Primates on the farm – spatial patterns of human–wildlife conflict in forest-agricultural landscape mosaic in Taita Hills, Kenya

Mika Siljander, Toini Kuronen, Tino Johansson, Martha Nzisa Munyao, Petri K.E. Pellikka
2020 Applied Geography  
A B S T R A C T Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is a growing concern for local communities living in the vicinity of protected areas. These conflicts commonly take place as attack by wild animals and crop-raiding events, among other forms. We studied crop-raiding patterns by non-human primates in forest-agricultural landscape mosaic in the Taita Hills, southeast Kenya. The study applies both qualitative and quantitative methods. Semi-structured questionnaire was used in the primary data
more » ... from the households, and statistical tests were performed. We used applied geospatial methods to reveal spatial patterns of crop-raiding by primates and preventive actions by farmers. The results indicate most of the farms experienced crop-raiding on a weekly basis. Blue monkey (Cercopithecus mitis) was the worst crop-raiding species and could be found in habitats covered by different land use/land cover types. Vervet monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) and galagos crop-raided farms in areas with abundant tree canopy cover. Only few baboons (Papio cynocephalus) were reported to raid crops in the area. Results also show that the closer a farm is to the forest boundary and the less neighbouring farms there are between the farm and the forest, the more vulnerable it is for crop-raiding by blue monkeys, but not by any other studied primate species. The study could not show that a specific type of food crop in a farm or type of land use/ land cover inside the wildlife corridor between the farmland and the forest boundary explain households' vulnerability to crop-raiding by primates. Preventive actions against crop-raiding by farmers where taken all around the studied area in various forms. Most of the studied households rely on subsistence farming as their main livelihood and therefore crop-raiding by primates is a serious threat to their food security in the area.
doi:10.1016/j.apgeog.2020.102185 fatcat:z2254ljr2rftxltzkvalglsrbe