USING PARTICIPATORY MAPPING TO UNDERSTAND HUMAN-CARNIVORE CONFLICT IN A SEVERELY FRAGMENTED LANDSCAPE
Christine E Wilkinson; UC Berkeley; 127 Mulford Hall, Berkeley, CA, 94720; christine.wilkinson@berkeley.edu; Louise P. Fortmann, Justin S. Brashares
Human-wildlife conflict is a global issue, which has complex causes and dynamics. The communities experiencing conflict are those most able to describe their experiences and most likely to present adequate solutions. In the Kenyan Rift Valley, rapid development and subdivision has isolated many protected areas, restricting corridors and resulting in a dramatic increase in human-carnivore conflict. To better understand how people adjacent to two severely ecologically isolated protected areas perceive human-carnivore conflict, risks from wildlife, and solutions, we conducted gender-stratified participatory mapping sessions with 383 people in 17 villages in Nakuru County, Kenya. We developed a simple yet novel method of associating interview response and demographic data with spatial data while maintaining anonymity. These methods allowed for authentic discussion among the participants, as well as the production of highly localized spatial information to be used for research and management. In the future, we will incorporate these participatory mapping data with compiled data on livestock attacks, camera trap data on large carnivore fence crossings, and GPS collar data from carnivores highly implicated in conflict. We recommend integrating the spatially explicit experiences of local communities with other sources of data by adapting these methods for use in many research and management contexts.
Ecology and Conservation of Amphibians and Reptiles I   Student Paper