420
Published Online May 2014 in SciRes. http://www.scirp.org/journal/oje
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/oje.2014.47036
How to cite this paper: Gandiwa, E. (2014) Population Dynamics of Large Herbivores and the Framing of Wildlife Conserva-
tion in Zimbabwe. Open Journal of Ecology, 4, 411-420. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/oje.2014.47036
Population Dynamics of Large Herbivores
and the Framing of Wildlife Conservation in
Zimbabwe
Edson Gandiwa1,2,3,4
1Resource Ecology Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands
2Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands
3Scientific Services, Gonarezhou National Park, Chiredzi, Zimbabwe
4School of Wildlife, Ecology and Conservation, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe
Email: egandiwa@gmail.com
Received 5 March 2014; revised 5 April 2014; accepted 12 April 2014
Copyright © 2014 by author and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Abstract
This article reviews: 1) The role of natural and human-induced controls in influencing large her-
bivore populations; 2) how human controls (i.e., policy instruments, incentives and provisions) in-
fluence human activities and wildlife conservation; and 3) media framing of wildlife conservation
using Zimbabwe as a case study, in particular Gonarezhou National Park and adjacent areas. The
review shows that droughts are important in influencing large herbivore populations in semi-arid
ecosystems; political instability and economic collapse does not necessarily lead to increased il-
legal hunting in situations where policy instruments, such as laws, are enforced. A higher per-
ceived effectiveness of Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources was
partly associated with a decline in human-wildlife conflicts and there was a spill-over effect of
frames from the political domain into wildlife conservation following Zimbabwe’s land reforms in
2000. It is concluded that natural bottom-up processes (e.g., droughts) influence large herbivore
population dynamics whereas policy instruments, incentives, provisions and societal frames
mainly have a top-down effect on wild large herbivore populations in savanna ecosystems.
Keywords
Bottom-Up Control, Illegal Hunting, Law Enforcement, Media Framing, Top-Down Control
1. Introduction
This article presents insights from a novel attempt to understand wildlife conservation issues in Zimbabwe
E. Gandiwa
412
through focusing on scientific findings generated from interdisciplinary research [1] [2]. More specifically, this
review primarily draws insights from a PhD research conducted in Zimbabwe, whose fieldwork covered the
Gonarezhou National Park and the adjacent areas [3]. Generating information that help improve wildlife con-
servation and management through assessing the role of natural and human-induced top-down and bottom-up
control of large herbivore populations and how policy instruments influence benefits and costs associated with
community-based wildlife conservation in semi-arid savanna ecosystems is increasingly becoming important [4]
[5]. Moreover, investigating the framing of wildlife conservation in the mass media following a political crisis
and economic decline is essential in changing environments [6]. This article, therefore, specifically reviews the
role of natural and human-induced controls, effectiveness of Communal Areas Management Programme for In-
digenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) and human-wildlife conflicts and media framing in wildlife conservation us-
ing a case study of Zimbabwe.
In natural ecosystems, animal population sizes are largely controlled by two processes, namely top-down and
bottom-up controls [7] [8]. Top-down control refers to processes whose effects flow down the food chain such
as the herbivore populations being controlled by direct predation, and thus, carnivores indirectly influencing
plant abundance. Bottom-up control refers to processes that control animal communities from the bottom of the
food chain upward to higher trophic levels since plant primary production fuels the animal biota, plants, along
with nutrients and light. Moreover, humans can also alter the terrestrial ecosystem structure and composition
through actions such as setting fires and livestock grazing (human-induced bottom-up control), and by acting as
a generalist super predator that can top-down harvest any animal species [4]. Figure 1 shows a model of rela-
tions of human-induced top-down and bottom-up controls of large herbivore populations in terrestrial ecosystems.
Community-based natural resources programs, such as the CAMPFIRE program developed in Zimbabwe,
have been implemented to allow for the sustainable use of natural resources in areas bordering protected areas
[9]. CAMPFIRE is a government initiative that was implemented in 1989 specifically to stimulate long-term
development, management and sustainable use of natural resources in Zimbabwes communal farming areas ad-
Figure 1. A schematic representation indicating the top-down and bottom-up controls of human activities (at global bi-
ome level) particularly on wild large herbivore community in the arctic, temperate grasslands, tropical savannas and trop-
ical rainforests. Data sources: [21]-[23]. Notes: H = high negative impact, M = medium negative impact, and L = low
negative impact. Impact refers to negative human influence on specifically wild large herbivore populations and composi-
tion occurring in the various biomes, if and only if the outlined respective biome characteristics are satisfied. Source: [4].
Tropical savanna
1) Rainfall: 400-1300 mm
2) Secondary productivity:
Biomass: 2800-4500 kg km
−2
3) Large wild herbivore diversity:
Very high (> 40 species)
4) Relative abundance: Very high
Arctic
1) Rainfall: ~ 250 mm
2) Secondary productivity:
Mean biomass: <1000 kg km
−2
3) Large wild herbivore diversity:
Low (< 10 species)
4) Relative abundance: Low
Tropical rainforest
1) Rainfall: >1300 mm
2) Secondary productivity:
Biomass: ~ 2600 kg km
−2
3) Large wild herbivore diversity:
High (20-30 species)
4) Relative abundance: Medium
Temperate grassland
1) Rainfall: ~ 800 mm
2) Secondary productivity:
Biomass: 1000-2000 kg km
−2
3) Large wild herbivore diversity:
Medium (10-20 species)
4) Relative abundance: High
Human hunting
L (-) H (---)M (--)H (---)
H (---)L (-)
Livestock
grazing
Anthropogenic
fire frequency
00H (---)M (--)H (---)L (-)
Bottom-up control
Top-down control
E. Gandiwa
413
jacent to state protected areas [10]. However, the effectiveness of the CAMPFIRE programs remains largely
unknown due to the differences in human communities and the recent policy changes in Zimbabwe following
the land reforms that occurred since 2000 which were largely published in both the local and international media,
hence the importance of further research on CAMPFIRE effectiveness and also media framing of wildlife con-
servation.
2. Natural Large Herbivore Population Controls
Rainfall, in particular droughts, play a major role in influencing large herbivore population dynamics in semi-
arid savanna ecosystems with high rainfall variability [3]. Rainfall is a key driver of primary production in terre-
strial ecosystems [11]-[13] and thus its influence on large herbivore population developments. Droughts are as-
sociated with a reduced primary production [13]-[15], which results in large animal die-offs due to forage
shortages and also reduced surface water availability [16]-[18]. According to [3], evidence of a weak synchrony
in the occurrence patterns of droughts and wet years was recorded in areas adjacent to the Gonarezhou National
Park, Zimbabwe between 1970 and 2009. Populations of some large herbivore species declined following the
1992 drought in Gonarezhou National Park and subsequently increased after the drought. A similar trend in
large herbivore population declines following the 1992 drought was also recorded in the adjacent Kruger Na-
tional Park, South Africa [19] [20], suggesting a synchrony in large herbivore population development between
these two adjacent protected areas [3]. Moreover, there was evidence to suggest that population growth was high
when rainfall was average to above average for some consecutive period since the exceptionally wet periods did
not lead to sudden increase in populations [3].
3. Top-Down Human Control of Animal Populations
Issues of illegal hunting have received considerable attention in recent years, particularly, in the tropical rain-
forest and savanna ecosystems [24]-[28], therefore, advancing our understanding of the negative impacts asso-
ciated with human bushmeat hunting on animal communities and how law enforcement can influence such hu-
man bushmeat hunting in times of political crisis and economic collapse is of importance. Gandiwa et al. [29]
used data gathered from 236 local people on perceptions of illegal hunting and wildlife protection in the north-
ern Gonarezhou National Park and adjacent areas together with data collected from law enforcement patrols
covering the period from 2000 and 2010, which coincided with the land reforms, political crisis and economic
collapse in Zimbabwe. Main drivers of illegal hunting included bushmeat consumption at household level and
the need to raise income for family or personal use as also reported by other authors [30]-[32]. Snaring was
mostly used to catch a wide range of wild animals for bushmeat whereas firearms were used for large herbivore
species such as elephant (Loxodonta africana), primarily for ivory. However, there was no evidence of massive
large herbivore declines in Gonarezhou National Park between 2000 and 2010. This suggests that the negative
impacts of the land reforms were low in Gonarezhou National Park, despite the fact that a small section (about
90 km2) of the northern part of the park had an illegal settlement since 2000 [33] [34].
Adaptation to New Situations: Changes in Law Enforcement
An increase in recorded illegal activities, i.e., hunting and fishing, was associated with reduced law enforcement
efforts, between 2000 and 2003, as a result of few rangers and inadequate financial resources in Gonarezhou
National Park [29]. However, when law enforcement staff numbers were increased in 2004 following the trans-
formation of the wildlife authority into a parastatal and increased funding from the Frankfurt Zoological Society
in the park, increased law enforcement efforts led to a decline in the numbers of arrested illegal hunters [29]. Il-
legal hunters appeared to have switched to snaring methods which are difficult to detect with increases in law
enforcement as also reported by other authors [35]-[37]. This suggests that paying more attention to the detec-
tion of snares and their removal in protected areas is important, especially, when law enforcement efforts are in-
creased.
Thus, [29] have shown that the variation in the recorded illegal activities in the northern Gonarezhou National
Park ecosystem corresponds with the variations in law enforcement efforts. These findings, therefore, confirms
that law enforcement is an important component of wildlife conservation in protected areas [38]-[40]. The in-
creased law enforcement efforts inside Gonarezhou National Park and existence of community-based wildlife
E. Gandiwa
414
conservation programs in adjacent areas could also have helped in maintaining large herbivore populations in-
side the protected area [41] [42]. Further, there was no evidence in Gonarezhou National Park to suggest that il-
legal hunting had increased following the Zimbabwe’s political crisis and economic collapse between 2000 and
2008. Similarly, the local people also attributed the perceived decline in illegal hunting between 2000 and 2010
to increased law enforcement by the wildlife authority [29]. This is in contrast to the media reports on general
increase in illegal hunting across wildlife areas in Zimbabwe since 2000 [27].
4. Socio-Ecological Systems and Wildlife Conservation
The model shown in Figure 1 outlined the human-induced top-down and bottom-up controls of large herbivore
populations in terrestrial ecosystems. However, the model does not include two important elements: 1) human
controls which influences human behaviour, and 2) decision-making and framing processes, in particular media
framing, which influences societal debates. Human controls are important in understanding the impact of human
activities on large herbivore populations and also wildlife conservation hence the need to include this element in
the model. Moreover, societal debates and decision making related to wild large herbivore population dynamics
and associated wildlife conservation are informed not only by science but also by communication in, e.g., the
mass media, thus, signifying the importance of including the element of decision-making and framing processes
in the research model.
4.1. Wildlife Conservation: Policy Instruments, Incentives and Provisions
The findings of [43] suggest that human-wildlife conflicts are common even in communities with integrated
conservation and development projects (ICDPs) as reported by other authors [44]-[46]. ICDPs play an important
role in reducing human-wildlife conflicts through enabling communities to actively participate and derive eco-
nomic benefits from natural resources management [47]-[49]. Community benefits under the CAMPFIRE pro-
gram include infrastructural development, employment opportunities, cash dividends and a well-informed com-
munity on wildlife management issues and practices [43].
Of particular importance was the perceived increase in human-wildlife conflicts as a result of increasing wild-
life populations in communities adjacent to the northern Gonarezhou National Park, e.g., elephant [3]. Similar,
perceived increases in human-wildlife conflicts associated with increasing wildlife populations have been re-
ported in northern Zimbabwe [50]. However, a high involvement of local people in the day-to-day running of
CAMPFIRE was associated with lower perceived increase in human-wildlife conflicts since the local people
were involved in decision making on aspects such as how to manage wildlife, income and human-wildlife con-
flicts [43].
Contextual factors, such as size (area) of the community, human population density and previous success of
the CAMPFIRE programs across the local communities appeared to influence the perceived effectiveness of
CAMPFIRE programs and attitudes towards problematic wildlife species in communities bordering the northern
Gonarezhou National Park [43]. Moreover, the reduced benefits from CAMPFIRE programs associated with the
hands-off reaction through the withdrawal of financial support by international donors following the recent land
reforms in Zimbabwe appeared to have influenced perceptions of effectiveness of CAMPFIRE programs. This
was also compounded by the high inflationary environment which led to the economic collapse in Zimbabwe,
resulting in low response by safari operators or the local authorities to reported human-wildlife conflict cases,
together with low benefits from CAMPFIRE in the local communities adjacent to the park [51] [52]. Low re-
sponse rate incidences to human-wildlife conflicts to some extent led to the poisoning or hunting of problem
animals [43] [53]. Carnivores, e.g., leopard (Panthera pardus), lion (Panthera leo) and spotted hyena (Crocuta
crocuta), were more likely to be poisoned after livestock losses to large carnivores. Poisoning has also been re-
ported in retaliation of human-wildlife conflicts across different ecosystems [53]-[55].
More favourable attitudes towards wildlife appeared to be associated with success of CAMPFIRE programs
[43]. It can be hypothesised that the involvement of local people in decision making related to wildlife manage-
ment issues and associated benefits accrued by the community from natural resources management programs
plays an important role in influencing local people’s attitude towards problem animal species. For instance, bene-
fits and costs associated with wildlife-related conservation programs have been reported to influence attitudes
towards animal species in some ecosystems [56]-[58].
E. Gandiwa
415
4.2. Decision-Making and Framing Processes
Gandiwa et al. [6] concluded that images that exist in society are not necessarily congruent with reality on the
ground, and that these images are influenced by other issues. In particular, findings by [42] [59] were at odds
with the image of Zimbabwe mostly in the international media, thus it was valuable to better understand the role
of mass media in framing wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe. This is important since societal decisions about
wildlife conservation and management are not only taken on the basis of scientific information but also on what
the mass media publishes. Using newspapers from countries with different relations to Zimbabwe, i.e., political,
historical and conservation relations, [6] demonstrated that framing of wildlife conservation in the international
media (United Kingdom and United States of America) was positive between 1989 and 1999 and then changed
between 2000 and 2010, to being more negative. This change in framing was related to the land reforms that
started in 2000 and legalized by the Zimbabwean Government in 2002. Thus, [6] concluded that a spill-over ef-
fect from a political-related phenomenon, i.e., land reforms, to a less political related issue, wildlife conserva-
tion, occurred. Between 2000 and 2010, newspaper articles in the international media blamed the Zimbabwean
Government for the demise of wildlife and also challenges related to wildlife conservation in the country. How-
ever, the local Zimbabwean newspaper did not show any change in media frames before and after 2000.
Moreover, large herbivore population studies in Zimbabwe have showed that wildlife populations in state
protected areas have either increased or remained stable [41] [59], whereas major wildlife declines were re-
ported to have occurred in private-owned wildlife ranches or conservancies since the land reforms in year 2000
[60]-[62]. However, in the international newspaper articles, little attempt was made to distinguish this pattern of
wildlife population decline with respect to land ownership following the land reforms in Zimbabwe. Hence, this
type of misrepresentation of wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe in the international media is likely to have an
influence on societal debates and decision making related to wildlife conservation issues and large herbivore
population dynamics as shown in Figure 2.
5. Practical Implications
5.1. Science-Society Interaction
Gandiwa’s [3] study inferred that there may be clear differences between dominant perspectives in society and
the reality on the ground from a scientific investigation about wildlife conservation. The relationship between
science and society is important in shaping people’s views and also scientific research. Mass media is one way
in which information from science is brought to the society and/or vice versa. Thus, [3] deduced that state pro-
tected areas were less negatively affected by the land reforms, political crisis and economic collapse between
2000 and 2010 than were private-owned wildlife areas. Therefore, the published international newspaper articles
may not be accurate on the facts relating to wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe after the year 2000, due to the
spill-over effect of a highly political related issue into a less political related issue of wildlife conservation [3] [6].
The media often neglect certain angles or frames of stories or neglect to provide evaluations of related events
or issues [63]. Hence, the way that issues are framed can have a profound effect on the practical business of
conservation because it defines agendas and limits the range of potential strategies that can be used to address
problems [64]. There is need to address the negative image of wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe through: 1)
ensuring that appropriate information is given in the international media so as to allow for support to conserva-
tion efforts by the international donors; 2) increased scientific research and dissemination of results in both
scholarly and public media in order to really show the failure or success of conservation efforts in different land
categories; and 3) hiring professional advertisement companies to counter publish representative wildlife con-
servation information about Zimbabwe into the opposing media.
Moreover, knowledge on large herbivore population trends, role of law enforcement and the need for local
people involvement in decision making processes regarding problem animals generated by [3] is important in
the societal arenas particularly in negotiations relating to natural resource use [2] and resource protection under
the CAMPFIRE programs.
5.2. Wildlife Management
Management of wildlife in savanna ecosystems requires information on the factors controlling large herbivore
populations, human interactions with ecosystems and how to control illegal activities. Gandiwa [3] recorded that
E. Gandiwa
416
Figure 2. An adapted schematic representation indicating the natural and human-induced top-down and bottom-up
controls (at global biome level) particularly on wild large herbivore communities in the arctic, temperate grasslands,
tropical savannas and tropical rainforests. Improvements to the model in Figure 1: 1) rainfall acts as a natural con-
trol in the tropical savanna (highlighted in red and bold); 2) policy instruments, e.g., law enforcement, help in re-
ducing human hunting (top-down human control), livestock grazing in protected areas and anthropogenic fires
whereas incentives and provisions help in dealing with problem animals; and 3) decision-making and framing
processes about terrestrial ecosystems and wildlife conservation influences societal debates and wildlife manage-
ment systems. Data sources: [21]-[23]. Notes: H = high negative impact, M = medium negative impact, and L =
low negative impact. Impact refers to negative natural and human process influence on specifically wild large her-
bivore populations and composition occurring in the various biomes, if and only if the outlined respective biome
characteristics are satisfied. Source:[3].
wet and drought occurrence patterns can vary in areas relatively close to each other (i.e., areas in the same cli-
matic region). By identifying animal movement patterns and routes across different land-uses, managers could
effectively remove or establish fences so as to allow free animal movements in wildlife areas during periods of
resource scarcity. Currently, CAMPFIRE communities in Zimbabwe act as sinks for animals whereas the pro-
tected areas act as the sources, thereby expanding the habitat ranges of wildlife. Moreover, an understanding of
animal movements is useful for managing cases of human-wildlife conflicts in CAMPFIRE communities [43]
[65]. In addition, transboundary management of large herbivores [66] would also allow animals to move to less
affected areas during droughts.
Research in Gonarezhou National Park shows that snaring becomes a major illegal hunting method with in-
creasing law enforcement efforts [27] [29]. Thus, specifically having rangers trained in snare detection and re-
moval would help reduce the negative impacts of snaring on wildlife. Further, management need to reduce the
use of poisons in illegal hunting and retaliatory killing of wildlife through influencing policy to include stiffer
penalties on use of pesticide and herbicides in wildlife killings since some of the illegally killed animals falls
within the Near Threatened, Vulnerable and Lower Risk categories of the International Union for Conservation
of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.
A high involvement of local people in decision making is important for the overall perceived effectiveness of
CAMPFIRE programs [43]. Therefore, by ensuring that local people genuinely participate in community-based
Tropical savanna
1) Rainfall: 400-1300 mm
2) Secondary productivity:
Biomass: 2800-4500 kg km
−2
3) Large wild herbivore diversity:
Very high (> 40 species)
4) Relative abundance: Very high
Arctic
1) Rainfall: ~ 250 mm
2) Secondary productivity:
Mean biomass: <1000 kg km
−2
3) Large wild herbivore diversity:
Low (< 10 species)
4) Relative abundance: Low
Tropical rainforest
1) Rainfall: >1300 mm
2) Secondary productivity:
Biomass: ~ 2600 kg km
−2
3) Large wild herbivore diversity:
High (20-30 species)
4) Relative abundance: Medium
Temperate grassland
1) Rainfall: ~ 800 mm
2) Secondary productivity:
Biomass: 1000-2000 kg km
−2
3) Large wild herbivore diversity:
Medium (10-20 species)
4) Relative abundance: High
Human hunting
Wildlife conservation
1) Policy instruments
2) Incentives and provisions
Decision-making and framing processes
Human controls
(policy instruments)
L (-) H (---)M (--)H (---)
H (---)L (-)
Livestock
grazing
Anthropogenic
fire frequency
00H (---)M (--)H (---)L (-)
Bottom-up control
Top-down control
E. Gandiwa
417
conservation programs, policy makers and wildlife managers may, thus, need to develop structures and policy
instruments that enable local people to fully participate in conservation programs [67]. An investigation of local
people involvement in decision making in wildlife conservation is needed for CAMPFIRE programs as this will
allow for drawing lessons from both successful and unsuccessful CAMPFIRE communities which would help
strengthen CAMPFIRE programs.
6. Conclusion
This review has provided valuable insights on understanding the influence of rainfall, particularly droughts, on
large herbivore populations in savanna ecosystems. Wet and drought occurrence patterns somehow varied with-
in the same climatic region with the 1992 severe drought having a negative impact on some large herbivore
populations within a semi-arid savanna ecosystem [3]. Political crisis and economic collapse does not necessar-
ily lead to increased illegal hunting in situations where law enforcement is strengthened [29]; and local people
involvement in decision-making in natural resources conservation was highlighted as important in the perceived
success of community-based natural resources programs [43]. Moreover, framing of wildlife conservation in
changing environments, i.e., from a stable political and economic situation to political crisis and economic de-
cline, was associated with the misrepresentation of wildlife issues due to a spill-over of political related issues to
less politically related issues [6]. Thus, interdisciplinary research is valuable in understanding wildlife conserva-
tion issues in African savanna ecosystems which are dominated by human activities. To conclude, it is therefore
suggested that natural controls (rainfall) influence large herbivore population dynamics whereas policy instru-
ments, incentives, provisions and societal frames influence the human activities that affect wild large herbivore
populations in savanna ecosystems.
Acknowledgements
The author is greatly indebted to Prof. Dr. Herbert H. T. Prins, Prof. Dr. Cees Leeuwis and Dr. Ignas M. A.
Heitkönig for the valuable comments, suggestions and guidance. Comments from an anonymous reviewer are
highly appreciated. This research was funded by the International Research and Education Fund of Wageningen
University, The Netherlands.
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Zimbabwe’s community-based natural resource management programme, called CAMPFIRE, was aimed at integrating biodiversity conservation with community livelihoods. This integration is far from simple, especially when two ethnic groups with different livelihood practices are drawn into one project under local political leadership. Such is the case in Chapoto Ward, in the north of Zimbabwe, where the Doma and Chikunda ethnic groups co-exist. Thus, the focus of this chapter is on how the livelihoods of the minority Doma group have been affected by the local CAMPFIRE project. Specific objectives include: identifying the livelihood practices of the Doma; assessing the impact that CAMPFIRE has had on their livelihood practices; and demonstrating the negative reinforcement of politics and ethnic bias regarding Doma livelihoods. Using a qualitative approach, data were collected using in-depth interviews with heads of households and key informant interviews, as well as document analysis. Thematic analysis was used to code responses using both Open and Axial procedures. Findings demonstrate the variety of livelihood practices in existence and show how these practices were hampered by the CAMPFIRE initiative. Ethnic discrimination and stigmatisation, which placed the Doma in a subordinate position vis-a-vis other dominant groups, further demonstrate their restricted circumstances.
Chapter
Community-based conservation embedded in the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources, as exemplified by the Mahenye ecotourism project, faces numerous challenges due to climate change. It, therefore, becomes imperative to adopt community-based conservation models for the changing global climatic dynamics. The specific objectives of the research were to do the following: (i) identify the shocks emanating from climate change at Mahenye ecotourism project, (ii) indicate adaptations to make the ecotourism model at Mahenye more resilient in the face of shocks emanating from climate change, and (iii) develop a management intervention framework for ecotourism projects in a changing global climate. We approached the research from a qualitative perspective. The shocks emanating from climate change at the Mahenye ecotourism project included a shortage of water and forage for wild animals during drought years, flood-induced damage of buildings and roads due to increased incidence and severity of tropical cyclones, reduced bioclimatic comfort due to temperature rises, and increased theft of flora and fauna due to climate change-related socio-economic deprivation. The adaptations include recalibrating variables ranging from amenities, income streams, marketing, and linkages. The research results could inform environmental planners on strategies for ensuring the sustainability of community ecotourism in a changing climate.
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Here we present research findings on the policies and practices of damage-causing animal (DCA) control in Limpopo Province, South Africa.
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One of the major challenges of sustainable development is the interdisciplinary nature of the issues involved. To this end, a team of conservation biologists, hunters, tourist operators, ranchers, wildlife and land managers, ecologists, veterinarians and economists was convened to discuss whether wildlife outside protected areas in Africa can be conserved in the face of agricultural expansion and human population growth. They reached the unequivocal - if controversial - conclusion that wildlife can be an economic asset, especially in the African savannas, if this wildlife can be sustainably utilized through safari hunting and tourism. Using the African savannas as an example, Wildlife Conservation by Sustainable Use shows that in many instances sustainable wildlife utilization comprises an even better form of land use than livestock keeping. Even when population pressure is high, as in agricultural areas or in humid zones, and wild animal species can pose a serious cost to agriculture, these costs are mainly caused by small species with a low potential for safari hunting. Although ranching has a very low rate of return and is hardly ever profitable, the biggest obstacle to the model of sustainable wildlife use outlined in Wildlife Conservation by Sustainable Use is from unfair competition from the agricultural sector, such as subsidies and lack of taxation, resulting in market distortion for wildlife utilization. This book thus gives valuable evidence for a different way of working, providing arguments for removing such distortions and thereby facilitating financially sound land use and making it a rationally sound choice to conserve wildlife outside protected areas. The expert team of authors, most of whom came together at a workshop to thrash out the ideas that were then developed into the various chapters, has written a superb account of recent research on this complex subject, resulting in a book that is a major contribution to our understanding of sustainable use of land. The important conclusion is that wildlife conservation can be possible for landholders and local communities if they have a financial interest in protecting wildlife on their lands.
Chapter
“Ownership of Wildlife” explores the importance of resource proprietorship to the conservation of the African macrofauna and its habitats, outside national Protected Areas. This is done against a brief review of the possible effects of land ownership as opposed to communally held resource rights because landholders determine the fate of wildlife outside State managed parks and reserves. This leads to the conclusion that wildlife, and the biological diversity that it spearheads, depends on the resource being able to generate human benefits that are competitive with the returns from alternative land use options. Realising these returns depends on institutional arrangements that enable wildlife to achieve its inherent economic advantage where land is in any way marginal for conventional agriculture. The usual type of game laws found in most of Africa south of the Sahara, which are a legacy of the colonial era, do not meet this need and the centrally managed protectionism that they embody has probably been counter-productive to their aims. It has undervalued the resource and marginalised the landholders who decide the future of wildlife on their land. The Chapter concludes by suggesting that legislation is needed that maintains wildlife as a wild resource without prejudicing its ability to compete financially with other land uses. This requires freedom to trade in it, that landholders and managers have security of tenure over the rights to use the resource, and that costly regulation is reduced to an absolute minimum.
Chapter
In this review we consider the asymmetry in the relation between the herbivore and its food supply: successively we will touch upon the limits to feasible exploitation as the food supply is depleted, the repercussions for the reproductive performance of the herbivore when a mismatch between requirement and food on offer occurs, and finally the universal feature of seasonal habitat shifts in grazing systems, with the herbivore tracking the availability of forage of adequate quality. All of these features, taken together, imply a close fit between herbivore numbers and the food supply in a given grazing system; we will provide an example of this from a region where climatic vagaries are sufficiently restricted to allow a review of animal biomass statistics to be undertaken against a backdrop of assumed constant forage production.
Chapter
This chapter is about establishing mechanisms that price wildlife, how these mechanisms work and how they can be valuable for promoting economic development and conservation simultaneously. It uses several examples, mainly from Zimbabwe, to describe how wildlife was converted from a public good with little or even a negative value to landholders, into a private good which landholders or communities have a positive incentive to produce. It explains why wildlife has a comparative economic advantage and is often a better use of agriculturally marginal savannahs than more conventional livestock monocultures, and provides data from the private ranching sector in Zimbabwe to support this argument. The central assertion in the chapter is that both wildlife conservation and economic development are best served in much of savanna Africa by converting wildlife into a commercial asset. This is achieved by modifying macro-economic institutions and legislation so that mechanisms develop to ensure prices more closely reflect scarcity or value, and resources are allocated more efficiently. This would ensure that where wildlife has a comparative advantage, it would be reflected in incentive structures and landholders would produce wildlife rather than livestock which owes much of its past prominence to fiscal and environmental subsidisation.
Article
The rainfall pattern in time and space within the Masai Ecosystem of northern Tanzania was studied using rainfall data of sixteen stations within the area. Annual amounts of rainfall were found to be unpredictable, and the annual deviations of the long-term mean annual rainfall were without cyclic trends for the individual stations. However, the pooled rainfall data of the different stations show that series of wet and dry years alternate. Total annual rainfall increases with altitude and the variability in rainfall decreases with altitude. It appears that rainfall in the dry season is caused by thunderstorm activity, and no relation between rainfall and altitude exists during this time of the year. Rainfall in the wet season shows a very different spatial relationship, indicating the effects of the monsoon, and, especially during the long rains, rainfall increases with altitude. Different seasons can be discerned, and the data indicate that the amount of rain in the long rainy season is more predictable than the amount in the short rainy season. The differences are discussed briefly with regard to plant phenology patterns and grass growth.
Article
This study examines the effect of Joint Forest Management (JFM) in a component of the Kilombero Nature Reserve recently gazetted to improve the conservation status of high biodiversity forests in the Udzungwa Mountains of the Eastern Afromontane biodiversity hotspot. The evaluation is based on a temporal comparison spanning seven years of JFM and establishment of a Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) ranger station, using bushmeat hunting as an indicator. Results reveal that the number of active hunters had declined, primarily due to TANAPA's patrolling. But hunting effort had been displaced from hunting with firearms in the grassland to hunting with traps and dogs in the forests, thus increasing the threat to endemic species. Hunters perceived few benefits from JFM, and the new opportunities were largely unused, inaccessible and communal in nature. Suspicions of embezzlement of JFM funds, and high village development contributions were important drivers of continuing hunting. Dissatisfied with JFM, most inactive hunters actually preferred that TANAPA manage the forest instead. Considerable attention to correcting these problems is required before this model of JFM should be scaled up and implemented in the remaining villages surrounding the Kilombero Nature Reserve.