Coexisting with carnivores: insights into local attitudes toward African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) in the Maasai Mara, Kenya

Lydia Cornu*, Femke Broekhuis, Cyrus M. Kavwele, Niels Mogensen, Dominic Sakat, Elodie F. Briefer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Coexistence between humans and carnivores enables the persistence or recovery of wildlife populations. In 2018, we conducted a survey in Kenya’s Greater Mara Ecosystem to explore community attitudes toward the reestablishment of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) following their regional disappearance. Analyzing data from 60 households, we found that proximity to protected areas, land lease to conservancies, and risk perception significantly influenced people’s tolerance of African wild dogs, as revealed by Generalized Linear Models. Notably, there were no instances of human attacks and 78% of respondents had not experienced livestock predation, indicating positive coexistence. Among those perceiving a risk, 37 out of 46 recognized livestock predation only occurred when livestock were unguarded during the day. These findings highlight the potential for coexistence and species recovery in this mixed-use landscape, emphasizing the importance of effective conservation education, livestock management, and economic incentives.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Dimensions of Wildlife
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Dec 2023

Keywords

  • African wild dog
  • attitudes
  • human-carnivore coexistence
  • land-sharing
  • livestock predation
  • Lycaon pictus

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