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Ranger perceptions of the role of local communities in providing actionable information on wildlife crime

Wildlife crime in protected areas remains a major challenge to conservation. However, little is known about the role of local communities in providing information on illegal activities to help improve law enforcement efforts in protected areas. As an initial exploration of this complex topic, we aimed to understand the perceptions of law enforcement authorities working directly with local communities on the conditions under which local people provide information to park rangers, using Murchison Falls Protected Area in Uganda as a case study. We used semiĀ]structured interviews and questionnaires to understand the perceptions of staff from the Uganda Wildlife Authority and nongovernmental organisations. There was consensus among participants that people who provide information are those who have trusted relationships with rangers; interact regularly with community outreach rangers (either formally through community programs or informal socialising); and believe that the protected area benefits them and their community. All respondents believed that information provided by local people can enable the success of wildlife crime investigations, but that associated ethical issues must be addressed. This study indicates that engaging communities in protected area conservation is crucial for law enforcement efforts to be effective in addressing wildlife crime.

Publication information

  • External: X00226
  • Published: Apr 2020 - Wiley Periodicals
  • Area: Uganda
  • Theme: Biodiversity
  • Source pub: Conservation Science and Practice
  • Journal ref: 2020, e202
  • Language: English

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Anagnostou M, Mwedde G, Roe D, Smith RJ, Travers H, Baker J (2020) Ranger perceptions of the role of local communities in providing actionable information on wildlife crime. Conservation Science and Practice. 2020;e202. https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.202
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Project information

In Uganda many people poach because of human-wildlife conflict or lack of income earning opportunities. The Uganda Wildlife Authority has a community programme to address such problems, but it is hampered by limited capacity and support. At Murchison Falls National Park IIED and partners are piloting an approach that aims to increase community engagement in tackling wildlife crime by implementing park-level action plans.

More at www.iied.org:
Park action plans: increasing community engagement in tackling wildlife crime

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