Evaluating the determinants of wildlife tolerance in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area in Zimbabwe

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Human-wildlife interaction is a complex issue that has positive as well as negative implications for both humans and wildlife that share the same habitat. In this paper, we used the Wildlife Tolerance Model (WTM) as the theoretical framework to determine the factors that affect tolerance towards the African savannah elephant (Loxodonta africana), chacma baboon (Papio ursinus) and spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) among the Tonga indigenous people of Zimbabwe. We used structural equation modeling for the identification of causal pathways to see which variables – namely, exposure, positive and negative interactions, costs and benefits – affect tolerance. Our study finds that intangible benefits are the most significant determinants of tolerance across all three species. Contradictory to the expectations, tangible cost had no effect on the tolerance for any of the three species. We find that reducing exposure would also have a strong mediating effect on tangible and intangible costs from the three species. We discuss the roles that socio-economic and cultural factors play to help explain the differences in communities’ attitudes towards the three species. We conclude that more emphasis should be given to increasing the awareness of the intangible benefits, such as the ecosystem services provided by the species. Finally, we recommend using the WTM to help establish a mitigation strategy for the targeted communities and then conducting a Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) study to evaluate the true impact of those mitigation strategies on the communities’ wildlife tolerance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126466
JournalJournal for Nature Conservation
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Attitudes, Conservation psychology, Human-wildlife conflict, Wildlife management, Wildlife tolerance model, Zimbabwe

ID: 363354364