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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 : 2017  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 59-73

Attitudes Towards Forest Elephant Conservation Around a Protected Area in Northern Congo


1 Ecole Régional Poste Universitaire Aménagement et Gestion Intégré des Forêts et Territoire Tropicaux (ERAIFT), University of Kinshasa, Democratic ; Groupement pour l'Etude et la Conservation de la Biodiversité pour le Développement, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo
2 Ecole Régional Poste Universitaire Aménagement et Gestion Intégré des Forêts et Territoire Tropicaux (ERAIFT), University of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
3 Groupement pour l'Etude et la Conservation de la Biodiversité pour le Développement, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo
4 Global Conservation Program, Wildlife Conservation Society, New York, USA

Correspondence Address:
Thomas Breuer
Global Conservation Program, Wildlife Conservation Society, New York
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.201394

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An assessment of local attitudes towards conservation can guide wildlife managers in the effective application of measurements to improve these perceptions. Here we conducted a quantitative questionnaire survey around a protected area in northern Congo surveying 314 households living in four villages around the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park. We investigated the impact of the benefits of a conservation project (led by an international non-governmental organisation), the experience with human-elephant conflict and the respondents' socio-economic profile on local people's attitudes towards forest elephant conservation. Using multivariate analysis, we found overall positive attitudes towards elephant conservation with more positive answers in the village where a conservation project is based. Furthermore, people employed in the conservation project stated more positive attitudes compared to logging company employees famers, natural resource users and people conducting other jobs. Experience of human elephant conflict negatively impacted people's perceptions. Socio-economic variables, such as ethnic group, education level or salary category had relatively little impact on people's responses. Qualitative statements largely supported the questionnaire results. We discuss our results in the light of the limits of attitude surveys and suggest further investigations to identify the activities needed to foster positive attitudes for elephant conservation in all villages around the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in partnership with the logging company.


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