Answer & Explanation:For each
assignment you are to pick an ecology article published in an ecology journal
or science journal and you are to review the article just like someone would
review a movie, but from the perspective of a well-educated scientist. Your
hypothetical audience will be other well-educated scientists.No page limit, but has to be double spaced. Preferable 5 pages.

each of your four writing assignments, discuss the following: What was the
article about? What was the hypothesis examined by the researchers (if there
was one)? How did they conduct their research? What were their results and
conclusions? Did you like the article and did you agree with the authors’
conclusions? Are the conclusions derived logically from the data/evidence
presented? How effective was the article in communicating its main idea? What
problems were left unsolved? What possibilities does the article suggest for
future research?

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Vol. 8(5), pp. 49-54, May 2016
DOI: 10.5897/JENE2015.0543
Article Number: 7D5DFF058230
ISSN 2006-9847
Copyright © 2016
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article
Journal of Ecology and the Natural Environment
Full Length Research Paper
Assessment of types of damage and causes of
human-wildlife conflict in Gera district, south western
Leta Gobosho Amaja, Debela Hunde Feyssa and Tariku Mekonnen Gutema*
College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Jimma University, Ethiopa.
Received 17 October, 2015; Accepted February 5, 2016
Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) exists in different forms all over the world and is experienced more in
developing countries. The conflict between human and wildlife ranks among the main threats to
biodiversity conservation and has become frequent and severe in different parts of Africa. In the author
s’ previous study, five species of wildlife were identified as the main crop raiding species in Gera,
southwestern Ethiopia. The current study was conducted to assess causes of HWC and types of
damage in this area. Data were collected through semi- structured questionnaires, focus group
discussion, direct observation and key informant interview. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze
the socioeconomic profile of the respondents. One-way ANOVA and Chi-square test were used to
analyze causes of HWC. The result showed that 50 and 22% of the respondent reported that the
prevalence of HWC is manifested through crop damage and livestock predation, respectively. There
was a significant difference between causes of HWC (F=4.2, P=0.000). In this study, habitat disturbance
and increase in population of wildlife was the highest and least causes of HWC, respectively. HWC is
increasing in both severity and frequency in the study area. Therefore, to minimize the
conflict occurring in the whole scope of society in the proper selection of investment site (mainly
modern coffee production in the area) is crucial. Furthermore, the wildlife authorities and local
institutions are encouraged to address the needs of the local communities or to find the source of
alternative livelihood to the society.
Key words: Forest disturbance, Human-wild animal’s conflict, crop raiding.
Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) has existed for as long as
humans and wild animals have shared the same
landscapes and resources (Lamarque et al., 2009;
Hoffman, 2011). However, currently, wildlife habitats are
fast becoming human-dominated, which means that more
wild species are compelled to exploit new human
resources to survive (Strum, 2010; Castro and Nielsen,
2003; Warner, 2000). HWC results in negative impact on
people or their resources, and wild animals or
their habitat. Though human wildlife conflict exists in both
*Corresponding author. E-mail: [email protected]
Author(s) agree that this article remains permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution
License 4.0 International License
J. Ecol. Nat. Environ.
developed and developing countries, it is more serious
in developing nations (IUCN, 2005; Lamarque et al.,
2009; Fairet et al., 2012).
HWC is among the most important threats to the
survival of many wildlife species (Madden, 2008;
Johansson, 2002). In Africa and other developing areas
of the world, fast growing human population, settlements
and accompanied habitat fragmentation are reducing the
wildlife habitats (Hill et al., 2002; Pariela, 2005; Blair,
2008; Mwamidi et al., 2012). This is increasing the
interactions between humans and animals (Madden,
2008; Blair, 2008; Lamarque et al., 2009; Mwamidi et al.,
2012). Especially, transforming natural landscapes of the
earth from predominantly wild to anthropogenic has
created competition between humans and wildlife for
space and resources and it has reached unprecedented
levels (Hanks, 2006; Ellis et al., 2010; Kate, 2012). For
instance, in Ghana, the decrease in the forest area
available to elephants in Kakum conservation area by
about half since the 1970s, was the reason for increasing
crop raiding activities and cause of HWC (Barnes et al.,
A wide variety of wildlife comes into conflict with
farming activities for search of human resource which
causes crop damage and wildlife mortality (Conover,
2002). The major types of wildlife damage on the human
being are predation of domestic animals, crop damage
and sometimes killing of humans (Madden, 2008). The
number and type of damage caused by wildlife varies
according to the species, the time of year, and the
availability of natural prey and crop raiding species
(Warren, 2008; Datiko and Bekele, 2011; Mwamidi et al.,
In spite of diverse and unique nature of the Ethiopian
landscape and ecological diversity, the natural resources
of the country are declining by human activities
(Bekele et al., 2011; Tefera, 2011). This has increasingly
restricted wild animals’ movement of the country to a few
protected areas/habitats (Kumssa and Bekele, 2008).
The forest area of southwestern Ethiopia is under great
threat due to over-exploitation (Hundera, 2007; De
Beenhouwer, 2011) which forces wild animals to compete
with humans for their resource and results in conflict
between them. There are some major driving forces that
increase pressures on forests in southwestern Ethiopia.
The most important pressure causing deforestation is
rising in population pressure and overexploitation of the
remaining forest cover. Agricultural activities are
expanding, leading to forests encroachment, habitat
destruction and further to the HWC which in turn makes
the farmers to loss crops to pests/problem causing
animals (Joseline, 2010; Mwamidi et al., 2012).
These pressures on land resources and reduction of
core habitat for wild animals and elimination of corridors
for migration increase the probability of contact, and
possibly create conflict between farmers and wild animals
(Quirin, 2005). Though, majority of the Gera land has
been covered by natural forest in the past, nowadays, it
has been shrinking in size due to increasing subsistence
agriculture and modern coffee production which results in
conflict (Hundera, 2007; Quirin, 2005; Strum, 2010).
Leta et al. (2015) identified the major wildlife species
involved in the HWC and local management methods in
Gera, Southwestern Ethiopia. However, there were no
scientific studies carried out on types of damage and
causes of human-wild animals’ conflict for wildlife
conservation in the study area. Therefore, the main
objective of this study was to assess types of damage
and the major causes of HWC in Gera district. This can
contribute to reduction in HWCs in the study area.
Description of the study area
The study was conducted in Gera district, Oromia National Regional
State, Jimmazone, Ethiopia (7°15’N – 8° 45’N latitude and 35° 30” E
– 37° 30′ E longitudes). It is located at about 448 km south-west of
Addis Ababa and 93 km south-west from the zonal town, Jimma.
The total population of Gera district is 86,849. About 83,375 of
them are rural and 3,474 were urban (living in small town, Gera)
(CSA, 2007). The land cover categories of the district comprise
about 26.5% potential arable or cultivable land of which 23.4% are
under annual crops, 7.0% pasture, 56.6% forest and the remaining
9.9% classified as degraded, built-up or otherwise unusable. The
study area is characterized as humid, subtropical climate, with a
yearly rainfall of about 1800 to 2080 mm per annum and a short dry
season with relatively high cloud cover. A peak rainfall occurs
between June and September, which is the long rainy season of the
district and a smaller peak occurs between March and April, short
rainy season. Differences in temperature throughout the year are
small with a mean minimum and maximum annual temperature of
11.9 and 26.4°C (Schmitt, 2006; De Beenhouwer, 2011).
The southwestern forests of Ethiopia are characterized as moist
montane forest ecosystems (NBSAP, 2003). High forest, woodland
and plantation forests are available in Gera district. Even though
the majority of the natural forests are under the government
protection, it is presently under great threat because of over
exploitation (Hundera, 2007). Despite the absence of wildlife
protected areas in this study area, different wildlife species have
been recorded from the study area, such as, African Buffalo
(Syncerus caffer), Lion (Panthera leo), Colobus monkey (Colobus
guereza), Grivet monkey (Chlorocebus aethiops), Olive baboon
(Papio anubis), Leopard (Panthera pardus), Phacochoerus
africanus, Warthog (Potamochoerus larvatus), African civet
(Civettictis civetta) and Menelik’s bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus)
are found in the study area.
Site selection and sampling design
Based on preliminary survey (September-Novemebr, 2012), the
study district (Gera) was purposively selected because of the
presence of serious HWC in the area. Out of the 24 kebels (units in
a district) in Gera district, 2 (Ganjicha and Wanjakersa) were
selected using stratified random sampling. Each village found in the
selected two kebeles were categorized into three groups based on
their proximity towards to forest edge as near (<0.5 km), medium (0.5-1 km) and far (>1 km) and one village from each group were
selected. The total villages from each kebeles were three and the
study covers a total of six villages from the two kebeles.
Amaja et al.
After getting the total number of household (HH) heads living in
each selected kebeles, the sample size was determined using
probability proportional to sample size sampling technique
(Cochran, 1977; Bartlett et al., 2001).
no 
* ( P)(q )
n1 
(1  no / N )
Where: no= desired sample size of Cochran’s (1977) when
population is greater than 10000; n1 = finite population correction
factors (Cochran’s formula, 1977) less than10000; Z = standard
normal deviation (1.96 for 95% confidence level); P = 0.1
(proportion of population to be included in sample, that is, 10%); q =
1-P (0.9); N = total number of population; d = degree of accuracy
desired (0.05).
Based on the distance of farmland from forest edge, 33.3% HHs
from each stratification were used for the formal interview. For the
structured interview, HHs sample strategy was established by
collecting complete landholders list record from their respective
administration office. The sample includes all HH head living in the
two kebeles. Finally, the selections of sample HH were proportional
to each stratification, which was based on farm land distance from
forests, to keep uniformity. Accordingly, the total numbers of HH
head living in both kebeles were 915 (435 from Ganjichala and 480
from WanjaKersa) from the report of kebeles administration (2012).
From all the stratification, the HH head having farm land in the
selected stratification was randomly taken for a formal interview.
Based on Cochran (1977) population correction factors, a total of
120 sample HH head were selected using simple random sampling
techniques from the total population. Allocations of the number of
sample HHs to each kebele, was proportional to the number of HH
head living in each selected kebele, accordingly, 57 HH from
Ganjichala and 63 HH from Wanjakersa were selected for this
Data collection methods
Pilot survey
A pilot survey was conducted in the selected kebeles
from December 2012 to January 2013 based on the information
gathered during the preliminary survey. During the pilot survey, 30
HHs were randomly selected and interviewed. The main purpose of
the pilot survey was to evaluate the questionnaire and to check
whether it was applicable and suitable in the study area, to check
whether the questionnaire can be understood by the respondents,
to identify the period and the occurrence of human-animals conflict
and cause of HWC in the study area. Based on the pilot survey
results, the questionnaire was revised and developed following
Yihune et al. (2009) and Fairet et al. (2012). HH survey (individualinterviews), focus group discussions, key informant interviews and
direct observation were used. The current status of HWC in the
study area was investigated through observations, FGD and
questionnaires following Anderson and Pariela (2005). To find out
why wild animals are involved in crop raiding and livestock
depredation which create conflict between farmers and wild
animals, variables such as nature of human habitat disturbance,
distance of farmland from residence and farmland expansion to
forest area were assessed using the questionnaire similarly used by
Kivai (2010).
The presence or the absence of human activities which creates
forest disturbance or fragmentation was assessed. Human activity
assessed includes cutting understory vegetation (plants between
the forest canopy and the ground cover) selective cutting of trees,
burning and complete clearing of forest mainly for expansion of
cultivation. These activities were recorded using quadrat methods.
A total of 30 and 20 quadrats having 10 x 10 m size were randomly
used in Ganjichala and Wanja-Kersa sampled forests. The area
coverage of Ganjchala and WanjaKersa sampled forest were
12.0 and 7 km2, respectively. The size of the forest was taken
from the district Agricultural Office.
The overall status of the forest (disturbance level) due to human
activities was assessed during the study time, through observation
by giving the scale of 1-4. Scale 1 was recorded if slight activities of
human action were observed in a form of cutting of trees to have a
track (road like for moving in the forest on foot) in the forest for the
case of traditional honey harvest, Scale 2 was recorded when
moderate levels of human activities (clearing the understory, cutting
tree branches, leftover of burned tree) were observed, Scale 3 was
used when extensive human activities (cutting big size trees,
continuous burning, but no section of the forest was completely
cleared) were observed. Finally, forests in which human activities in
a form of complete clearing were observed, were assigned scale 4
as used by Muoria et al. (2003). Data was analyzed using SPSS
version 16.0 computer software. One-way ANOVA and Chi-square
were used to analyze the cause of HWC and status of HWC and
management options.
Socio economic characteristics
The result revealed that the major economic activities of
the sampled HH in the study area were subsistence
agriculture, which includes crop farming, livestock rearing
and/or a mixture of animal rearing and crop farming.
About 70% of the respondents earns their income from
mixed agriculture (crop farming, animal rearing and bee
farming). The remaining 16.7% depends only on crop
farming and 13.3% depends on both crop farming and
other income sources such as daily labor works.
The size of farmlands owned by sampled HH ranged
from 0.5 to 3 ha with an overall mean of 1.8 ha. There
was significant difference among HH heads in sizes of
farm land they hold (χ = 16.00, df = 5, P < 0.01) in which 25.8 and 7.5% possessed 2 and 0.5 ha, which is the highest and the lowest, respectively. Cattle were the predominant livestock in each site followed by sheep and goat. The overall mean number of cattle, sheep and goat holding per HH were 4.56 ± 0.16, 3.55 ± 0.08 and 3.75 ± 0.19, respectively. While for those of horse, donkey and mule, the overall mean values were 0.34 ± 0.047, 0.64 ± 0.053 and 0.16 ± 0.033, respectively. Types of damage among sites In these studies, the type of damage and magnitude by wildlife on the resources of the community significantly differ (χ2 = 25.55, df = 2, P < 0.05 (0.00) from site to site. Of the total respondents interviewed, 50% reported that there were both problem of crop damage and livestock predation, while 22% reported only crop damage, and 28% did not face any conflict. There is no HWC in Agalo (Table 1) while both crop damage and livestock depredation existed in Wanja, Chala, Seke and Gado 52 J. Ecol. Nat. Environ. Table 1. Percentage of respondents that faced different types of conflict by wild animals in each village. Villages Bonche Chala Seke Wanja Gado Agalo Mean No. (120) 19 20 19 21 20 21 Both crop damage and livestock depredation (%) 100 68 32.3 72 27 0.0 50 No conflict at all (%) 0.0 0.0 52.7 0.0 15 100 28 Crop damage only (%) 0.0 32 15 28 58 0.0 22 Livestock depredation only (%) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0 Figure 1. Habitat disturbances due to increased subsistence agriculture in forest edge (A) coffee plantation (B). Table 2. Causes of human-wild animals’ conflict as revealed by respondents among sampled villages (all the numbers in the table are numbers of people that responded). Sample sites Bonche Chala Seke Wanja Gado Agalo Mean Std. D Habitat disturbance 7 8 7 3 2 6 a 5.3 2.3 Combined effect 2 3 2 3 4 2 d 2.6 0.8 Identified causes of HWC Proximity to Increased subsistence natural forest agriculture 4 3 3 4 3 5 6 5 4 5 5 5 b b 4.2 4.5 1.2 0.8 Increase in wild animals population 3 2 2 4 5 3 c 3.2 1.1 *Means having the same letter have no significant difference. sites. Crop damage is the most observed problems in the community (72%) in the study sites. Except one site, Agalo, crop damage was observed in all the selected sites. Cause of human-wildlife conflicts The study revealed that the major cause of human-wild animals’ conflict in the study area were habitat disturbance (due to expansion of subsistence agriculture around forest edge, coffee plantation (Figure 1), proximity to natural forest and the contribution of all mentioned cases (Table 2). Causes of HWC showed significant difference among the respondents (F=4.2, P=0.000). In the study sites, the highest cause of HWC, was disturbances of habitat followed by proximity to natural forest and increased subsistence agriculture. Amaja et al. 53 Table 3. Human activities observed in sampled forest of the study area. Human activities (scale 1-4) Slight activities (1) Cutting of under stories (2) Clear cutting with few tree remaining (3) Clear cutting (4) Observation of each activity in the Sampled study area (%) Ganjichala WanjaKersa no 20 60 80 40 no no no No = indicates not observed. A variety of human activities was observed in the sampled forest of the study area. The result of observation of human activities was significantly different between the two study kebeles. Human activities in the form of cutting understory vegetation (plants between the forest canopy and the ground cover) for subsistence coffee production, was a significant difference between the kebeles (t=16.925, P=0.000) and it is more in Wanjakersa (Table 3). Clear cutting with few trees remaining for the search of sun light for intensive coffee production by investors was observed in Ganjichala only, which increased the magnitude of HWC due to lack of food. DISCUSSION The study showed that the type of damage and magnitude on the resources of the community by wildlife differs from place to place in the study area. This agrees with the studies in other parts of Ethiopia. According to Datiko and Bekele (2011) and Mwamidi et al. (2012), the number and type of damage caused by wildlife vary based on the species, the time of year, and the availability of natural prey and crop raiding species. Even though both agricultural damage and livestock depredation were observed in the study area, crop loss due to wildlife was the most serious problem in the study sites. It differs from site to site depending on distance from the forest and others. This study also showed that human population growth and anthropogenic effect such as deforestation, inappropriate site selection for investment (coffee production) in forested area and expansion of subsistence agricultural activities have led to increase in HWC. However, habitat disturbance was the major causes identified as HWC in this study. The result was in agreement with different ... Purchase answer to see full attachment

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