People & Wildlife Interactions

Although elephants look like gentle giants, living with elephants

Samantha
Garvin
Kroon 319
11:05am
Although elephants look like gentle giants, living with elephants is no small task. Elephants can cause injury to people and damage to property. In Chobe District, Botswana, where there are more elephants than people, these interactions occur with great frequency. These interactions can erode tolerance of elephants and broader conservation goals over time. Chobe is undergoing rapid changes; development is putting pressure on wildlife movements throughout townships. With these changes, identifying ways for species to live together will be crucial to maintaining elephant population viability and human safety. This study utilizes semi-structured interviews and discourse analysis techniques to look across all of these sectors at the various institutions and local perspectives of the problems with human-elephant conflict. How the actors perceive the problems of living with elephants influences what kinds of solutions are proposed and carried out. Most participants see the problem as biophysical, a consequence of overlapping human and elephant habitat. A small proportion sees the relationships and motives of different actors as influencing the problem. Other participants identified issues with how decisions are made and carried out. This analysis argues for reconstructing a social context and decision process to identify common goals and work towards coexistence.

This study investigates the interaction between chimpanzees

Kira
McCall
Kroon 319
11:05am
This study investigates the interaction between chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) and humans in and around Nyungwe Forest National Park (NNP), Rwanda, and the social, economic, and biotic consequences of this interaction. The focus is specifically on crop raiding and the factors that may increase crop raiding severity, such as seasonality, buffer zone type and width between the forest and village, crops grown, distance of farm from forested area and buffer zone, and vigilance. These factors were measured using surveys of subsistence farmers outside the park, two years of chimpanzee ranging data, and park and buffer zone maps. This study also explores the difference in gut parasite load between the two chimpanzee groups that reside in this forest, and aims to understand the effects of crop raiding on chimpanzee health. Data shows that certain factors, such as buffer zone type, seasonality, and distance from forested area are statistical predictors of high crop raiding incidence by chimpanzees. In addition, fecal parasite analysis, showed that the group exiting the park to raid more frequently had lower incidence of internal gut parasites.