There are several livelihood improvement and natural resource management campaigns being undertaken in Ethiopia. In Cheha Woreda District of Guraghe Zone, a research team from the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Holetta Research Center, is undertaking a watershed-level intervention to improve sustainable land management practices among resident agrarian families. In 2011, a household survey was conducted to assess farmers’ perceptions of human–wildlife conflicts (HWC) and the effects of these conflicts on land management in Cheha Woreda. One-hundred randomly selected households in the Cheha Woreda were asked to identify any wild or domestic animals that cause damage to their crops. Additionally, respondents were asked to gauge the extent of the damages; the direct and indirect social, economic, and environmental impacts; and the overall trends in the area’s wildlife populations. In addition to the household survey, 3 focus group discussions were held to capture farmers’ perceptions. The findings show that Grivet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops), crested porcupines (Hystrix cristata), baboons (Papio spp.), antelopes (Gazella spp.), warthogs (Phacochoerus sp.), and wild pigs (Sus sp.) were the major crop raiders in the area, while spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), foxes (Vulpes sp.), eagles (Accipitridae) and Ethiopian ratels or honey badgers (Mellivora capensis) were the most common livestock predators. More than 90% of the households reported that they faced damages to their property by these species. Additionally, about 55% of the respondents reported a high severity of crop damage, with monkeys alleged to be the greatest culprits. Respondents perceived that HWC have resulted in significant vegetation removal, shifts in crop production, food shortages, and poverty in the study area. Eighty-eight percent of farmers reported believing that wild animals significantly contributed to the shortages of food for their family. The farmers were aware of several locally used management options, which they suggested could be used to reduce the negative impacts of the conflicts. We conclude that HWC and farmers’ perceptions of HWC in the Cheha Woreda have had and continue to have significant impacts on the social, economic, and environmental well-being of the area. Hence, different management options must be adopted to mediate the effects and minimize future conflicts.
Mojo, Dagne; Rothschuh, Jessica; and Alebachew, Mehari
"Farmers’ perceptions of the impacts of human– wildlife conflict on their livelihood and natural resource management efforts in Cheha Woreda of Guraghe Zone, Ethiopia,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 8
, Article 7.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol8/iss1/7