The Social Psychology of Human Wild Lion Conflict Mitigation: Attitudes & Behaviours in Rural Zimbabwe

Jackie Abell, James Bennett, Donna-Lynn Shepherd, Bob Mandinyenya, Courtenay Williams, Rumbi Magwiro

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Background
We apply social psychology to wildlife conservation, using psychological principles to develop and assess a human-wildlife conflict mitigation programme in rural Zimbabwe. It examines the effectiveness of an intervention in redressing attitudes and behaviours to mitigate night-time conflict between rural communities and wild lions, reducing livestock losses to lions and retaliation killings of lions. Sixteen farms based in the Matetsi Conservancy, Zimbabwe, in human-wildlife conflict areas took part.
Methods
Flashing lights were installed on their livestock kraals, matched with 16 ‘hotspot’ homesteads without lights. Numbers of attacks before and after the intervention were recorded. Camera-traps were positioned around each kraal to monitor lion activity. A conservation education programme was delivered to 67 children living in the area. Attitudes before and after the intervention were recorded using the Attitudes to Conservation and the Environment (ACE) questionnaire. The ACE comprises 20 items to measure sub-Saharan African children’s attitudes to their environment and to problem animals. Participants rated items from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Behaviours monitored through self-report. Incidences of lion attacks on livestock recorded using diaries kept by farmers before and after the intervention.
Findings
Incidences on livestock significantly reduced in lit farms but unchanged on unlit. Attitudes to lions were 3.7 before, 4.0 immediately afterwards and 4.1, 3 months later with the difference between pre and delayed post approaching significance (p=.086). Self-reported behaviours noted improved husbandry practices.
Discussion
We conclude a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating social psychology is vital to address the human-side of wildlife conservation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 1 May 2017
EventBritish Psychological Society: Social Psychology Section Annual Conference - College Court Conference Centre, Leicester, United Kingdom
Duration: 31 Aug 20171 Sep 2017
https://www.bps.org.uk/events/conferences/social-psychology-section-annual-conference-2017

Conference

ConferenceBritish Psychological Society: Social Psychology Section Annual Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLeicester
Period31/08/171/09/17
Internet address

Fingerprint

Lions
Zimbabwe
Social Psychology
psychology
Panthera leo
Livestock
livestock
human-wildlife relations
wildlife management
rural programs
Light
farms
rural communities
Rural Population
education programs
cameras
Self Report
Conflict (Psychology)
questionnaires
traps

Keywords

  • human wildlife conflict mitigation
  • Zimbabwe
  • Matetsi safari area
  • lighting system
  • hotspot
  • conservation education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Abell, J., Bennett, J., Shepherd, D-L., Mandinyenya, B., Williams, C., & Magwiro, R. (2017). The Social Psychology of Human Wild Lion Conflict Mitigation: Attitudes & Behaviours in Rural Zimbabwe. Abstract from British Psychological Society: Social Psychology Section Annual Conference, Leicester, United Kingdom.

The Social Psychology of Human Wild Lion Conflict Mitigation: Attitudes & Behaviours in Rural Zimbabwe. / Abell, Jackie; Bennett, James; Shepherd, Donna-Lynn; Mandinyenya, Bob; Williams, Courtenay; Magwiro, Rumbi.

2017. Abstract from British Psychological Society: Social Psychology Section Annual Conference, Leicester, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abell, J, Bennett, J, Shepherd, D-L, Mandinyenya, B, Williams, C & Magwiro, R 2017, 'The Social Psychology of Human Wild Lion Conflict Mitigation: Attitudes & Behaviours in Rural Zimbabwe' British Psychological Society: Social Psychology Section Annual Conference, Leicester, United Kingdom, 31/08/17 - 1/09/17, .
Abell J, Bennett J, Shepherd D-L, Mandinyenya B, Williams C, Magwiro R. The Social Psychology of Human Wild Lion Conflict Mitigation: Attitudes & Behaviours in Rural Zimbabwe. 2017. Abstract from British Psychological Society: Social Psychology Section Annual Conference, Leicester, United Kingdom.
Abell, Jackie ; Bennett, James ; Shepherd, Donna-Lynn ; Mandinyenya, Bob ; Williams, Courtenay ; Magwiro, Rumbi. / The Social Psychology of Human Wild Lion Conflict Mitigation: Attitudes & Behaviours in Rural Zimbabwe. Abstract from British Psychological Society: Social Psychology Section Annual Conference, Leicester, United Kingdom.
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N2 - BackgroundWe apply social psychology to wildlife conservation, using psychological principles to develop and assess a human-wildlife conflict mitigation programme in rural Zimbabwe. It examines the effectiveness of an intervention in redressing attitudes and behaviours to mitigate night-time conflict between rural communities and wild lions, reducing livestock losses to lions and retaliation killings of lions. Sixteen farms based in the Matetsi Conservancy, Zimbabwe, in human-wildlife conflict areas took part. Methods Flashing lights were installed on their livestock kraals, matched with 16 ‘hotspot’ homesteads without lights. Numbers of attacks before and after the intervention were recorded. Camera-traps were positioned around each kraal to monitor lion activity. A conservation education programme was delivered to 67 children living in the area. Attitudes before and after the intervention were recorded using the Attitudes to Conservation and the Environment (ACE) questionnaire. The ACE comprises 20 items to measure sub-Saharan African children’s attitudes to their environment and to problem animals. Participants rated items from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Behaviours monitored through self-report. Incidences of lion attacks on livestock recorded using diaries kept by farmers before and after the intervention. FindingsIncidences on livestock significantly reduced in lit farms but unchanged on unlit. Attitudes to lions were 3.7 before, 4.0 immediately afterwards and 4.1, 3 months later with the difference between pre and delayed post approaching significance (p=.086). Self-reported behaviours noted improved husbandry practices. DiscussionWe conclude a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating social psychology is vital to address the human-side of wildlife conservation.

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