Human-Wildlife Conflict in Lake Nakuru National Park. Impacts to the Surrounding Communities

Bachelor Thesis, 2018

106 Pages, Grade: 89.7









1.0 Introduction
1.1 Background information
1.2 Statement of the problem
1.3 Purpose of the study
1.4 Study objectives
1.5 Research questions
1.6 Significance of the study
1.7 Limitations
1.8 Delimitation
1.9 Assumptions

2.0 Introduction
2.1 The degree of impacts by different species of wildlife
2.2 Human wildlife conflict hotspots
2.3 Degree of impacts on lives of adjacent communities
i) Loss of life
ii) Disease transmission
iii) Injuries to people and wildlife
iv) Livestock predation
2.4 Influence of population increase in human wildlife conflict
2.5 Response and mitigation measures
2.6 Conceptual Framework
2.7 Summary of Gaps from the reviewed literature

3.0 Introduction
3.1 Research Design
3.2 Target population
Population Table
3.3 Sample size and sampling procedures
Sampling Table
3.4 Data collection procedures
3.5 Data collection instruments
3.6 Validity
3.7 Reliability
3.8 Data analysis
3.9 Ethical considerations

4.0 Introduction
4.1 Questionnaire return rate
Table 4.1 Response rate
4.2 Findings and Discussions
4.3 Demographics characteristics of the respondents
4.4 Gender of the respondents
Table 4.2 Gender representation
4.5 Age of the respondents
Table 4.3 Age of respondents
4.6 Occupation of respondents
Table 4.4 Occupation of respondents
4.7 Wildlife visitation to locals’ residences
Table 4.5 Wildlife visitation to locals’ residences
4.8 The most problematic wildlife that greatly contributes to Human wildlife conflict to the surrounding communities
Table 4.6 Most problematic animal and the frequency of its conflict
4.9 Human wildlife conflict hotspots around Lake Nakuru National park as a tool to reducing HWC
Table 4.7 Conflict hotspots
4.10 Reporting of wildlife conflicts by Respondents
Table 4.8 Reporting of wildlife conflicts
4.11 The extent /degree of impacts of human wildlife conflict in Lake Nakuru national park on lives of the surrounding communities
Table 4.9 Gender in Human wildlife conflict
4.12 Damages caused by wildlife
Table 4.10 Damages caused by wildlife
4.13 Influence of human population increase as a factor to human wildlife conflict in the surroundings of Lake Nakuru National park
Table 4.11 influence of human population in human wildlife conflict
4.14 Response and mitigation measures in management of human wildlife-conflict
Table 4.12 Response and mitigation measures

5.0 Introduction
5.1 General Summary
5.2 Summary of Findings
5.3 Demographics of respondents (gender, age and occupation)
5.4 The most problematic wildlife species
5.5 Human wildlife conflict hotspots around Lake Nakuru National Park
5.6 Degree of HWC impacts on the lives of the locals surrounding LNNP
5.7 Human population increase as a factor in fueling HWC in LNNP
5.8 Current response and mitigation measures by Kenya wildlife service
5.9 Implications of the research findings
5.10 Conclusion
5.11 Recommendations
5.12 Suggested areas for further research
Reference List
5.13 Appendix 1: Introduction letter to Respondents
5.14 Appendix 2: Community respondents’ questionnaire
5.16 Appendix 4: Questionnaire


This work is dedicated to my parents, Mr. Caleb Ojwang and Dorice Ojwang who were a great source of support and inspiration during my entire study. My sincere gratitude to my brothers and sisters who proved to be very patient cheer leaders in the race to the realization of every successful step I made in my studies.


It is with great pleasure and humulity to acknowledge and thank every person for the enormous effort put into the succesful completion of this study.

First and foremost, my most sincere gratitude to my Project Lecturer and Supervisor Dr. Christine Mutua, I’m forever grateful for your exemplary guidance, monitoring and positive critics that led to a standard research paper. You constantly and patiently dedicated your time, intellectual contribution and professional guidance to ensure that quality work is accomplished and documented. This far, I say thank you. To Dr.Mary Mutungi who introduced me to research methods and planning, many thanks to you.

Secondly to my colleagues, particularly Mr. Mogaka Sagwe who constantly encouraged me and availed necessary resouces in compiling this report and keeping me alert and focused on the task of reading. Thank you so much. To Mr. Robison Njuki, thank you for your in depth positive critiques in the development of my questionaires which improved the quality of this report. Finally to Mr. Clement Ngugi for your assistance in ensuring that I gathered credible data in the field, through guidance and provididng in depth and relevant information. To all the respondents, I want to thank you in a special way. Without you this study would not have been possible.


Table 1.0: Population tabe

Table 2.0: Sampling table

Table 4.1: Response rate

Table 4.2: Gender representation

Table 4.3: Age of respondents

Table 4.4: Occupationof Respondents

Table 4.5: Wildlife visitation to locals’ residences

Table 4.6: Most problematic animal and the frequenc of its visits

Table 4.7: Conflict hotspots

Table 4.8: Reporting of conflicts

Table 4.9: Gender in Human wildlife conflict

Table 4.10: Reporting of wildlife by residents

Table 4.11: Influence of human population in HWC

Table 4.12: Damages caused by wildlife

Table 4.13: Response and mitigation measures


KWS: Kenya Wildlife Service

HWC: Human Wildlife Conflict

LNNP: Lake Nakuru National Park

WWF: World Wide Fund

FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization

IUCN: International Union for Conservation of Nature


Human-Wildlife Conflict has become a serious problem in different parts of the world with adverse impacts on lives of the local people. This has been attributed to a number of factors including the fact that human population increases but the resources available are fixed. In addition, conflicts occur because every individual in those areas aims at fulfilling basic needs using the resources without caring for others and sometimes not even for the future generations. Close to the protected areas for instance, the problem is very serious with the local communities’ interaction with wildlife creating negative impacts to both sides. Destruction of property, transmision of diseases, deaths, attacks and injuries are some of the impacts associated with HWC in such areas. In each of these impacts, most often local communities reataliate by killing the wildlife because of the feeling that wildlife have no benefit to them but rather the root cause of their problems. Such perceptions pose serious threats and derail the conservation efforts, risking both the lives of the locals and the wildlife alike. This thus demands for drastic steps to come up with amicable solutions to this problem of human wildlife conflict. The purpose of this research was therefore to study on the impacts of human wildlife conflict in the surrounding communities of Lake nakuru national park. To fulfill the intention of this research, the objectives were:- To investigate the impacts of human wildlife in Lake Nakuru national park and the surrounding communities, To determine the relationship between wildlife and the surrounding communities in LNNP and the available conflict reporting procedures by KWS, To examine the influence between human population increase adjacent to the park and human wildlife conflict in LNNP, To establish how the current response and mitigation measures by KWS influences human wildlife conflict in LNNP, To establish how the current response and mitigation measures by KWS influences human wildlife conflict in LNNP. To achieve the above objectives, the study adopted the empirical evidence for the analyses and presentation of data. In quantitative techniques, the analyses were supported by the use of statistical package for social science, proportions, percentages and averages to arrive at a general picture for the generation of conclusion. Qualitative data from questionnaires and active observation of some wildlife for instance baboon’s and monkey behavior, and other evidences were analyzed thematically employed into the computation of statistical tables, bar graphs as well as charts. The target population of the study was 925 households from urban villages closer to the park who are mostly affected by the human animal conflict. The study used a sample size of 270 respondents out of which 236 out of the total 270 questionnaires were filled and returned. The findings were presented in form of tables, charts and graphs. The study specifically addressed the set research objectives. A number of findings were revealed, for instance, baboons were established to be the most problematic wildlife with frequent negative impacts on locals, the conflict affected more females than males, Locals retaliated by killing of the straying wildlife, mitigation measures put by KWS were not adequate for example weak compensation policies that their existence were not available to the locals thus the escalation of the conflict, human population increase directly influenced HWC through competition for land, expansion of town centres, and violence from surrounding areas. The impacts ranged from destruction of property, to injuries and attacks, deaths, and threat to wildlife species due killings. Recommendations were thus provided to government to review the wildlfe policies, increase awareness and increse collaboration with the locals and adopt the new technology with a view to contain the conflict.


1.0 Introduction

Conflicts between humans and wildlife have occurred since the dawn of humanity. Human–wildlife conflicts have occurred throughout man's pre-history and recorded history. Amongst the early forms of human-wildlife conflict is the predation of the ancestors of pre-historic man by a number of predators of the Miocene such as saber-toothed cats, leopards, spotted hyenas amongst others, (Wikipedia). According to the fossil remains of early hominids, there is evidence of predation for instance, the Taung Child which is a fossilized skull of a young Australopithecus africanus, is thought to have been killed by an eagle from the distinct marks on its skull and the fossil having been found amongst egg shells and remains of small animals (Berger, 2006).

Human-wildlife conflict occur on all continents, in developed as well as developing countries, yet the problems vary according to the particular environment and people’s way of life, (FAO,2009). According to African wildlife foundation, conflicts between humans and wild animals occur when either the need or behavior of wildlife impact negatively on human livelihoods or when the humans pursue goals that impact negatively on the needs of wildlife. As human population expand and natural habitats shrink, people and animals are increasingly coming into conflict over living space and food. The impacts are often huge. People lose their crops, livestock, property, and sometimes their lives. The animals, many of which are already threatened or endangered, are killed in retaliation or to 'prevent' future conflicts. Human-wildlife conflict is thus one of the main threats to the continued survival of many species and causing several deaths in many parts of the world (WWF, 2003). From Baboons in Namibia and Kenya attacking young cattle, women and children, to one-horned Rhino in Nepal (Asia) destroying crops, to European bears and wolves killing livestock in countries of Europe, to Rocky mountain’s ELK attacking people in the US (North America), to Jaguars predating on livestock in Brazil (South America) and attacks by Australian Magpies on humans –the problem is universal, (Ladan, 2014). Noting the above mentioned threats of human-wildlife conflict, this study seeks to examine the impacts of human-wildlife conflicts in Lake Nakuru National park to the surrounding communities .

1.1 Background information

Since time immemorial, human beings have lived peacefully with animals. Animals were often regarded to be another kind of “people”, or as “spirit beings”, who could be appealed to for help and protection. Rituals were commonly performed to show respect, gratitude and reverence for the animal-spirits, with the hope of promoting continued hunting success (Orland, 2008). The relationship between human beings and animals was thus that of interdependency. However, this was not without the inter-conflict as other scholars argue. Man-animal conflict has been in existence for as long as humans have existed and wild animals and people have shared the same landscapes and resources (Lamarque et al., 2008). Human beings have however proved themselves unique among animal species in that they survive and reproduce in a wide variety of environments through cultural adaptations (Richerson et al. 1996). In contrast, other species are primarily able to survive and reproduce due to biological adaptations that result from natural selection and biological evolution.

The sustained population growth among humans is thus unparalleled by any other species on the planet. This is the basic cause of human-wildlife conflict which results from the competition for the scarce resources for survival. According to Darwin’s theory of natural selection, the population of a typical species grows until it reaches the carrying capacity of its environment, then levels off or declines. In other words, it grows until it fully utilizes the available resources, such as food and space. At this point mechanisms such as disease and starvation keep the population from continuing to grow. However, this is not the case for humans as they have responded in many ways to lengthen their survival in what Darwin in his book termed as ‘survival of the fittest’. The human’s population growth thus threatens the existence of other animal species as resources continue to decline. The competition for the few resources available hence forms the major cause of human-wildlife conflict (Ogada, 2003)

Today, Human-Wildlife Conflict is a serious problem in different parts of the world (Bradshaw,2007). This is simply because the human population increases but the resources available are fixed. In addition, conflicts occur because every individual in those areas aims at fulfilling basic needs using the resources without caring for others and sometimes not caring even for the future generations (Damania, 2008). Close to the protected areas for instance, the problem is very serious because the local communities’ interaction with wildlife creates negative impacts to both sides. Most often local communities kill wildlife to obtain bush meat for household consumption, and for income generation (Kombo, 2010).

Rapid human population growth is thus driving wildlife population declines in Africa through its influence on expansion of agriculture, settlements and development of infrastructure. Deterioration in wildlife and livestock habitats caused by major land use and cover changes is exacerbated by climate change and variability, piling enormous pressures on pastoralism, ranching and wildlife conservation in African rangelands and protected areas (Ogutu et al, 2016)

In Africa, HWC is a major problem. With lots of wildlife and the people predominantly living in rural areas and many people engaged in primary food production such as farming, nomadic herding, fishing and mining, Africa experiences a higher percentage of HWC globally. It is based on this reasons that human-wildlife conflict is particularly prevalent in the continent. The problem of HWC is particularly common and pronounced in rural and peripheral-urban communities as they are affected all over the continent. According to WWF, leopards still kill sheep within 100km of Cape Town South Africa and lions kill cattle around the outskirts of Nairobi national park in Kenya (WWF, 2007). Human-wildlife conflicts in Africa have historically resulted to loss of human lives which is the most severe manifestation of the conflict. The same report by WWF indicated that, in Tanzania which is a home of world’s largest lion population, lion’s attacks were widespread, for instance between 1990 and 2004 lions killed at least 563 people. In Kenya more than 200 people were killed by elephants from the year 2000 –2007. Crocodiles also a major cause for large number of human deaths in Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia of which many of the deaths go unreported (Ikanda, 2010). It can be observed that large mammalian carnivores are responsible for fatal human attacks on humans and large herbivores such as elephants. Those killed are farmers, fishermen and other people who go to collect fuel wood or water in rivers or streams.

On the Gokwe communal land, situated next to the Sengwa Wildlife Research area in Zimbabwe, 241 livestock were killed by baboons, lions and leopards between January 1993 and June 1996 over a study area of 33 km2, which contributed respectively to 52, 34 and 12 percent of their kill. Their predation techniques are different; baboons attack by day and usually kill small stock such as goats and sheep, while lions and leopards attack at night, and lions kill larger prey such as cattle and donkeys (Butler, 2000, FAO, 2009). Among the four species of crocodiles in Africa (Mecistops cataphractus, Crocodylus niloticus, Crocodylus suchus and Osteolaemus tetraspis) the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is the most common, and the main culprit in attacks on livestock. This large species (with a mass of up to 1 000 kg) lives off aquatic and terrestrial prey species. In the Jukumu Wildlife Management Area in the United Republic of Tanzania, for example, 53 cows were killed and 41 injured by crocodiles in a single year (Baldus, 2005).

Kenya is endowed with an enormous diversity of ecosystems and wildlife species. In particular, it is renowned for its diverse assemblage of large mammals like elephant (Loxodonta africana), black rhino (Diceros bicornis), leopard (Panthera pardus), buffalo (Syncerus cafer) and lion (Panthera leo), numerous species of ungulates (Musimbi, 2013) Kenya’s wildlife is one of the richest and most diversified in Africa. Several of its protected areas and wetlands are internationally recognised and protected as World Heritage Sites, Ramsar Sites (since the Convention on Wetlands was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar) and Man and Biosphere Reserves (Okech, 2010). However, the development of small scale farming in rural areas and the expansion peripheral towns adjacent to parks and reserves due rapid population growth has precipitated human wildlife conflicts through habitat encroachment and resource exploitation (Distefano, 2005). The ballooning population in both urban and peri-urban centers has made the presence of wildlife to be more of a ‘curse’ than ‘a gift’ to the surrounding communities, both pastoralists and farmers. Farms have risen next to forests which have caused extensive wildlife habitat fragmentation, which is worsening the conflicts with wildlife. Reduced resources have an effect on wild prey abundance and distribution, which forces predators to attack livestock population (Ekisa and Okello, 2016)

Lake Nakuru National Park is among the 22 national parks in Kenya. It covers an area of 188 square kilometers and centrally located within the main tourist circuits – Mara and Samburu Circuits at the heart of Nakuru town in Rift valley. Its proximity to Nairobi which is the capital city is 160 km only thus the main entry point for the international visitor. Being a National Park means it‘s a protected area and therefore prohibited for human activities since it is a wildlife protected area. Lake nakuru national park was gazetted in 1968; it has 550 plant species and varied woodlands, Euphorbia and Olea forest, the fauna include Thompsons and Grant‘s gazelle, Columbus monkey, rock hyrax, hippopotamus, leopard, Lion, Rhino, waterbuck, Impala, stripped hyena, Wild cat, reedbuck, Olive baboon, buffalo, endangered Roth’s child giraffe among other species. Like any other protected area, LNNP is faced with the ‘big monster’- human-wildlife conflict. Nakuru town which borders the park to has impacted immense pressure on the park (Musimbi, 2013)

Latest statistics indicate that Nakuru town is the fourth largest town in Kenya supporting a population of over 400,000 people. For the last three decades, the population has been growing at a rate of 10% per annum. To accommodate this population, the town's boundaries have been progressively extended and it presently occupies an area of 290 km2. The urban sprawl has encroached into farmlands, forest and wildlife habitats at the town's periphery, and is a major threat to the future of Lake Nakuru National Park (KWS, 2004)

The communities surrounding LNNP are majorly farmers, both (small and large scale), pastoralists, commercial and private residents, and schools. Despite the fact that LNNP is the third National Park in the country in terms of revenue generation, very little if not nothing goes directly to local communities, and other stakeholders. According to Banrock station, Kenya wildlife service and Ramsar, (2004) report, there is also limited interaction between the park activities and local communities in the parks’ catchment. Should the locals still be expected to appreciate the significance of wildlife even when they are not involved in the activities or perceive to benefit nothing from the national park? This breeds the ‘wildlife belongs to the government’ perception, which only exacerbates the conflict. When local communities feel that both government and conservation stakeholders value wildlife more than their lives, livelihoods or their aspirations, retaliation and opposition to conservation initiatives can be swift and uncompromising. According to Irandu (2003) and Okech, (2010) the local communities living near and around the national parks and game reserves are first to pay the price for wildlife conservation through the destruction of their property, and through death or injuries caused by wild animals. This is especially the case in the big national parks and game reserves in Kenya, LNNP not left out.

There have been very few researches on the human-wildlife conflict in LNNP in the recent past. However previous work such as Musimbi, (2013) and Lydia, (2012) addressed other aspects of the HWC conflict in the context of LNNP. Musimbi (2013) in her works focused on the factors influencing HWC, a case study of LNNP, but did not address the impacts of the HWC itself. Lydia (2012) however attempted to address the HWC in LNNP but focused specifically on the impacts by the Olive baboon (Papio anubis) which leaves the gap on the effects/impacts of other wildlife such as Buffaloes and lions on the same. This study attempts to critically examine the impacts of HWC in LNNP to the surrounding communities.

1.2 Statement of the problem

The frequent attacks by wildlife from Lake Nakuru national park have caused fear and anxiety among the residence and communities surrounding the park. According to (Acharya et al, 2016), injuries and death from wildlife attacks often result in people feeling violent resentment and hostility against the wildlife involved and, therefore, may undermine public support for conservation. The economic losses incurred from farms destroyed, attacks and injuries on men women and children caused by straying baboons (Papio anubis), buffaloes (Syncerus caffer) and vervet monkeys, (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) are precipitating rage, pain and nightmares to surrounding communities of LNNP. Lydia, (2012) established that crop damages has affected both large and small scale farmers around Lake Nakuru National Park, contributing to large economic losses suffered by the local communities who depend on farming for their livelihood. Human attacks, threat, injuries, and property destruction were some of the mostly reported damages according to her study.

Kahenda (2014) reported that human movement is limited and residents walked cautiously because of fear of attack by animals that had become a part of the community. Stray animals had also been blamed for residents’ deaths. She added that a resident of Naka estate, an estate bordering the park conceded that children are locked indoors as a precautionary measure by majority of families to avert attacks.

Njuguna, (2013) reported that Baboons were not the only intruders—they had been joined by Vervet monkeys that often snatched loaves of bread and other foodstuff from children and women. There had been progress in limiting such attacks though; buffaloes from the Delamere Estate had posed a major problem in Elmentaita and Kiambogo Hills while smaller animals such as porcupines, the eland and wild pigs often raided farms near forests, he added. Livestock were a common prey for lions and leopards. Hyenas, civets, genets, wild cats, mongoose and snakes also preyed on domestic animals. He stated that, some of the predators got out of the park through burrows, culverts or from areas where the fence had been vandalized.

Musimbi(2013) contends that, areas surrounding Lake Nakuru National Park have been experiencing human wildlife conflict year after year. According to Kenya wildlife service, 269 cases of human wildlife conflict were reported in the year 2012. The cases reported to Kenya wildlife service community department, Nakuru, were as follows; 7 (seven injuries) caused by Monkey, hippopotamus, baboon, Buffaloes and Snake bites,27 cases of livestock predation of which 80 (eighty), livestock were predated upon, 110 cases of crop destruction by buffaloes, Zebras, hiland and waterbuck, 95 cases of threats/property damage by buffaloes, leopards, Lion and snake (specifically python) and Wildlife mortality of 30 (thirty cases) these mortalities were caused by communities retaliating back by killing wildlife whenever they get to their farms (KWS Nakuru , 2012).

1.3 Purpose of the study

The purpose of this research was to study the impacts of human wildlife conflicts in LNNP to the surrounding communities as a more reliable means of identifying the conflicts hot spots, capturing the unreported cases of conflicts, reducing HWC and a tool to facilitate the compensation process for HWC victims. To achieve the above, this study will thus adopt the empirical evidence for the analyses and presentation of data. In quantitative techniques, the analyses will be supported by the use of statistical package for social science, proportions, percentages and averages to arrive at a general picture for the generation of conclusion. Qualitative data from questionnaires and active observation of some wildlife for instance baboon’s and monkey behavior, feeding areas will be analyzed thematically and will be employed into the computation of statistical tables, bar graphs as well as charts.

1.4 Study objectives

1. To investigate the impacts of human wildlife in Lake Nakuru national park and the surrounding communities.
2. To determine the relationship between wildlife and the surrounding communities in Lake Nakuru national park and the available conflict reporting procedures by KWS.
3. To examine the influence between human population increase adjacent to the park and human wildlife conflict in Lake Nakuru national park.
4. To establish how the current response and mitigation measures by Kenya wildlife service influences human wildlife conflict in Lake Nakuru national park.

1.5 Research questions

1. How does human wildlife conflict impact on Lake Nakuru national park and the surrounding communities?
2. What is the relationship between wildlife and the surrounding communities of Lake Nakuru national park and the available reporting procedures by KWS?
3. To what extent does the population increase adjacent to the park influence human wildlife conflict in LNNP?
4. How do the current response and mitigation measures by KWS influence human wildlife conflict in LNNP?

1.6 Significance of the study

This study will be important to number of different stakeholders. It is specifically important to the following stakeholders for the reasons stated below:

1. The study findings will help Kenya wildlife service as a whole and Lake Nakuru National Park managers to better understand the impacts of human wildlife conflict both on the park and on the surrounding communities.
2. The findings from this study will be a source of reference in the review of KWS strategies for response and mitigation measure to human wildlife conflict and identification of areas of HWC hot spots around the park.
3. To the park community, this study seeks to reduce HWC and change perceptions on wildlife existence from a ‘curse’ to a ‘blessing’. The findings will keep them informed on the conflict between them and wildlife thus finding ways of co-existing with wildlife hence reducing or eliminating the conflict.
4. The government is expected to use the findings of the study through Kenya wildlife service as a tool to facilitate and speed up the compensation process and review the policies governing land issues and natural resource specifically on wildlife issues.
5. This study will also be a source of reference material for future researchers on other related topics; it will help other academicians who undertake the same topic in their study and shall recommend areas for further studies.

1.7 Limitations

Accessing data and information from Kenya wildlife service was clouded with so many unnecessary bureaucracies that derail efforts in accessing the most recent data recorded on human wildlife conflicts.

1.8 Delimitation

This study focused on specifically the communities surrounding the LNNP to a distance of one kilometer (1km) from the park fence around the park. The study covered 7 urban villages (Kivumbini, Manyani, Kiambogo, Lakeview, Mwariki, Lanet , free area and section 58) that are bordering LNNP.

1.9 Assumptions

The study assumed that most of the information provided by the residences and communities surrounding the park, KWS staff and other stakeholders were true or had negligible bias.



2.0 Introduction

This Chapter contains a comprehensive review of past studies about the impacts of human wildlife conflicts. The section also discusses the specific contribution of different species of wildlife in the general subject of human wildlife conflict. It attempts to establish the human wildlife hotspots with a view to come up with specific measures to reduce the impacts and covers the degree/extent of the impacts. The chapter also introduces the aspect of human population increase and examines its influence on the impact of HWC. It finalizes by reviewing how the current response and mitigation measures by different conservation organizations and how their influence on human wildlife conflict in different areas. The chapter is completed with conceptual framework and identified gaps section.

2.1 The degree of impacts by different species of wildlife

Although HWC is a global phenomenon, there are certain differences in its manifestation and magnitude across the developed and developing regions of the world, ( Anand & Radhakrishna, 2017). This is because developed regions of the world exhibit low dependency on forest ecosystems and an exclusionary management approach for wilderness areas. This essentially limits interactions between humans and wildlife to selected areas and consequently, HWC incidences tend to occur only in areas where there is a significant degree of interaction between humans and wildlife (Pack et al 2013), such as urban and suburban areas (Gompper, 2002 as cited in Anand & Radhakrishna, 2017 ). Currently, HWC is a global issue that encompasses a wide range of events that have adverse consequences for both humans and wildlife. With its far-reaching impacts in the domains of species conservation, protected area management and sustainable livelihoods (Bowen-Jones 2012; Dickman 2010), Competition for the scarce resources has been identified as one of the major causes for human wildlife conflict, (Steinfeld et al., 2006) (Musimbi, 2013), (Ikanda, 2010), (Larmarque et al, 2008). According to Irandu (2003), the local communities living near and around the national parks and game reserves are first to pay the price for wildlife conservation through the destruction of their property and through death or injuries caused by wild animals, (Okech, 2010). The continuous decline and fragmentation of ecosystems through increased pressure by human expansion often results in conservation ecosystems that are small, isolated and fenced (Musimbi, 2013, as cited in Bissonette and Adair, 2008). This restricts wildlife populations and can result in local overpopulation of a particular species, resource intra – competition and inter-competition thus overflow of the conflict extending to that of between wildlife and humans amongst other problems (van Aarde and Jackson, 2007). The rise in human-wildlife conflict could evolve into a major crisis if a solution is not immediately found (Ogodo 2003). According to Lebel , Murwira, Mukamuri, Cruzedek, Taylor and Grange,(2011) (Lebel et al., 2011), HWC is in dramatic increase. For example, in Mozambique, HWC cases has been noted in recent years with 265 people killed between July 2006 to September 2008 mostly by crocodile (79%), 1,116 ha destroyed in 2008 mainly by elephant (86%) and hundreds of problem animals killed each year ( Mozambique Ministry of Agriculture 2009, as cited in Lebel et al.,2011).

Further, the wild animals in the parks usually move in and out of neighboring farms and ranches in response to spatial and temporal occurrences in the distribution of fodder and water. The communities affected by carnivores are also forced to bear the indirect costs of preventing attacks to livestock and people live in constant fear of their lives (Roskaft et al. 2003; Loe and Roskaft 2004). Every species of wildlife has its share of impact in HWC, however according to the available information in research sources; there is a clear pin point at specific species of animals while others have not been thoroughly researched.

To date there has been comparatively little systematic research carried out to investigate other animals such as primates, and ungulates, which are often cited as troublesome ‘pests’ in agricultural areas, (Wildlife Conservation Society, 2002) Does this mean that their impacts are negligible or that the degree of impacts by each species of wildlife is directly proportional to its size? The majority of the research that does exist has focused on the issues related to crop damage by elephants and’ rodents’. Unfortunately, much of the information that is available is ‘hidden’ within reports, graphical summaries and papers, and not available in refereed journals, (WCS, 2002) While there are numerous useful and informative reports to be found in local Game Department or Ministry archives it can be very difficult to get hold of such resources unless one can visit in person, (Hill et al., 2002). This hindrance is presented by the unnecessary bureaucracies available in state departments and organizations which hold this information. Therefore, as more people begin to investigate human wildlife conflict at different sites, it is to everyone’s advantage if there is greater sharing of information and expertise, (Hill, Osborne, and Plumptre, 2002)

Although a remarkable variety of species of wildlife cause conflicts with people, from rodents such as prairie dogs to giant herbivores like African elephants (Loxodonta africana), (Mayengo et al, 2017). Large carnivores are of particular interest in this conflict, where by their behavior put them in a direct competition with people for both livestock and wild game species or their ability to kill people (Baldus, 2004; Loe and Roskaft 2004) For instance Elephants are presenting the biggest wildlife-conflict challenge in Kajiado district of Kenya and various methods have been proposed to exclude them from properties. (Ekisa and Okello, 2016) In India, a growing human population is causing conflict with elephants and tigers, with one person being killed each day — leading to over 1,000 deaths over the past three years, according to an article by The Washington Post. The deaths often occur as people are attempting to scare the animals away from villages, or as villagers enter animal territories while searching for land and resources, (Pittman, 2017).

Within the immediate buffer zones of most of protected areas, crop raiding by elephants, bush pigs (Potamochoerus larvatus) and other mammals is persistent problem that constitutes, like in most other regions, a major form of human-wildlife conflict, (Mayengo et al, as cited in Ikanda, 2010). Each year, hundreds of acres are destroyed by crop-raiding elephants, hippopotami (Hippopotamus amphibious), bush pigs and vermin primates like baboons (Papiocynocephalus anubis) and monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) (Ikanda, 2010). In Alberta Canada, over a period of 14 years (1982-1996)wolves (Canis lupus) caused 2,086 deaths among domestic animals, mainly cattle and to a lesser extent dogs, horses (Equus ferus caballus), sheep (Ovis canadensis), chickens(Gallus gallus domesticus), bison (Bos bison), goats (Caprahircus), geese (Branta canadensis) and turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) (Musiani et al. 2003). In Peru, in the Amazon Province of Tambopata, a population of 3200 people live inside the northern border of the 1.5 million ha protected area of the Tambopata –Candamo Reserve claim that the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), hawks (Accipiter spp., Leucopternis spp.), jaguars (Panthera onca) and pumas (Puma concolor) were blamed for causing most of the depredation (Naughton-Treves et al. 2003).

According to Mozambique ministry of agriculture report (2009) among the thirteen species involved in HWC between 2006 and 2010, four species predominated: elephant (39% of the incidents) and crocodile (29%) showed significantly more cases of attacks than hippopotamus and lion with respectively 16% and 10% of HWC records. The remaining species were occasionally involved in HWC with a few cases reported per year. The report further states that during this period 281 reports were generated for a total of 431 people being killed by a wild animal. This represented 25% of HWC incidents (281/1141). The number of people being injured during the same period was less, with 106 reports (9% of HWC incidents) for a total of 169 injured. When grouping people killed and injured as human casualties, the report indicates that the crocodile results in the greatest number of incidents with 61% of them (216), followed by the elephant with 21% (73), hippopotamus with 7% (25) and lion with 5% of the people being killed or injured (17).

The report further explains that between 2006 and 2010, 97 attacks against various domestic animals were recorded: cattle (44%), goat (35%), sheep, donkey, dog and chicken. A total of 807 individual animals were preyed upon, mainly by lion (58%), crocodile (33%) and hyena (4%). Observed differences are highly significant. Almost 25 km² of crop were destroyed between 2006 and 2010 with an average of 11 ± 2 ha per monthly incident reported. A total of 60 ha were destroyed in 2006, 962 ha in2008 followed by 620 ha in 2010. In Kenyan villages, for example according Ladan (2014) argues that, “wildlife like elephants are known to have destroyed people homes, huts storage bins that they come across as they raid villages and farmlands. Elephants also damage infrastructures such as ponds tracks and water installations. Lions and other large carnivores attack and kill cattle belong to farmers and pastoral herdsmen particularly in East Africa. Baboons and monkeys are known to have cause damage to banana plantations and gardens. Crocodiles are involved in theft of fish from fishing nets and associated damage to fishing gear”. Although there still lack of extensive recent research specifically analyzing the socio-economic, psychological impacts of HWC, Mwakatobe, Nyahongo and Roskaft, (2013) argues that, “The cost of livestock predation is greater where people’s livelihoods depend entirely on livestock keeping (Ogada, Woodroffe, Oguge, & Frank, 2003 as cited in Mwakatobe et al., 2013). Losses due to depredation are common with cattle, sheep and goats (Inskip & Zimmerman, 2009). Loss of a single domestic animal creates serious socio-economic problems to affected families (Ikanda, 2009; Nyahongo & Røskaft, 2011). However, diseases have been reported to contribute to far more livestock losses than predation in some Tanzanian areas (Graham, Beckerman, & Thirgood, 2005; Kissui, 2008; Nyahongo, 2007; Nyahongo & Røskaft, 2011). With reports of animals attacking humans, killing livestock, destroying crops or infrastructure from time to time, HWC is not a new thing to many parts of Kenya. For instance in Laikipia conservancies, although elephants, hyenas, zebras and lions are also a menace in the area, the residents say baboons are the most destructive, (Letiwa, 2018) He reports that monkeys are breaking into houses, stealing food, taking clothes from hanging lines, making loud noises, scaring children and destroying property in Laikipia.

In adjacent park areas of Lake nakuru national park, Kahenda, (2014) reports that the animals are a menace to locals as they invade residential premises and terrorize residents, who claim it is almost impossible to indulge in economic ventures because of the dangers the animals pose. She adds that human movement is limited and residents walk cautiously because of fear of attack by the animals that have become a part of the community. According to the article, stray animals have also been blamed for residents’ deaths and children are locked indoors as a precautionary measure by majority of families to avert attacks. Baboons raid chicken farms, steal eggs, attack people affecting sources of livelihood of the locals and even leaving them with permanent scars and ailments (Njuguna, 2013) He observes that the animals have also been spotted in schools. Students, teachers and pupils live in fear that the animals may interrupt and interfere with their learning schedule. The Olive Baboon has skills to cross both the electric and chain–link fences,” and adds that in areas where the park shares a border with farms, the baboons still managed to access farms and steal maize and other food crops. Farms in Kiambogo, Kongasis and Kiambogo hills have been targeted. Whether the rampant baboon’s case is a perception or fact is a situation yet to be established by an extensive and thorough research.

2.2 Human wildlife conflict hotspots

Understanding human-wildlife is important in many countries where solutions to escalating conflicts are urgently required. (Chen et al., 2015) According to Broekhuis et al, (2017) the use of spatial data to identify potential conflict hotspots is becoming increasingly popular in aiding conservation actions (Miller, 2015; Rostro- García et al., 2016 as cited in Broekhuis, 2017). However, he adds that environmental variables are frequently only considered in the immediate vicinity of the depredation event, thereby ignoring the possibility that environmental factors may influence the presence of predators and hence the likelihood of a depredation event to occur. Both Chen et al., (2015) and Broekhuis et al, (2017) seemed to have concurred that in particular, knowledge of the spatial and temporal patterns of conflict can help governments and civil organizations to design more effective mitigation plans, based on reliable forecasts and maps of conflict risks. According to Katel (2015) hotspot areas identified are based on the farmers’ knowledge and perceptions. He observes that hotspot identification can also be based on the incidences of wildlife encountered during for instance field surveys. However Chen et al., (2015) states that, there are inherent problems with using predictive conflict hotspot maps to advise mitigation activities. He explains that hotspots change depending on development, restoration efforts, population change, and as a result of conflict mitigation measures.

Human wildlife conflict incidents are not randomly distributed but form clusters (hotspots) in relation to distance from conservation areas, as well as, vegetation density, (Lebel et al., 2016) In Mozambique for instance, the roots of HWC have been analyzed by the National Strategy for HWC mitigation (FAO, 2009). The results were consistent with many other researchers have echoed in a number of research findings. The hotspots of conflict centered on areas of close proximity to the conservation areas. It also indicated that the conflict hotspots were generally driven by human dominated factors such as settlement density, proximity to protected areas and distance to roads. According to FAO (2009) the impact of other topographical or land use factors was weakened in the complex anthropogenic landscape. This is because natural food diminishes quickly beyond protected areas due to the expanding and deepening human footprint such as dense settlements, increasing farmland and cash crops, infrastructure, deforestation etc. Wildlife thus tend to forage further away into cropland thus with expanding deforestation, the crops closer to protected areas bear the greatest damage. However, attempts in predicting hotspots has been faced by a number of limitations as rooted in knowledge gap of the behavior, ecology, and status of Asian elephants Cheng et al,( 2015) In their research Cheng et al (2015) tend to propose a different view that is inconsistent with that of (Katel 2015). They indicated that there are inherent problems with using predictive conflict hotspot maps to advise mitigation activities. According to them, the hotspots will change depending on development, restoration efforts, population change, and as a result of conflict mitigation measures. Therefore, they propose that it is necessary to better understand why wildlife leaves the protected areas. Further studies will thus be necessary to comprehend the behavior of different wildlife and other regions with similar land use patterns to analyze this in depth.

2.3 Degree of impacts on lives of adjacent communities

Wildlife - human conflict causes enormous losses to the local community living near and around protected areas such as parks and reserves, by destroying property, disease transmission, causing injuries to humans and livestock and even death to both (Ogada and ogada, 2003: Larmarque, 2008: 2010, Musimbi, 2013: and Ladan, 2014). The pain of the conflict is ‘two-blade sword’ cutting both sides through fatalities and injuries experienced in both sides (Ogada, 2003). There are so many problematic animals with different adverse impacts on the lives of the surrounding community. These effects can be broadly categorized in social and economic impacts. The impacts further exhibit different typologies: Loss of human life, crop damages, animal deaths, damage to property etc. However for the sake of this research, it would briefly highlight a few among these impacts.

i) Loss of life

Human deaths and injuries, although less common than crop damage, are the most severe manifestations of HWC and are universally regarded as intolerable (Larmaque et al, 2010). Ladan (2014) concurs that loss of human life is the most severe manifestation of the conflict. Acharya (2016) adds that conflicts become extremely controversial when people are attacked by species that are endangered and legally protected. More than 200 people were killed in Kenya over the last 7 years by elephants alone (WWF, 2007) In Ghana for instance, during the last 5 years, 10 people were killed by elephants within the Kakum Conservation Area alone, (Musimbi, 2013). A research carried out in Mozambique showed that, over a period of 18 months between 2001 and 2002, lions killed 70 people in Cabo Delgado province. Most of these were people out at night protecting their crops from elephant (FAO, 2005). In the densely populated Caprivi region of Namibia, a population of 5,000 elephants which is one of the single largest free ranging populations of elephants were responsible for twice as much aggression as a lion in the 90‘s and attacked over a larger area (O'Connell-Rodwell et al., 2000 as cited in Musimbi 2013). Another research done in Mozambique showed a dramatic increase in HWC cases in recent years with 265 people killed between July 2006 and September 2008.

ii) Disease transmission

Several deadly diseases are known to be transmitted by wildlife to domestic livestock or possibly man e.g. rabies which has been associated with wild animals such as monkeys and baboons. On the other hand, scavengers and predators, such as spotted hyenas, jackals, lions and vultures, play a role in the dissemination of pathogens by the opening up and dismembering and dispersal of infected carcasses. That is notably the case for anthrax the spores of which they ingest together with the tissues of the carcasses and then widely disseminate in their faeces (Hugh-Jones and de Vos, 2002 as cited in Musimbi 2013). Various researchers concurs with this argument, for instance, according to Okech (2010), wildlife carries many diseases that are dangerous to livestock and humans. These diseases include malignant catarrh fever, a viral disease that kills livestock and is associated with the wildebeest; foot and mouth disease, a highly contagious viral disease that reduces milk supply and body weight; and East Coast fever. Other diseases noted by Ochola (2013) include rinderpest (lodwa) from buffalo, malignant catarrhal fever (poroto) from primates, nagana disease (saar). These diseases mostly attack during the dry season. There is also reported anthrax outbreak that occurred between December 2005 and March 2006. The outbreak affected equids including the endangered Grevy’s zebras (Equus grevyi), plain zebras (Equis burchelli) and donkeys (Equus asinus) (Muoria et al., 2007 as cited in Ochola 2013).

iii) Injuries to people and wildlife

Injuries and deaths from wildlife attacks often result in people feeling violent resentment and hostility against the wildlife involved and therefore may undermine public support for conservation (Acharya, 2016). Ladan (2014) argues that such injuries mostly occur as a result of chance encounters with elephants, buffalo, lions or hippopotamus. Other injuries have been recorded in homes at night raids and accidents. This is usually as people walk along paths from their houses to the farm or water source for example a river or stream. The injuries can be minor such as a scar or major such as amputation of limbs leading to permanent disability. The wildlife is also injured as a result of the conflict, as some wildlife escape with injuries when humans attempt to kill them particularly during revenge attacks. The wildlife also get injured when humans attack them in order to stop wildlife that raid crops, attack domestic animals or cause damage to human properties.


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Human-Wildlife Conflict in Lake Nakuru National Park. Impacts to the Surrounding Communities
Kenyatta University
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human-wildlife, conflict, lake, nakuru, national, park, impacts, surrounding, communities
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Hoseah Ojwang (Author), 2018, Human-Wildlife Conflict in Lake Nakuru National Park. Impacts to the Surrounding Communities, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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