Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Wildlife and Fisheries Biology
Shari L Rodriguez
Local people living near protected areas are often dependent on these areas for livestock grazing and forest product collection, and therefore may face conflict with predators. The direct impacts of predator conflict (i.e., injury/death of livestock/humans) have been widely researched, however, it is the indirect impacts (e.g., fear, stress, sleep deprivation, increased disease vulnerability, family dynamics, and time/effort of pursuing compensation), that have received little attention on general. Further, within human-wildlife conflict (HWC) literature there seems to be an underlying assumption that research participants are able to correctly identify the wildlife species that they are reporting caused both direct and indirect impacts. To address knowledge, attitudes, and indirect impacts of human-predator conflict (HPC) as well as predator identification ability, we interviewed people in 54 villages near Kanha National Park (KNP), India (n= 437). We used participants’ overall knowledge of, and overall attitudes towards tigers, and aggregate indirect impacts experienced from HPC as dependent variables in linear regression models to find the sociodemographic factors that influence knowledge, attitudes, and impacts. Similarly, we used the sociodemographic variables to predict participant’s ability to identify photographs of 9 predator species found in KNP in logistic regression models. Our results showed that all participants experienced at least 1 indirect impact, with female and younger participants more likely to experience indirect impacts and to have lower levels of knowledge about tigers than others. Attitudes towards tigers were positive, overall, despite indication of impacts from HPC in our sample and study area. Sloth bears, followed by tigers and leopards, were most likely to be identified correctly by participants, and jackals were least likely to be identified correctly. Overall, we conclude that educational programs aimed at certain sociodemographic groups could be implemented to fill knowledge gaps and correct misconceptions, thereby improving attitudes. Further research should be done to determine the resources required for mitigation of indirect impacts of HPC on local people.
Dotson, Diane Helene, "There’s More to the Story: Shedding Light on Conflict Species Identification and the Unknown Impacts of Conflict with Predators" (2019). All Theses. 3247.