Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Department

Biology

Additional Departmental Affiliation

Chemistry

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

As human populations expand, wildlife suddenly competes with humans for resources and confrontation arises as a result. Rural Africa is typical of this problem. We surveyed local owners of small farms within the five villages surrounding Mount Kasigau in Southeast Kenya to quantify losses due to wildlife depredation on both subsistence and cash crops as well as to discover the patterns and variables influencing farmer-wildlife confrontations in the region. We found no statistically significant correlations among the value of damage per acre, the distance from the bush, or the distance to the nearest water source. We did find statistical significance of threat ranking among elephants, goats, cows, primates, and dikdiks. The most-reported crops that were damaged by wildlife were maize and pigeon peas. In order for human-wildlife conflict to be mitigated, it is imperative that the many factors that affect the issue are understood. This project does not provide solutions to this problem; however, it sets the informational groundwork so appropriate conservation and management policies may be put into place.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Michael Stokes

Disciplines

Biology | Chemistry

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