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  • Thumbnail for Managing the human-wildlife interface in the Lake Manyara National Park region of Tanzania
    Managing the human-wildlife interface in the Lake Manyara National Park region of Tanzania by Ritland, Karen Elizabeth

    Managing the human wildlife interface in Northern Tanzania has become a challenge as human settlements are expanding into zones that have been designated to serve as wildlife corridors and habitats for the region’s wildlife, whose natural habitats are dwindling. This region’s dynamic history has lead to a current population of wildlife that is not representative of its historically lower levels. These high wildlife populations and expanding human populations have forced an increased demand on limited resources. This project studies the human-wildlife interface in Mto wa Mbu, the ward that is a part of the wildlife corridor bordering the northern tip of Lake Manyara National Park. Lake Manyara National Park is a part of the Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem in Northern Tanzania and is an example of a protected area that is vital to mammal populations. It is critical for wildlife to have access to substantial protected regions and migration corridors in order to maintain stable and healthy populations. Both the buffer zones of each protected area and the corridors of protected areas are crucial to the integrity of the biodiversity in the region. This region is also essential to human livelihoods due to its fertile soil as well as proximity to a major road for trade and travel. This project assesses the conflicting goals of the human stakeholders as well needs of wildlife and uses of the area through surveys and geographical analysis. Much of the data and conclusions that were reached in this study parallel the work by Lisa Naughton-Treves, Adrian Treves, and M. Wallgren: all major authors in the field of human wildlife conflict and human wildlife conflict mitigation. In this study, there is direct competition between wildlife of the park and livestock, which aligns with the results of Wallgren et al. (2008). Primates are the most willing of large mammals to go into zones of high impact, but the largest animals are reported by locals to do the most damage, paralleling the conclusions Naughton-Treves et al. (2007). Pastoralists and agriculturalists view the human wildlife interface in different ways due to their different lifestyles and practices, however both believe that short term and immediate solutions are the first step towards solving human wildlife conflict, also found by Treves et al. (2006). This project illustrates the complexity of the interface between wildlife and various human stakeholders and how essential it is to understand the various points of view for planning and conflict mitigation. The goal of this project is to understand this interface thoroughly enough to suggest potential solutions for mitigating the conflicts caused by limited critical resources.