Conservation Challenge: Human-Herbivore Conflict in Sodo Community Managed Conservation Forest, Wolaita Sodo Zuriya District, Southern Ethiopia

Yigrem Kebede, Wondimagegnehu Tekalign, Hailu Menale


Human-Herbivore Conflict study was carried out in Sodo Community Managed Conservation Forest, Southern Ethiopia, from December 2014 to June 2015. The rationale was to identify the type of human-herbivore conflicts and the responsible wild animals for the conflict, to find out the extent of damage, and to provide a better understanding on the causes of human-wildlife conflict in the area. Three of the seven adjacent Kebeles were selected purposefully based on the information gathered using the ground survey, the distance from the forest and problems related to crop damage. From the selected Kebeles eight sample areas or villages were chosen to collect data on human-wildlife conflict. Data were collected using questionnaire interview, direct observation and focus group discussion. The most responsible identified wild animals for the conflict are Olive baboon (Papio anubis), vervet monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops), porcupine (Hystrix cristata), bush pig (Potamochoerus procus), duikers (Sylvicapra grimmia), Giant mole rat (Tachyoryctes macrocephalus), bush buck (Tragelaphus scriptus). Crop damage, livestock killing, human disruption and property destruction are the major troubles in the area. The majority (84.2%) of the respondents are suffering from crop damage. 59.71 % of the respondents had negative attitude towards the problem posing animals. Most raided crops were maize, bean, sweet potato and teff. Guarding, chasing, fencing, scarecrow and smoking were used for defending crops. Thus, encouraging local communities to grow unpalatable crops to wild animals, cooperative guard of their crop and changing their means of farming to cash crops like coffee, chat and livestock raring can reduce the challenges associated with the wild animals.

Keywords: Conflict, Community Managed, Conservation Forest, Crop Loss, Herbivore Pests.

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