Human Wildlife Conflict
The conflict between humans and wildlife is manifested in various forms that includes loss of life, destruction of property, infrastructure or crops and the intrusion into the daily life of the communities, causing panic and anxiety. Human-wildlife conflict was most prevalent in the eastern reaches of the Niassa Reserve where animal density is at its highest. The most common instance of conflict is crop destruction, which occurs towards the end of the rainy season when the crops are maturing.
It was a common misconception that the large animals, elephant, hippopotamus and buffalo, were the primary causes of damage in human-wildlife conflict. The potential of these animals to cause significant harm to humans is one of the reasons they were perceived as the greatest threat. However, the work carried out by SGDRN with the local communities suggested that eland and bushpigs are the most destructive, along with monkeys, rats, parrots and porcupines.
Mitigation and adaptation strategies were tested and implemented to reduce the instances and severity of human-wildlife conflicts, this included poliwire electric fences, green fences (using Commiphora africana), chilli fences and pepper spray. Community education was also a very important aspect of the strategy, and a number of meetings as well as the production of posters were done. In collaboration with the Niassa Carnivore Project, posters and events were organized to reduce confrontation with carnivores.