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Barlow, Maria, 2012. Rural and urban attitudes towards wildlife : a comparison within Kenya and with Sweden. First cycle, G2E. Skara: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health



Conflicts between man and animal have existed and persisted for a very long time. The most common sources of conflict are predation and destruction of crops, as well as land, caused by wild animals. Studies have shown that the most usual causes influencing attitudes are profession, previous experiences, proximity to wildlife (i.e. where you live) and if you own any animals such as livestock and pets. In this study we compare attitudes between two groups of people with socio-demographic differences in Kenya. One group consists of rural residents of the Maasai tribe, who are pastoralists and keep livestock and/or farmland for a living. These Maasai live in community-based conservancies, which gives the local residents some income by wildlife and wildlife-related tourism. The other group consists of urban residents who work as bankers, opticians and mechanics etc. in the city of Mombasa. This last group have no contact with wild animals in their everyday life while the Maasai live close to the wildlife and usually come in contact with them on a daily basis. This study also compares the attitudes reflected in the interviews between these two groups of people with the prevailing attitudes of Swedish residents concerning the persisting wolf conflict there.

This study reveals that even though all of the rural respondents had personal experiences from predation and/or destruction of crops and farmland they were all positive towards the wildlife in the area. They all acknowledged that there were problems with wildlife but that the benefits received from them in form of money, employment and education were of greater importance than the negative ones. The majority of the urban respondents reflected on wildlife in a positive manner. However, they were of a different opinion as to why they regarded wild animals as something positive than the Maasai were. Their responses were emotionally stressed as they talked about the animals as “beautiful creatures” rather than sources of money.

Studies in Sweden show that attitudes towards wolves shift with distance from their territories; the closer people live to a wolf territory the more negative the residents seem to be towards the animal. This means that it is mostly rural residents who hold negative attitudes towards the wolf in Sweden. But what would happen if the Swedish government would implement benefit systems in accordance to the ones in the Maasai communities studied in this thesis? Would the attitudes shift and become more positive towards the animal in similarity to the Maasai communities?

Main title:Rural and urban attitudes towards wildlife
Subtitle:a comparison within Kenya and with Sweden
Authors:Barlow, Maria
Supervisor:Jung, Jens
Examiner:Andersson, Maria
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:426
Year of Publication:2012
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK002 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme 180 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Keywords:attitudes, wildlife, wild animals, urban, rural, kenya, africa, conflict, wold, sweden
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal ecology
Animal physiology - Growth and development
Deposited On:02 Oct 2012 10:01
Metadata Last Modified:02 Oct 2012 10:01

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