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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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ARTICLE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 225-240

Sitting on the fence? policies and practices in managing human-wildlife conflict in Limpopo province, South Africa


1 Environmental Sciences & Policy Department, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
2 Shangoni Section Ranger, Kruger National Park, Skukuza, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
Brandon P Anthony
Environmental Sciences & Policy Department, Central European University, Budapest
Hungary
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.73812

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Human-wildlife conflicts are the product of socio-economic and political landscapes and are contentious because the resources concerned have economic value and species are often high profile and legally protected. Within a governance framework, we detail institutional roles and the effectiveness of policies and practices of controlling damage-causing animals (DCAs) at Kruger National Park (KNP) and Limpopo Province along KNP's western border. Most DCAs originate from the park, significantly affecting its long-term legitimacy among local communities. Between 2002 and 2004, over 12% of households within 15 km of the park experienced DCA damage, with incidents significantly correlated with being located closer to KNP and having higher numbers of mammalian livestock. These incidents are affecting opinions concerning KNP, as those who experienced damage were less likely to believe that the park would ever help their household economically. According to 482 DCA incident records from 1998 to 2004, the most problematic species are buffalo, lion, elephant, hippo and crocodile. Limpopo Province utilised professional hunters in DCA control, however, widespread abuses including the direct luring of lion led to a national moratorium on specific hunting practices. DCA procedures are highly flawed due to ambiguity concerning species and movement of DCAs, poor reporting, inadequate response times, overlapping responsibilities, and corruption. These are exacerbated by weak and, in some cases, competing institutions. Further, the controversial issue of undelivered compensation is determining negative attitudes by communities towards institutions who have historically promised it. Drawing on good governance principles, we offer recommendations on alleviating DCA conflicts in such contexts.


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