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Understanding complex drivers of wildlife crime to design effective conservation interventions
In conservation, understanding the drivers of behavior and developing robust interventions to promote behavioral change is challenging and requires a multi‐faceted approach. This is particularly true for efforts to address illegal wildlife use, where pervasive ‐ and sometimes simplistic ‐ narratives often obscure complex realities. In this paper, we apply a set of novel techniques in an integrated approach to investigate the drivers and prevalence of wildlife crime in communities surrounding two national parks in Uganda and predict the performance of potential interventions designed to tackle these crimes. Although poverty is often assumed to be a key driver of wildlife crime, we show that better off households, as well as those that suffer from human wildlife conflict and those that do not receive any benefits from the parks’ tourism revenue‐sharing, are more likely to be involved in certain types of wildlife crime, especially illegal hunting. The interventions predicted to have the greatest impact on reducing local participation in wildlife crime are those that aim to directly address the drivers including, mitigating damage caused by wildlife and generating financial benefits for park‐adjacent households. This study demonstrates the power of a triangulated approach in gaining insights into complex and hard‐to‐access behaviors, and highlights the importance of going beyond single‐driver narratives.
Travers H., Archer L. J., Mwedde, G., Roe, D., Baker J., Plumptre A., Rwetsiba A., Milner‐Gulland E.J. 2019. Understanding complex drivers of wildlife crime to design effective conservation interventions. Conservation Biology.
Published: Apr 2019 | Categories: Research Articles