The impact of crop raiding by wild animals in communities surrounding the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

The impact of crop raiding by wild animals in communities surrounding the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Crop damage is a serious source of conflict in communities adjacent to protected areas. Data on crop raiding were collected through questionnaires in villages at different distances from the Serengeti National Park in northern Tanzania. Multiple response analyses were used to calculate the frequencies of the types of crops damaged, the levels of crops growth when damaged and the estimated economic losses caused per household. The results indicate that crop raiding differed significantly on farms along a distance gradient from the protected area. Baboons were reported to be the most destructive wild animals, followed by elephants, which were destructive especially in the villages located near the protected area. Wild animals caused significant economic losses for households. We recommend further studies on the crop yield gap caused by crop-raiding wild animals and human-primate conflict in communities around protected areas. For effective protection of crops from wild animals, we recommend that local communities adopt a combination of methods to reduce the levels of crop raiding.

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