Human-crocodile conflict (Nile crocodile: Crocodylus niloticus) in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Thomas, Georgina Diane (2006-12)

Thesis (MSc)--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Human-Crocodile Conflict (HCC) is becoming an increasingly social, and conservation problem in most African countries, as many predator species are under threat due to conflict situations where predation of livestock and humans is occurring. However, very little is known about this multidimensional issue, which affects social, political, economic, cultural and biological aspects of life in regions throughout the world. The extent and severity of HCC in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, was investigated through completing questionnaires with the aid of translators in 35 villages surrounding this unique inland delta in the Ngamiland District of Botswana (N=482). Perceptions towards crocodiles, the degree of utilization of river resources and traditional beliefs of the local people were also investigated. A high incidence of attacks was expected to occur where human and livestock populations were high, with an increasing number of attacks over time. Half of the people interviewed fear crocodiles and remarked that the brain is poisonous when consumed. Most human attacks occurred when people were fishing, swimming or collecting water. Total human population was positively correlated with total attacks on hwmms and total livestock attacks. The rate of attack on hw11ans and livestock is increasing linearly with time, which is very concerning as people are dependant on fanning (livestock and crops) for about 50% of their income. A comparison of recorded attacks with the DWNP (Department of Wildlife and National Parks) records, revealed that the number of livestock attacks by crocodiles is minor compared to attacks by lion and leopard in the Ngamiland District. However, combined with external influences, such as HIV/AIDS, the impact of HCC will potentially greatly undermine people's livelihoods in the future. Mitigation measures combining both prevention and reactive techniques are provided for policy amendments and for communities for the long tenn resolution of HCC. The gradual phasing-out of monetary compensation (which is currently practiced in Botswana), together with regulations restricting use of open access water of the Okavango Delta is recommended. Policy instruments and various incentives (for communities) will aid in policy implementation and thus facilitate the future coexistence of man and crocodile in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Mens-Krokodil-Konflik (MKK) is 'n toenemende sosiale, en bewaringsprobleem in die meeste Afrika-lande. Die rede hiervoor is dat al meer roofdiere onder druk is weens konfliksituasies waar predasie van vee en mense voorkom. Baie min is egter bekend rondom hierdie multi-dimensionele kwessie wat die sosiale, politiese, ekonomiese, kulturele en biologiese aspekte van lewe regoor die wereld affekteer. Die aard en omvang van MKK in die Okavango-delta, Botswana is ondersoek deur die voltooiing van vraelyste (N=482), met behulp van vertalers, onder 35 van die nedersettings wat hierdie unieke binnelandse delta in die Ngan1ilanddistrik van Botswana omring. Persepsies jeens krokodille, die mate waartoe die river as hulpbron gebruik word, en die tradisionele geloof van die plaaslike mense, is ondersoek. 'n Hoe voorkoms van aanvalle is verwag om plaas te vind waar mens- en veepopulasies baie is, asook 'n verwagte, verhoogde toename oor tyd. Die helfde van die mense waarmee 'n onderhoud gevoer is, is bang vir krokodille en het genoem dat die brein van die krokodil giftig is om te eet. Die meeste aanvalle op mense het plaasgevind terwyl mense visgevang, geswem of water geskep het. Daar was 'n positiewe korrelasie tussen die totale menslike bevolking en die totale aantal aanvalle op mense en totale aanvalle op vee. Die tempo van aanvalle op mense en vee is toenemend lineer oor tyd. Dit is kommerwekkend, aangesien die meeste mense aangewese is op boerdery (vee en gewasse) vir omtrent 50% van hulle inkomste. 'n Vergelyking met aanvalle opgeteken deur die Departement van Wildlewe en Nasionale Parke, toon aan dat die aantal aanvalle op vee deur krokodille veel minder is as aanvalle op vee deur leeus en luiperde in die Ngamilanddistrik. Die impak van MKK, gekombineer met eksteme invloede, soos MIVNIGS, het egter die potensiaal om mense se bestaan in die toekoms te ondennyn. Maatreels wat beide voorkomende en reagerende tegnieke kombineer, word voorgestel vir beleidswysigings en vir 'n lantennyn-oplossing van MKK in gemeenskappe. Die geleidelike uitfasering van geldelike kompensasie, soos wat tans die gebruik in Botswana is, tesan1e met regulasies wat die gebruik van vrye-toegang water beheer, word vir die Okavango-delta aanbeveel. Beleids-instrumente en verskeie prestasielone (vir gemeenskappe) sal hulp verleen in beleidsimplementasie en so die toekomstige medebestaan van die mens en krokodil in die Okavango-delta, Botswana meehelp.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50612
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