Landuse practices interface:Human-Wildlife conflict in Lupande game management area

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Ngoma, Peter
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Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) has become a serious threat to the survival of many endangered species in the world. The sighted examples from different countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zanzibar, Namibia, China and Peru demonstrate the severity of the conflict and suggest that greater in depth analysis of the conflict is needed in order to avoid overlooking the problem and undermining the conservation of threatened and potentially endangered species. Lupande Game Management Area (LGMA) in Mambwe District has not been left out in this conflict which has come up as a result of competition for resources between humans and wild animals. The study objectives were to identify the current landuses in LGMA, to show the extent of landuse problems in LGMA, to assess the problems related to HWC and to develop management options for LGMA. The study used a combination of primary and secondary data sources. Secondary data were obtained from archival sources such as maps and recorded Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) and Community Resource Board (CRB) documents. Primary data were obtained using interview schedule for collection of information on landuse activities. Key informants included Chiefs, Area Warden, Council Secretary, and CRB chairpersons. Descriptive Statistics comprising frequencies, percentages and means, were used to analyze responses from interview guides and interview schedule. Quantitative data were analyzed using inferential Statistics. The study identified the current landuses in LGMA as, Safari hunting, agriculture, human settlement, and forestry. It also showed the extent of landuse problems as being deep rooted with crop damage standing at 60 percent and the number of reports received by ZAWA and Chiefs being on the increase. For example in 2006 and 2007, Chief Kakumbi received 207 and 1000 reports on crop damage respectively, whereas Chief Msoro received 474 and 780 reports in the same years. The study also revealed the problems related to HWC in LGMA as being crop damage, lack of land for cultivation, regulation by ZAWA, and lack of compensation schemes. The Study identified possible management options for LGMA. These were broken into preventive strategies which Included provisions of chilli fences, voluntary human (iii) resettlement, and mitigation strategies which included wildlife translocation, Community Based Natural Resource Management Schemes (CBNRMS) and regulated harvest. The study concluded by identifying cultivation as one of the major landuses which is mostly in conflict with wild animals. The study also revealed that more settlements have been established due to the increase in human population. Wildlife population was equally identified to have been on the increase both within and outside the park. The study brought out the issue of compensation scheme as being emotive as at the moment, there is no mechanism for resolving the issue of compensation. The study also provides practical recommendations for HWC interventions. These include among others, use of Chilli fences, voluntary human population resettlements, lethal PAC, conservation education for local communities, better definitions and prediction of hot spots, data collection and evaluation of their impact to mention but a few.
Wildlife Conservation , Preservation of Wildlife , Human-wildlife conflict