Browsing by Author "Kansky, Ruth"
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- ItemCosts of coexistence : understanding the drivers of tolerance towards Asian elephants Elephas maximus in rural Bangladesh(Fauna & Flora International, 2020) Saif, Omar; Kansky, Ruth; Palash, Anwar; Kidd, Martin; Knight, Andrew T.Habitat degradation and fragmentation have heightened the importance of understanding human tolerance towards wildlife, as the fate of wildlife in multi-use landscapes depends on people's capacity for coexistence. We applied the wildlife tolerance model to examine drivers of tolerance towards Asian elephants Elephas maximus in rural Bangladesh, interviewing local people in 17 villages. We used structural equation modelling to identify causal pathways in which elephant-related exposure, positive and negative interactions, costs and benefits (tangible and intangible) contributed to tolerance. Contrary to expectations, monetary costs were non-significant in shaping tolerance despite major impacts on livelihoods. Instead, intangible costs and intangible benefits were significant factors determining tolerance. Furthermore, reducing people's exposure to elephants would not necessarily affect tolerance, nor would increasing positive interactions. We discuss how the socio-economic and bio-cultural dynamics of local communities can explain these results, and demonstrate how our model can be used to incorporate such complexities into conservation decision-making. For instance, compensation schemes aim to recompense monetary losses and direct damages, to improve tolerance, whereas our results suggest a more effective approach would be to enhance resilience to non-monetary costs and improve perceived benefits. We conclude that future studies should pay increased attention to intangible costs and consider the less direct drivers of tolerance. Through repeated testing of universal models such as that presented here, broad trends may emerge that will facilitate the application of policies across contexts and landscapes.
- ItemDoes money "buy" tolerance toward damage-causing wildlife?(Wiley, 2020-07-26) Kansky, Ruth; Kidd, Martin; Fischer, JoernThe Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area supports large-scale migrations of wildlife that occur in a mixed agri-conservation landscape in five Southern African countries. Human–Wildlife Conflict is a key challenge and understanding the drivers of communities' willingness to coexist with wildlife is thus critical. Community based natural resource management (CBNRM) is a widely used economic approach to foster human-wildlife coexistence with the assumption that monetary benefits can “buy” tolerance by offsetting the disservices of living with wildlife. We tested this assumption and hypothesized that Namibians would be more tolerant towards wildlife than Zambians because they received higher monetary benefits from wildlife. We used the Wildlife Tolerance Model (WTM) as the framework to define tolerance and identify tolerance drivers. We found Namibians tolerance was higher for lion, elephant and hyena but not for kudu and baboon. After controlling for confounding variables of the WTM that could potentially explain differences in tolerance, contrary to expectation, the monetary benefits did not account for higher Namibian tolerance. Instead, only nonmonetary benefits explained the higher tolerance. We used crowding theory to explain this finding, proposing that CBNRM in Namibia and the monetary benefits from the program “crowd in” intrinsic motivation to appreciate and tolerate wildlife.
- ItemTowards understanding tolerance to damage causing mammalian wildlife(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2015-03) Kansky, Ruth; Knight, Andrew T.; Samways, Michael J.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriSciences. Dept. of Conservation Ecology and Entomology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC) is increasing globally and has been recognized as a major priority by most conservation organizations. This is due to the impacts that both wildlife and stakeholders can have on each other leading to a loss of support for conservation in general. Understanding the drivers of these impacts is therefore critical to mitigating the impacts. While the main focus of research in HWC has been finding technological solutions to mitigating the tangible impacts of wildlife for humans so as to increase tolerance of stakeholders towards wildlife, recent findings have pointed to the fact that this approach may be an oversimplification of the problem. A number of qualitative reviews and theoretical models have therefore emerged proposing a wide range of factors that may be important and emphasize the more complex nature of HWC. These models however are not based on quantitative synthesis of the research on this topic and there are no widely accepted models being used. Therefore a primary aim of this project was to develop a tolerance to wildlife damage model that was based on a quantitative synthesis of the body of research that has investigated attitudes to damage causing mammalian wildlife. A second aim was to test the emergent model using a case study of urban baboon–human conflict on the Cape Peninsula of South Africa. Key findings from the meta-analyses were that contrary to conventional wisdom, damage is not always the most important driver of tolerance as it interacted with taxonomic group and stakeholder type in complex ways. For example, tolerance of ungulates and primates was proportional to the probability of experiencing damage while elephants elicited tolerance levels higher than anticipated and carnivores elicited tolerance levels lower than anticipated. A second meta-analysis aimed to determine if common patterns of variables explaining tolerant attitudes were present across a wide range of species, stakeholders and contexts. Results showed that the majority of publications measured variables with a low likelihood of explaining drivers of attitudes or did not quantify variables of generally high utility. A synthesis of the most important factors emerging from these meta-analyses together with additional constructs and theories from other disciplines relevant for addressing the complexity inherent in HWC was undertaken and the Wildlife Tolerance Model (WTM) proposed. The WTM hypothesizes that the net outcome of the extent to which a person is exposed to a species as well as the types of meaningful events (positive or negative) determine perceptions of the costs relative to benefits of living with a species. This in turn determines tolerance. A second component predicts 11 inner model variables that may further drive perceptions of costs and benefits. Results from the case study showed support for the WTM where both outer and inner model variables were found to be important drivers of tolerance. A key conclusion is that although synthesis of research and theory development is time consuming and costly, theory development and testing is critical to achieve long term efficiency in conservation management because failure to target interventions at the most important drivers will be costly, both financially and in biodiversity loss.
- ItemUnderstanding drivers of human tolerance to gray wolves and brown bears as a strategy to improve landholder– carnivore coexistence(Wiley Periodicals LLC., 2020) Marino, Filippo; Kansky, Ruth; Shivji, Irene; Di Croce, Antonio; Ciucci, Paolo; Knight, Andrew T.Despite recent recovery of large carnivores throughout Europe such as the brown bear (Ursus arctos) and the graywolf (Canis lupus), some of their populations are still threatened and their viability depends on human tolerance to share mixed landscapes. We investigated the drivers of landholders' tolerance in Abruzzo (Italy), a region with a long history of cohabitation, by applying theWildlife Tolerance Model (WTM) (Kansky et al., 2016, Biological Conservation, 201, 137–145). Using structural equation modeling we assessed relationships between WTM variables. This framework hypothesizes that exposure to a species and experiences with a species drive perceptions of benefits and costs, and ultimately tolerance.We then sought to understand similarities and differences in tolerance drivers between the two species and across two areas that differed in the duration of human–carnivore cohabitation. Results showed both similarities and differences in drivers between species and areas, resulting in seven management proposals to foster tolerance. Increasing intangible benefits and positive experiences were two strategies that were similar for both species and areas,while five strategies differed across species and areas.Our methodological approach can be applied in other landscapes with other species to determine the extent to whichmultispeciesmanagement across landscapes is possible.