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Colorado State University (2010)

Cultivating the savanna : implications of land use change for Maasai livelihoods and wildlife conservation in East Africa

Lynn, Stacy J.

Titre : Cultivating the savanna : implications of land use change for Maasai livelihoods and wildlife conservation in East Africa

Auteur : Lynn, Stacy J.

Université de soutenance : Colorado State University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) 2010

Résumé partiel
People and animals have co-evolved with intact, unfragmented rangelands in most drylands of the world, where pastoral livestock-based economies have existed for thousands of years. In East Africa, however, Maasai pastoral land use is changing so that cultivation is increasingly incorporated into the repertoire of livelihood regimes. The Tarangire-Manyara Ecosystem (TME) of northern Tanzania includes two national parks (Tarangire NP (TNP) and Lake Manyara NP (LMNP)), but these protected areas cover only 15% of the ecosystem. The remainder of the ecosystem is comprised of village lands where people and wildlife share the landscape. Managers assume that cultivation in the village lands of the Simanjiro Plains east of TNP will interfere with wildlife migrations into the villages to access important wet season water and forage resources. However, to date no research has explicitly measured the response of local wildlife to cultivation. Additionally, the local history of non-participatory wildlife administration and past land evictions, combined with fears of potential park expansions, has led to decades of tension between TME wildlife managers and local residents. If native species will tolerate levels of fragmentation currently assumed to be detrimental, then there may iv be flexibility to balance landscape and livelihood sustainability, as well as an opportunity to ease conservation-livelihood conflict. In 2003 I conducted 207 household interviews in three Simanjiro villages (Sukuro, Loiborsoit and Emboreet) on the topics of land use, household demographics and livelihoods, human-wildlife conflicts, and perceptions of conservation and wildlife. In the wet season of 2004, after wildlife had dispersed onto village lands, I conducted a multi-method and multi-scaled wildlife study to determine species-specific wildlife responses to cultivation in Simanjiro. The species of interest were primarily zebra, wildebeest and Grant‟s and Thompson‟s gazelle. Data were also collected on livestock so that the impact of livestock densities could be considered in the interpretation of wildlife density distributions. Six 5-10 km2 sampling areas (SAs) were selected across a 500 km2 portion of the village landscape to cover a gradient of cultivation density. Animals were counted from a vehicle approximately every three weeks, and each group‟s location was triangulated to a point on the landscape. Eight 1m x 1+ km exterior transects originating at the edge of cultivated fields in the study SAs were also walked to obtain print counts along a distance-to-edge gradient to attain information on unobserved nighttime movements. A paired interior 1m x 50m interior transect was also walked. Using a geographic information system (GIS) I developed a distance-weighted cultivation density metric, cultivation intensity (CI), which I used to compare observed wildlife distributions to a null model composed of 30 randomized re-distributions of the observed data to detect landscape-scale wildlife responses to cultivation. I then analyzed transect data both to detect edge effects of cultivation, and to identify problem crop-raiding species and landscape-level patterns of raids.

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