Human Wildlife Conflict in Relation to Human Security in the Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe
AbstractAn investigation on the impacts of human-wildlife conflict on human security was carried out in three randomly selected communities adjacent to Gonarezhou National Park between 2019 and 2020. The study aimed to establish the impacts of human wildlife conflict on human security, to ascertain the nature of problems or conflicts between people and wildlife, and to identify the wildlife species that are regarded as problematic by local villagers. The research employed a quantitative approach and data was collected using closed questionnaires. The target population of the study were sixty households from the three communities under study and a sample of sixty respondents all completed the questionnaires. One Way Single Factor Analysis of Variance and multiple t tests were conducted on variables under study namely human wildlife conflict experience, nature of experience, frequency of encounters, and dominant PAs. Results showed significant differences (p = 0.00058-human wildlife conflict experience, p = 0.006- nature of experience, p = 0.04027- frequency of attacks.). For attacks with highest frequency, crop damage and livestock attacks were dominant in the Northern and Central community whilst isolated cases of crop damage were recorded in the Northern community which was the control due to its privately owned plots which are protected by electric fences to deter wildlife. The lion was the dominant PA in the Central community whist the elephant was dominant in the Northern community, with the Southern community registering only seven cases of crop attacks by lions. Chi square tests were also conducted to test for relationships between gender and Human-wildlife conflict experience as well as between frequency of encounters and community. The results proved that there was no relationship between gender and human wildlife conflict experience (P chisq = 0.427. Therewas a strong relationship between community and frequency of encounters (P chisq = 13.85) concluding that human wildlife conflict had negative impacts on human security.
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