Skip to main content

Perceptions of challenges to subsistence agriculture, and crop foraging by wildlife and chimpanzees Pan troglodytes verus in unprotected areas in Sierra Leone

Garriga, Rosa M., Marco, Ignasi, Casas-Díaz, Encarna, Amarasekaran, Bala, Humle, Tatyana (2018) Perceptions of challenges to subsistence agriculture, and crop foraging by wildlife and chimpanzees Pan troglodytes verus in unprotected areas in Sierra Leone. Oryx, 53 (4). pp. 761-774. ISSN 0030-6053. (doi:10.1017/S0030605316001319)

PDF - Author's Accepted Manuscript
Download (863kB) Preview
[img]
Preview
Official URL
https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0030605316001319

Abstract

The 2009–2010 Sierra Leone National Chimpanzee Census Project estimated there was a population of 5,580 chimpanzees Pan troglodytes verus distributed across the country, with > 50% occurring outside protected areas. The census also highlighted the significance of competition between people and chimpanzees for resources in areas dominated by farming activities where wild chimpanzees forage on crops. We selected four study areas in two districts in Sierra Leone with high chimpanzee density in habitats dominated by agriculture, far from any protected areas. Our objectives were to assess farmers’ perceptions of the main challenges to their agricultural yields, and the wildlife involved in crop foraging, and their perceptions of chimpanzees in particular, as well as the main crop protection measures used. We conducted 257 semi-structured interviews with local farmers across the four study areas. We found that (1) farmers reported wild animals as the main challenge to their agricultural practices; (2) most complaints concerned cane rats Thryonomys swinderianus, which targeted almost all crop types, especially rice and cassava; (3) chimpanzees reportedly targeted 21 of the 23 crop types cultivated, but did so less often than cane rats, focusing particularly on oil palm, cassava and domestic fruits; (4) overall, chimpanzees were not among the top three most destructive animals reported; (5) chimpanzees were generally perceived as being more destructive than dangerous and as having declined since before the civil war; and (6) the main crop protection measure employed was fencing interspersed with traps. Our findings show the importance of investigating farmers’ perceptions to inform the development of appropriate conservation strategies aimed at promoting coexistence of people and wildlife in degraded landscapes.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/S0030605316001319
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Tatyana Humle
Date Deposited: 16 May 2017 14:57 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 19:03 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/61748 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Humle, Tatyana: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1919-631X
  • Depositors only (login required):

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year