Human-Wildlife Interactions, Land Use Dynamics and Corridors in Shared Landscapes

Authors: Grace Malley*, Pennsylvania State University
Topics: Animal Geographies, Landscape, Environment
Keywords: Human-Wildlife Conflicts, Human-Wildlife Interaction, Human-Elephant Conflicts, Corridors, African Elephants, Social Ecological Systems, Land Use Dynamics, Tanzania.
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 52
Presentation File: Download

Increasing tension between human demands and ecosystem needs force humans and wildlife into closer contact to share limited resources. In addition, global environmental changes amplify the need for wildlife to move between different habitats. Understanding how these changes influence the interactions between humans and wildlife is significant in fostering actions that promote harmonious coexistence between them. Given their wide home ranges, this study uses elephants as a case animal and Tanzania, in East Africa-where human-elephant conflicts are perceived to be increasing-as a case study area.

Specifically, the study aims to analyze historical land cover changes over the landscape and implication for human-elephants interaction. It further investigates social-ecological drivers determining the changing relationships between people and elephants.
The study employs a mix of geospatial and qualitative methods, specifically google earth engine for land cover mapping; and Land Change Modeller in Terrset software for change detection and analyzing the potential for future land cover transitions. Wildlife corridor connectivity are analyzed using Circuitscape tool on ArcGIS.

The social-ecological system framework is applied to determine underlying social-ecological drivers interacting at different levels to influence dynamics in human-wildlife relationship in the context of shared landscapes. Data collection methods include fieldwork surveys, consultation with stakeholders at different levels as well as discussions with local people.

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