Underlying social conflicts drive human-wildlife conflict in Laikipia County, Kenya

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Underlying social conflicts drive human-wildlife conflict in Laikipia County, Kenya
Goode, Mackenzie ( author )
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1 online resource (38 pages) : illustrations ;


Subjects / Keywords:
Sustainable Development Practice field practicum report, M.D.P
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Now understood as one of the most critical threats to many wildlife species, human-wildlife conflict receives increasing attention from an array of disciplines. Recent findings remind us that direct wildlife damage is not, in fact, the main driver of this conflict. Instead, human-wildlife conflict is likely the result of, or a manifestation of, underlying social conflicts. In Laikipia County, Kenya, a biodiversity hotspot and mosaic landscape of private wildlife conservancies and farms of various scale, drivers of conflict are not well-understood. Small-scale farmers experience a physical and emotional burden as a result of crop-raiding damage by primarily elephants and baboons. In-depth semi-structured interviews with small-scale farmers revealed complex attitudes towards wildlife. Both interviews and participant observation uncovered a deep mistrust in institutions, such as the country's wildlife agency and neighboring conservancies, and unresolved conflicts between farmers and Maasai pastoralists. Frequently, farmers reported having been denied monetary compensation for crop losses as a result of possessing too little acreage, only exacerbating mistrust in institutions. As other studies predict, this context likely requires a multi-faceted approach to tackling human-wildlife conflict--an approach which encompasses short-term solutions for direct wildlife damage but also long-term mediation between social groups.
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Major departments: Latin American Studies, African Studies.
General Note:
Major: Sustainable Development Practice.
General Note:
Advisor: Palm, Cheryl.
General Note:
Co-advisor: Rubenstein, Daniel.
General Note:
Committee member: Hull, Vanessa.
General Note:
Committee member: Child, Brian.
General Note:
The MDP Program is administered jointly by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Center for African Studies.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Mackenzie Goode.

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University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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037835489 ( ALEPH )
LD1780.1 2020 ( lcc )


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Underlying social conflicts drive human wildlife conflict in Laikipia County, Kenya Mackenzie Goode Field Practicum Report Master of Sustainable Development Practice Spring 2020 Supervisory Committee: Dr. Cheryl Palm (UF) , Co Chair Dr. Daniel Rubenstein (Princeton) , Co Chair Dr. Vanessa Hull (UF) , Member Dr. Brian Child (UF) , Member


1 A bstract Now understood as one of the most critical threats to many wildlife species, human wildlife conflict receives increasing attention from an array of disciplines. Recent findings remind us that direct wildlife damage is not, in fact, the main driver of this conflict. Instead, human wildlife conflict is likely the result of, or a manifestation of, underlying social conflicts. In Laikipia County, Kenya, a biodiversity hotspot and mosaic landscape of private wildlife conservancies and farms of various scale, dri vers of conflict are not well understood. Small scale farmers experience a physical and emotional burden as a result of crop raiding damage by primarily elephants and baboons. In depth semi structured interviews with small scale farmers revealed complex at titudes towards wildlife. Both interviews and participant observation uncovered a deep mistrust in institutions, such as the and Maasai pastoralists. Frequent ly, farmers reported having been denied monetary compensation for crop losses as a result of possessing too little acreage, only exacerbating mistrust in institutions. A s other studies predict, this context likely requires a multi faceted approach to tackl ing human wildlife conflict an approach which encompasses short term solutions for direct wildlife damage but also long term mediation between social groups.


2 Acknowledgements to all who helped bring this project to life. First, I want to acknowledge the support and guidance of my chair members Drs. Brian Child, Vanessa Hull, Cheryl Palm, and Daniel Rubenstein. Dr. Palm, who spent the first three weeks on the ground with me, was a rock when all plans seemed to go awry. She has been a guiding light in this process, and for all her help I cannot say thank you enough. I owe much to Dr. Rubenstein, who selflessly offered to go above and beyond and make happen what no one else coul d. I am grateful for the MDP administration and associated faculty that contributed to my success . Thank you to Mpala Resear ch Centre for granting me a space to carry out this practicum and for being my home base during Summer 2019. Of course, I am so grateful for the family and friends who have supported me in this process, including those friends made in Kenya at Mpala Research C entre. Lory, Cynthia, Ruth, Austin, To member s of my Cohort 10, a most heartfelt congratulations for reaching this milestone. We weathered many storms and enjoyed many happy moments and hearty laughs , and it has been a n incredible exp erience growing together . Words cannot describe my appreciation for my partner, Trevor Mills, who motivated me with tough love on the worst of days and who shared in my happiness on the best of days. Finally , I dedicate this report to the farmers of Juakali and Naibor asante sana .


3 Acronyms HWC: human wildlife conflict KWS: Kenya Wildlife Service MRC: Mpala Research Centre UF: University of Florida UN: United Nations SDG: Sustainable Development Goal SSI: semi structured interview


4 Table of Contents Abstract ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 1 Acknowledgements ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 2 Acronyms ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 3 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 5 Geographical Context ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 7 Human Primate Conflict in Kenya: Wha t We Know ................................ ................................ ................ 8 Mpala Research Centre ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 12 Human Baboon Conflict in Kenya: Applying a Conceptual Framework ................................ .......... 12 Research Objectives ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 14 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 14 Participant Observation ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 15 Semi Struc tured Interviews ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 15 Camera Trapping ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 17 Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 18 Participant Observation ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 18 Semi Structured Interviews ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 18 Camera Trapping ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 19 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 19 Participant Observation ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 19 Semi Structured Interviews ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 20 Camera Traps ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 24 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 25 Cross Scale and Cross Disciplinary Implications ................................ ................................ ..................... 27 Recommenda tions ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 28 References ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 31 Appendix A Semi Structured Interview Tool ................................ ................................ ....................... 36


5 Introduction competition between humans and wildlife over resources or space (Treves & Karanth, 2003). HWC is recognized as actions that negatively impact humans or that are detrimental to the survival of wildlife (Madden, 2004). Efforts to mitigate HWC typically address only the technical aspects of conflict reduction or resolution rather than the social factors, like religious affiliation, ethnicity, and cultural beliefs. In other words, t he technical aspects, such as a crop raiding event or a livestock attack, are proximate causes of conflict , and the severity of a given event elicits immediate attention. However, the ultimate cause of HWC why those conflicts occur is social conflict or social factors which drive social conflict. Oftentimes , HWC is a manifestation of underlying social conflicts , such as those between authorities and local people or between people of different cultural backgrounds. Social factors can be more important in driving conflict than wildlife damage incurred, and it is for that reason that they cannot be ignored (Dickman, 2009). In fact, there exists an ultimate social carrying capacity for many species, and this capacity depends on the extent to which conservation can reconcile social conflicts (Madden and McQuinn, 2014). This term is a newer concept borne from the more well , and it is defined as the density of wildlife considered acceptable in a given community (FAO, n.d. ). Likewise, the inherent prejudices of landowners and farmers influence the variation in attitudes toward wildlife ( Chase Grey et al., 2016 ). Research also tells us that socioeconomic factors such as education, age, sex, and the financial impact of wildlife associated costs impact this social carrying capacity. HWC is widespread, occurring in all areas of the world where humans and wildlife attempt to coexist. Too, HWC encompasses a diversity of species, from small m ammals like mice and rodents to large carnivores or elephants. In areas like East Africa, for example, these species inhabit landscapes beyond reserves where they come into conflict with local communities (Barua et al ., 2012). Living alongside such spec ies can impose significant costs upon local people , including the loss of life, crops agricultural security (Barua et al ., 2012).


6 HWC also inflicts less visible costs on people, negatively affecting health and mental wellbeing (Jadhav & Barua, 201 3 ) . The poor are dependent on natural ecosystems that conservation ists seek to protect (Barua et al. , 2012). F or this reason , the poor and marginalized are disproportionately affected by HWC, both in terms of frequency and in severity of those less visible costs. The so called hidden impacts of HWC are characterized as uncompensated, temporally delayed, psychological or social i n nature (Ogra, 2008). Hidden impac ts, in turn, affect the components of human wellbeing (see Figure 1) . Some examples of these deeper impacts are emotional trauma, depression, sleep loss, poor health and nutritional status, disruption of child parent relationships including maternal bonding, poor child care, cultural stigmatization, and increased alcohol consumption amongst adults (Hoare, 2000; Ogra, 2008) . Figure 1. Direct and hidden impacts of HWC contribute to decreased wellbeing in humans , disrupting health, livelihoods, and society ( Barua et al. , 2012) .


7 G eographical Context Laikipia County (9,700 sq km) borders Mount Kenya, Aberdares Range, Eastern Rift Valley, Karisia Hills, Mathews Range, and Samburu National Reserve (Butynski & Jong, 2014). High spatial variability in elevation and annual rainfall creates considerable vari ation in ecological characteristics and vegetation. Land use is varied because of this. Rich biodiversity persists in the area, and, as a (Blair & Meredith, 2018). A large proportion of the population lives towards the foot slopes of Mount Kenya (Ulrich et al. , 2012). Nanyuki is the biggest town with a current urban population of approximately 36,000. It is in this network of towns and trading posts that smal l scale agriculture and horticulture production is most common , but large scale agriculture is also present . Figure s 2 & 3 . Laikipia County is highlighted in red within a map of Kenya. A map of Laikipia County shows the major land use types. Government land includes small scale agriculture and livestock husbandry. As the legend indicates, large scale ranches, in yellow, are private and for wildlife. Some large scale ranches allow periodic pastoral grazing , and this is not represented here ( ; Sundaresan & Riginios, 2010 ) .


8 arid. Thus, all of Laikipia is water dependent (Laikipia Wildlife Forum, n.d.). Pastoralists, ranchers, and farmers alike source their water from the Ewaso N iro River and many of its tributaries , which runs through the area. (The majority of primarily provided by the rivers.) It should be noted that crop production relies on both rain fed agriculture and irrigated agriculture (Ericksen et al ., 2011). Water resources in the county are under increased threat due to a myriad of anthropogenic factors including population growth, the use of small scale irrigation by small scale farmers in order to counterbalance variability in rainfall, and the year round demand for water by horticultural production ( Wiesmann et al. , 2000) . Most of the river based supply systems have either insufficient storage or no storage facilities to bridge the dr y season. As a result, 60 95% of the available river water is abstracted during the dry seasons in the upper reaches of the Basin, with up to 90% of it being unauthorized et al. (2000). Typically, the areas surrounding Nanyuki experience two wet seasons, once in April and May and once in October and November . River dried up as did many boreholes, leading to significant losses for humans and wildlife (Laikipia Wild life Forum, n.d.). Laikipia County was one of the counties that was worst affected by the drought that hit Kenya in 2017 (Makena, 2018) . Laikipia has seen steady population growth since 1969, just one phenomenon attributed to the increasing pressures on water resources. Experts predict that average rainfall totals in eastern Kenya will continue decreasing and that global temperatures will continue increasing , trends which can be attributed to the connectedness between continued population growth and increased resource consumption (Al Jazeera, 2018 ; USGS, 2011 ) . Human Primate Conflict in Kenya: What We Know Despite the commonplace notion of wildlife resources as the birthright of people everywhere, local communities in Africa are burdened disproportionately with global wildlife maintenance (Bond & Mkutu, 2018). In Kenya, there are stark structural inequalities between th ose who bear the cost of wildlife and those who reap the benefits or make the decisions regarding wildlife . In deed , the


9 alienation of local people in conservation of biodiversity approach (Kieti et al., 2013). HWC wa access to water and grazing resources (Matheka, 2005). Human baboon conflict plays out at the nexus of three serious issues: biodiversity loss, land insecurity, and climate change . One of the most commonly studied forms of HWC is predation by wildlife of livestock or wildlife consumption of crops. In Laikipia County specifically, HWC studies suggest that pastoralists are tolerant of wildlife predation (Bond & Mkutu, 2018). However, f armers are not as tolerant. Conflicts with wildlife reach violent levels and are exacerbated by social conflicts over land tenure, an issue dating back to the colonial period. The British administration gave most of Laikipia to Europeans after coercing the Masaai to move some 300km southwest in 1911 (Business Day, 2018). his own ethnic group, the Kikuyu , many of whom lost their land under colonialism. Now, wealthy Kenyans, foreigners, and conservationists own land in Laikipia, and indigenous communities , including the pastoralist Maasai , Samburu, and Pokot tribes, still struggle with these groups for grazing rights on their ancestral lands. Because of the social conflicts in the area or separate from it it is not yet clear m any people in Laikipia perceive wildlife as destructive to human safety, community infrastructure, and private infrastructure and resources (Bon d & Mkutu, 2018). Farmers believe that the government and conservation organizations care more about wildlife than the human populations of Laikipia. The Kenya Wildlife Service has acknowledged the shortfalls in government management of HWC . These short falls include far too few employees with extensive responsibilities and an underfunded compensation scheme. (Notably, most compensation schemes around the world are disliked. Less than 5% of literature on the topic defined success in existing programs [Ravenelle & Nyhus, 2017].) One employee attributed the conflict between farmers and KWS to the lack of effectiv e land use policy (again, policy which is both symbolic of and perpetuates a power imbalance) and the weakness . failure and as evidence that the government values wi ldlife over humans.


10 Kenya Wildlife Service is reportedly slow to provide compensation payments to victims of HWC. In 2019, months before this practicum was conducted, a husband, wife, and son were mauled by hyenas in Laikipia County (Wangari, 2020) . Tragically, the attack took the 1 1 year The husband and wife are still recovering from severe injuries , both physical and emotional, in 2020. Both are now permanently disabled and struggle to find work. Though they provide d all necessary forms and documents to KWS , the couple still awaits the promised payout of 5 million Kenyan Shillings (roughly equivalent to 45 thousand USD) . Outside of Laikipia, in Kakam ega County, residents are anticipating a food shortage as baboons ha ve ravaged their farms consistently since the end of 2019 ( Shilitsa, 2020 ) . Locals are desperate for an intervention by the Kenya Wildlife Servic e, but so far, they have not seen one. To facilitate the process of compensation, County Wildlife Conservation and Compensation Committees were established. It is a claims of HWC and recommend payment of compensation claims as appropriate, according to the Kenya Wildlife Service National Wildlife Conservation Status Report (2017). Claims for compensation can only be made if damage or harm was inflicted by specific species. Baboons are not included in this list of species. Though Laikipia County is described as a hot spot for HWC by the KW (KWS, 2017 ; KWS , 2017 ). Out of approxim ately 500 HWC inciden ces reported by Laikipian residents in 2017 , only two were compensated . No immediate conclusions can be drawn about this relationship, but it is worth revisiting. Compensation schemes, when receiving the proper funding and managed efficiently, can greatly reduce the economic burden of HWC on residents (Goode, 2018). The semi structured interviews detailed below suggest compensation may only be one necessary component of a larger management approach. Victims of HWC, in cases where the individual has experienced loss of life, feel that money does not even begin to ease his or her emotional burden . Investments in community and agricultural development may eliminate the need for a compensation scheme altogether (Bond & Mkutu, 201 8) . Sustainable livelihoods and related infrastructure, combined with increased


11 community involvement and benefits from wildlife management, are economic and social linkages that provide resilience to rural communities in the face of HWC (Kanapaux & Child, 2011). As alluded to previously, HWC is compounded by other conflicts and processes within the rural context (e.g., insecure land rights and loss of access to resources). Matheka (2008) shows that conservation and land are inextricably linked in the Ken yan context. The establishment of private conservancies on contested land has perpetuated local conflict dynamics and led to unintended consequences such as conflict over land tenure between pastoralists and conservancies, igniting more recent conflicts between agriculturalists and pastoralists, then agriculturalists and conservancies (Bond & Mkutu, 2018) . Laikipia supports higher densities of large wild mammals than any other landscape in Kenya . And until recently, populations of large mammals were stable and even increasing for some species ( Butynski & Jong, 2014 non human primates, including the olive baboon Papio anubis , the focal species of my study. Olive baboons inhabit the semi arid rangeland agroecosystem of Laikipia, and this species reaches its highest density where the agroecosystem is well managed. P . anubis the IUCN Red List , meaning that it is still abundant . P . anubis is a large, diurnal, and omnivorous species. Their distribution and abundance can be explained by the availability of water, food, and secure sites for sleeping. They require perennial sources of drinking water and will drink da ily where water is readily available (Chism and Rowell, 1988; Isbell and Chism, 2007; De Jong et al., 2008). Where natural perennial sources of water are not available, olive baboons may frequent water tanks and troughs placed for livestock. If rivers run dry, groups of P. anubis must search for water elsewhere. In the absence of crops, competition between P. anubis and humans is low (Butynski & Jong, 2014, p. 122) . Conversion of natural habitat to cropland has put the species in direct competition with humans for food, and it has become a serious crop pest for . Prolonged


12 droughts in recent history have increased the intensity of this competition and have worsened the retaliation to and impacts of HWC in Laikipia (Butynski & Jong, 2014 ; Letiwa, 2018 ). Conflict between baboons and farmers in Laikipia County is largely due to crop raiding (and therefore, crop loss). Baboons learn rapidly, possess opposabl e thumbs, are flexible, and they raid strategically. Previous studies suggest that crop raiding , or foraging, is not a coping mechanism in increasingly anthropogenic landscapes (Hill, 2016) . Rather, incorpor ating crops into their diets is a way that baboons optimize nutrition al inta ke. Other studies posit that baboons forage on crops according to temporal and spatial patterning, while some suggest the opposite ( Warren, 2008). However, in the Keny an context, it seems most likely that increases in crop raiding by baboons are a result of ecological changes wrought by anthropo genic impact and are compounded by changing weather patterns (see below). Mpala Research Centre At the heart of its research efforts, Mpala Research Centre aims to benefit the surrounding communities, the nation of Kenya, and global conservation efforts. It is nestled among the private and pastoralist ranches (also known as private conservancies and ively) of Laikipia County, Kenya. The center functions as a so educators, and scientists from around the world study and reside. Through educational outreach programs, MRC tackles issues like human wildlife confl ict, thus ensuring that both conservation and human livelihood goals are met. Having recognized the growing presence of baboons in nearby farms and realizing that drastic changes in weather recently (2017 drought) were exacerbating psychosocial effects on the community , MRC saw a critical need to understand the threat that crop raiding poses to rural livelihoods. Human Baboon Conflict in Kenya: Applying a Conceptual Framework To understand human baboon conflict in Laikipia County, Kenya, I argue it is imperative to take a coupled human and natural system (or CHANS) approach. Morzillo et al . (2014) developed the following framework (see Figure 4 ) to link human wildlife interactions to broader CHANS processes across l andscapes. These processes consist of human and natural components and the interactions (or


13 feedbacks) between them. Given the complexity of HWC in Kenya, and the compounding effect of social conflicts and climate, I found this framework extremely useful b efore entering the field . Fig ure 4 . Conceptual framework for evaluating human wildlife interactions and feedbacks in a coupled human and natural system ( Morzillo et al. , 2014 ) . Arrows indicate unidirectional (single arrows) and bidirectional (double arrows) interactions and feedbacks between system components and characteristics. The following relationships are represented by the figure: (a) a wildlife related event plus a human reac tion results in an impact (b) impacts can influence human behavior (c) individual human characteristics can influence reactions and behaviors (d) human behaviors serve as drivers of wildlife management and policy (e) human behavior resulting in an impact could have direct and (f) indirect feedbacks that affect wildlife (g) changes to the landscape because of human behaviors occur across multiple scales (h) land use affects landscape characteristics (i) environmental policy limits human behavior for the benefit of humans and other species


14 As I planned this study, I saw (a) as corresponding to a crop raiding event by Papio anubis , plus the human response; (b) being captured in interviews with affected farmer; basic demographic data of interviewee corresponding to (c); recommendations relating to (d); (e f) being explored through participant observation, interviews, and camera traps ; (g h) as being described using exi sting literature; interviewees interact ing with (i) and recommendations for changes to (i) being provided at the conclusion of the study , after intellectual exchange with experts and with focus groups . Letters a c correspond to components and and letters g Letters d f and i present linkages between them. Research Objectives My study explores several components of t his context, including perceptions of HWC frequency and severity, of the driving forces of HWC, and of the impacts of HWC involving olive baboons on the local community in Laikipia County, Kenya . In concluding, this research wil l provide insight for innova tive mitigation approaches. Systematic monitoring of crop damage captures real time patterns of crop raiding while complementary qualitative methods provide supplementary information about crop raiding during a typical year and will explore the human dimensions of HWC. Methods To meet the research objectives, three methods were employed: (1) participant observation, (2) semi structured interviews, an d (3) camera trapping. Camera trapping is the most cost effective method for systematic monitoring of crop damage as it requires little manpower or time yet records critical information, such as crop raiding frequency ( a , e , and f in the contextual framework ad o pted from Morzillo et al . ) . Integrating p articipant observation and semi structured interviews provide s the supplementary information which the participants deem most relevant to understanding the context (see b d and i of aforementioned framework) .


15 Participant Observation I used participant observation to truly understand the social setting chosen for my study (Marshall & Rossman, 1989). By analyzing observation field notes, a researcher can develop a model that helps to make sense of what the participants do (Kutsche, 1998). It is important to note tha t one is constructing a model of culture but not telling the truth about the data (as there are numerous truths . Before implementing the next two methods (read below) , I felt it was critical to establish rap port with the farmers with wh om I would work. For the first three weeks at Mpala Research Centre, I visited many farms in the communities of Naibor and Juakali with the chair of my committee, Dr. Cheryl Palm. She has worked in the area for years and h as a positive relationship with smallholder farm er s there . It was these farmers that I would continue to work with on my own research. I kept detailed field notes of my observations . By visiting farms for several hours each, I observe d day to day activities of a farmer as well as identif ied cultural parameters such as manners and social interaction. During this time, I also made informed changes to the semi structured interview tool, adding one question about a common irrigation method , man made irrigation ponds, and another regarding the ownership of a guard dog. A benefit of using participant observation before moving forward with other methods is that it reduces incidence of people acting in a certain way when they are aware of b eing observed. In using this method, I opted to take on the role of the observer as participant, which enabled me as the researcher to participate in the group activities as desired while maintaining the main role of collecting data. Using this approach, t Semi Structured Interviews Gathering focus groups prior to conducting the semi structured interviews became logistically challenging and was a time burden for participating farmers. However , it was still important to pilot


16 the interview tool, so I consulted two local researchers based out of Mpala: John Gitonga and Bonface Kimathi . These researchers are well known in and around the greater Nanyuki area. In discussions about the interviews, John and Bonface were able to guide me in making changes to the interview tool that would increase the overall success of the method. Semi struc tured interviews were jointly conducted by myself and my assistant, Junior. 12 farmers in total participated in the study. Initial participants were gathered on visits to farms with which Dr. Palm had an existing relationship. These participants were able to point me to others who would be interested in and willing to participate also. (This is known as snowball sampling in surveying methodology.) We visited each farmer at their property to provide a comfortable, safe space in which he or she could speak pr ivately. Plus, this eliminated the burden (monetary costs and time) of the farmer driving to a specific meeting location. Each participant provided their consent orally before the interview began. Interviews were conducted primarily in English using the to ol featured in Appendix A. The tool, while acting as a guide, is not exhaustive of the questions that were asked throughout each interview. Several times, follow up questions arose given the information offered by an interviewee. As each interview progres sed, I guided the participant towards certain questions or allow ed him or her to continue diving deeper into one specific section. This allowed for the diversion of the interview into new pathways which help towards meeting the research objectives (Gray, 2004). As opposed to using a tape recorder as originally intended , all essential data was written down during the interview. Interviewees appreciated seeing that I wrote down the entirety of each response, capturing their very personal experiences an d insights. All interviewees are guaranteed confidentiality and anonymity to the degree they requested it. Each interview has been transcribed into an official document for recordkeeping purposes . While the intended sample size was betwee n 20 and 30 interviewees, only about 10 farmers were interviewed in total. This is because no new viewpoints were emerging from the data. According to Askey and Knight (1999), the sample size should continue to increase only if novel information ar ises in each succeeding interview.


17 Camera Trapping Following wildlife can pose great risk to the health and wellbeing of both researcher and animal (Pebsworth et al., 2014 ). Plus, to do so requires habituation, which takes a considerable amount of time. Camera traps can monitor fixed locations where a specific behavior or resource use occurs (in this case, crop raiding) as well as interactions between species (baboon and hu man). For this study, camera traps feature d infrared flash to capture color in daytime photos and monochromatic nighttime photos. It was considered unlikely that nighttime photos w ould provide any data of significance as it relates to baboons, since they return to their sleeping sites at sunset and remain there until sunrise. But, if an important event occurs within the range of the camera at night, the infrared flash, discreet by desig n, would not frighten subjects. Placement of the cameras wa s random and distant; cameras placed nearby one another may not produce photographs that are independent events. The number of camera trap days (24 h periods in which a camera is employed mul tiplied by the number of cameras in operation) w as determined in situ as data wa s collected (LaFleur et al., 2014). Using an accumulation curve, I could eventually assess if the duration of sampling ha d sufficiently captured species events or s pecies present (Tobler et al., 2008). To accurately capture baboon behavior on smallholder farms, one to two camera traps were set up on five farms. On average, these smallholder farms ranged from one to two acres in size , but one commercial farm was included, too . The appropriate number of camera traps for each farm was determined by the total acreage ( Rovero et al. , 2013; Molloy, 2018 ) . On the commercial farm (>100 acres in size and operating on an industrial scale with machinery) , Kenya Horticult ural Exports, three camera traps were set up according to the information provided by the farm manager. This farm was of particular interest to my research because it was employing its own solution to the so called to feed over 100 individual baboons using site processing facility. The manager expressed concern that the baboons or elephants could be crop raiding other areas where fewer personnel could stand guard. Thus, artifici al


18 feeding was introduced as a mechanism to decrease unwanted crop raiding. Two cameras monitor ed the fields through which baboons travel to reach the feeding site waste wa s dumped daily) . Biases within camera trap data are not uncommon. It is recommended to offset this bias by performing spot counts of species present and by directly observing behaviors when possible (Pebsworth et al., 2014). However, given that the rainy season was dela yed, and thus, planting occurred much later than anticipated, attempts to observe baboon activity on farm were unsuccessful. Ethical considerations of using camera traps include potentially witnessing illegal activity or simply capturing photographs of hum ans. Photos that captured human interaction with baboons were used in this study, and for that reason, permission to do so was obtained from the participants appeare d in photos, faces were blurred, and exact camera trap locations are not disclosed in the research findings. Analysis Participant Observation I organized the collected data into a narrative which tells the story of the months of my being present, being sur e to note information I ha d and information I d id not have. This process resulted in certain themes which ma d e the cultural scene clear to me. I would later compare these themes and understanding of the cultural scene to themes which emerged from the semi structured interviews. Of course, in analyzing data collected through participant observation, I included myself in the narrative , as I was a participant in the cultural scene I observed. All participant observation was jotted either into a p hysical or electronic journal, both of which remain in my possession. Semi Structured Interviews Both qualitative and quantitative measures were used to analyze the information gathered in SSIs. Open ended interview questions generated lines of direct quot e s , which were transcribed and then


19 coded in order to pull out major themes . Coding focused first on words or phrases that appeared in several or many interviews and then these codes were filtered into categories. No software was used to complete thi s coding process; coding was done manually given the small sample size . Largely, I analyzed the dialogue for drivers of HWC and for recommendations (or critiques) of wildlife management, especially as it pertain ed to HWC . Camera Trapping Cameras were placed in the fields in late June and July 2019 and remained in the fields until December 2019 . Some fields were in production at the time of placement (meaning ther e were crops planted), but some fields had been recently tilled and one was not yet converted to agricultural land but was used for livestock grazing. Over the course of the study, all but the plot used for livestock grazing supported crops, including bean s, lettuce, and maize. Pho tos from camera traps were processed using an Access software generated by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Using this software, I was able to eliminate photos with no animals present and could easily tag those with animals present by species. With photos tagged, I generated site specific counts for each species over time. For example, on each day for Camera 1 I recorded the number of visits by each species and this was done for e very day of every month that the camera was still act ive. Thus, over time, I could determine if site visits were determined by crop production stage. Results Participant Observation Based on the data I gathered, conversations I had, and behaviors I observed I develop ed a unique framework (Figure 5 ) for this context .


20 Figure 5 . A new framework was developed post practicum. This new framework is context specific and more closely reflects that which was observed in the field and the ultimate take away that human human conflicts, or at least tensions between humans , are the largest driving force in human wildlife conflict. Themes of power, influence, and trust, seen here in significant. Semi Structured Interviews How these words were used and in relation to what pointed to the true struggles these f armers are facing. Farmers wanted to be protected. They were indifferent or neutral towards wildlife so long as there we re active and effective fences, keeping wildlife out of their spaces, or if the wildlife live d inside of conservancy boundaries. Interviewees were keen to underscore the differences in their experiences with wildlife versus those of the conservancies. As it directly relates to HWC events, interviewees reported fluctuations in the frequency of crop raiding events. When crops we re immature, crop raiding occur ed far less frequently. Closer to harvest, when crops are mature, crop raiding increase d and visits from baboons and elephants we re frequent. Some interviewees felt that baboons were capable of doing more physical damage to crops/farming equipment than elephants , but it was clear others felt very strongly about the capacity of elephants to cause detriment to an entire field with onl y one or two visits. When interviews were


21 conducted, most of them in the month s of June and July, a few farmers had very recently experienced HWC, both with elephants and baboons. In one interview, a farmer reported crop raiding baboons only a few days pri or to my visit. Not only was the memory still fresh in his mind but the damage was still clearly visible. Rows and rows of lettuce had been plucked apar t. Another farmer had planted her crop only a few weeks prior to the interview, but elephants had already visited her farm, tearing down Grevillea trees she planned to sell for a profit later and causing damage to the as well as leaving massive indenta tions from their walking across her property. In previous years, when Dr. Pal higher rates of crop raiding and crop damage in December and January. Typically, June and July are the tail end of the r ainy season, when natural vegetation is abundant. December and January are the start of a long dry season. So, the season in which I was visiting and interviewing farmers was not a Nonetheless, a fear of the imminent losses to come was communicated in many of the 12 interviews. Even if in the months of my researching HWC wa s rare, it affec ed psyche and their psychologic al sense of stability. Conservancies was another term that dominated in the SSIs. Conservancies have ample opportunity to profit from wildlife in the form of bringing in foreign tourists for safari like experiences and by generating research revenue. Small scale farmers, on the other hand, do not posess any sense of ownership over wildlife and do not stand to gain any monetary benefits from wildlife , as their primary livelihood rivals wildlife conservation. The growing tensions between conservancies and small scale farmers could be explained by this difference . This was not confirmed by any participants during the SSIs. However, one part icipant would later say something to this effect ( Humphrey, Kusio, & Laurens, 2019) . She states that wildlife come from , 0: 06:05 ). Farmers are already econom ically disadvantaged as compared to conservancies, added to the fact that they are land insecure , whereas conservancy land is owned outright by an individual, a family, or a board or trust. Though many Kikuyu families in Kenya were gi fted plots of land in the 1980s , the majority of


22 farmers who participated in this study rented their plots from white owners. (One farmer owned his land outright and another was gifted the land by his father. ) This may be due, at least in part, to the snowballing methodology used for the SSIs. In other words, this is a cluster of individuals who know each other well and have grouped together because of their circumstances (small plot size, no ownership, similar crops grown, and proximity to one another ) ; thus, th e findings from this group may not be representative of all smallholder farmers in the county or even in the area . More than several times in conversation with farmers included in the study, a conspiracy about th e local conservancies was put forth. This conspiracy is that conservancies, which utilize electrified fencing to encourage elephants to remain within the conservancy boundaries , are turning off their electric fences during the dry season, encouraging all wildlife, not just elephants, to seek water off conservancy property. Though unfounde d , it was clear that this conspiracy was gaining traction in the communities of Naibor and Juakali and was likely generating mistrust in conservancy manage rs. For Mpala at least, the fencing has points at which certain animals may cross while keeping others inside. At the entrance to the conservancy, for example, hanging electrified wires deter elephants from leaving but do not block other animals from exiti ng or entering. Ol jogi , a nearby conservancy , has several openings featuring low, thick p osts that discourage wandering rhinoceruses but let many other migratory species roam in and out freely . While complaints about conservancies were made frequent ly during SSIs, complaints about KWS were frequent, too. Respondents vented about the lack of communication, the lack of recognition and validation, and the faultiness of the compensation scheme by the agency ( KWS, 2016 ). compensation for the damages done to his farm, and he has not attempted to seek compensation again. Other farmers do not qualify for compensation as his or her acreage is too small. KWS requires damage has to be over one acre, but I only farm


23 cannot afford to rent more than one acre of land and depends on this one acre for his seasonal income suffers proportionally the most damage from crop raiding. Several concrete findings were made in analyzing the SSIs. The first key finding was this: 12 out of 12 farmers most commonly cite baboons as causing damage to their farms ( Figure 6 ) . Elephants were a close second, followed by Vervet monkeys. Interestingly, only half of respondents think that wildlife has value, yet all respondents claimed to support conservation efforts in their area so long as these conservation efforts did not affe ct them negatively (Figures 7 and 8) . Figure 6 . Baboons were the most commonly cited animal to cause damage to farms in Naibor and Juakali, with all 12 respondents naming baboons.


24 Figures 7 & 8 . In the images above, the green icons represent respondents who said yes, while orange icons represent respondents who said no. Camera Traps Camera traps were deployed for a total of 194 days, providing over 1,700 camera trap days of images. In total, images numbered over 10,000. Though it was anticipated that the number of images featuring baboons would increase dramatically with crop growth, there were limited photos of the animal. In fact, over those 194 days, only three times did baboons feature in the camera trap photos. Those three photos were taken in a direct series on the same day, indicating only one event. Over the same time period, o nly one farm (the commercial farm) was visited by elephants, and this visitation occurred only once. In both instances, the wildlife were not detected foraging on crops; the wildlife were simply passing through the field. The cameras deployed on the comm ercial horticulture farm captured one of the two wildlife visits, that by the elephants. Beyond this, , indicating that this solution is working at present. Unfortunately, this solution cannot feasibly be applied on small scale


25 where the production rates simply cannot support feeding over 100 baboon s all days of the year. Notably, every day that each camera trap was deployed there was some degree of human activity on the farms. The camera traps, which are triggered by movement, captured laborers and the farmers working in the fields daily, watering, tending to, or fertilizing the cr ops. If there is an active presence of humans on farms, this could significantly reduce the amount of wildlife activity, ultimately contributing to the results captured above. Discussion serious threat (Kieti et al., 2013). The network of protected areas, including private wildlife conservancies, is unpopular with local communities. Why? On paper, the answer is surprisingly simple: more emphasis is placed on natural resources than the expe rtise, needs, and development of local communities (Wishitemi, 2008). In this related tourism generates a 16% value added tax. largest foreign exchange ea r ner af ter the tea industry (Oxford Business Group, 2016). On the other hand, small scale farmers taxed as individuals are not generating this level of revenue for the Kenyan government. down approach to conservation is largely unsuccessf ul beyond the boundaries of protected areas, the other extreme end of the spectrum is likely not a probable solution either. If the government struggles to fund conservation efforts, it is probable that local communities would, too. One thing is extremely clear in the context of Laikipia County, Kenya: there is a disconnect Prior to arriving in the setting of my field practicum, I was under the impression one of the most pressing local issues was crop raiding by baboons as many complaints about this circulated in the communities . However, the evidence (or the lack thereof) gathered using camera traps , combined with the narratives captured in my observations and in the SSIs, points to a more complex story. The seasonality in which this


26 research was conducted influences the results greatly, and this fact must be kept in mind when analyzing the bigger pi cture ; HWC occurs most frequently in December and January , and intervie ws with farmers in June and Ju ly are not likely to reflec t the context at its most vulnerable. Every interviewee was disheartened by the lack of help they receive in mitigating and/ or s urviving HWC events, and this burden was at the forefront of every interview, not the frequency or severity of HWC. The impacts of random HWC events, though sometimes rare and erratic , can be devastating. Thus, Again, while HWC events are not insignificant, it is the psychological and physiological effects of HWC that are most impactful on an individual. Wildlife manage ment agencies are unable to respond to HWC reports quickly or effectively, and local farmers struggle to understand w hy conservancies , entities which seemingly operate with more fluidity (at least from their perspectives) than government agencies , t do more to benefit the local communities directly. small scale farmers in Laikipia, largely of the Kikuyu ethnic group, are struggling with the encroachment of Masaai pastoralists on their already limited land. To these the world is coming at them from all sides . With no legitimate voice to represent them to groups of higher power (such as a conservancy or county and country levels of government) and with no recognition of their valid concerns , this community is left disgruntled, hopeless, and disempowered. T hese complex relationships are under increas ing strain as climate change batters the region. With farmers pulling water from the river system at an unsustainable rate and pastoralist grazing practices contributing to desertification, these two groups are pushed closer together in an effort to survive off of the remaining natural resources. Where are conservancies in this mix? As evidenced by the suggestion for me to come there, the M RC implicitly recognizes that there is human wildlife conflict. More so than human wildlife conflict, human human conflict is harming the farming communities of Naibor and Juakali. Over the years, the only locally focused human wildlife conflict mitigation efforts by conservancies was a workshop, which is now defunct and has been for at least the past year (it is still listed on their


27 website) . Unfortunately, I was not able to explore the community perception of this workshop , but it would be important to know if members felt as if the workshop had been beneficial and if it should resume . There is opportunity here for MRC and other conservancies to reach nearby communities in ways that are significant and impactful and that benefit both the con servancy and local people for generations to come ( by facilitating coexistence between people and wildlife ) . Ultimately, conservancy managers posses the positionality, the power, and the access to international resources needed to be a source of resolution, rather than a source of conflict. Cross Scale and Cross Disciplinary Implications In 2015, the UN launched its blueprint for a sustainable future . Called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) , this plan to address global challenges is the ba sis for the Master of Sustainable Development Practice Program and for MDP student field practicums. The 17 SDGs address a myriad of issues, including poverty, inequality, climate change, and environmental degradation , and are a follow up to the Millenium Development Goals, also put forth by the UN . The SDGs recognize humans as a part of nature, not apart from it, and Conservation International believes that nature is the key to sustainable development ( Conservation International, n.d.). Natural resource management and biodiversity conservation connect with nearly every SDG in some way, but here I will highlight those that connect most to the context of my field practicum. At the forefront, my field prac ticum addresses SDG 15, titled Life On Land, a set of directives an d goals for improving and restoring natural components of the landscape. When we dig a little deeper, my project addresses a worldwide conflict (HWC) that affects Quality Education (4) , Cli mate Action ( 13) , and Clean Water (6) . For many farming families, a simple solution for wildlife troubles is to hire a young boy, usually from within the family, to guard crops. This work can be done during the day but sometimes at night, too. W hile boys defend crops from roaming baboons or elephants, they miss school or they lose sleep, resulting in poor academic performance. Eventually, they will be removed from school due to their accumulating absences, and in the bigger picture, the cycle of


28 poverty continues as the child now has a diminished or eliminated chance of seeking an alterna tive livelihood in the future. On the global scale, the agriculture industry is being pushed for more climate smart technologies. Small scale farmers in Laikipia County, Kenya are not empowered to adopt these technologies or lack access to them. This, co mbined with the unsustainable water consumption observed, results in more frequent and higher intensity conflicts. And these consumptive behaviors are likely worsening the burden of climate change. The immediate effects of these actions are hard to pinpoin t, but research can support the probability of effects down the road, which include worsened periods of drought or intense flooding events. The relationship between unsustainable farming practices, the future of agriculture, and the looming impacts of clim ate change also affect clean water resources . Access to clean water is undoubtedly a human right, but it must be well managed to ensure equity and reduce conflicts. Enforced regulations on water usage, which were largely nonexistent in this context, could alleviate some of these issues. In this space, the role of policy experts, hydrologists, agriculture extension officers, and behavior modelers expertise from many disciplines overlap s . Recommendations The following description of recommendations for future research and efforts is not exhaustive, but it does highlight those that I argue should be prioritized. For immediate next steps, the Kenya Wildlife Service must progress to reconcile the current HWC compensation scheme so that it works for small scale farmers, not against them. With regards to the basic land requirement for compensation, the scheme should incorporate farmed areas of one acre or less, on which the damage will , of course, be equal to or less than one acre. Naturally, any adjustments made to the compensation scheme will not address the process of being compensated and the associated communication . It is important to tackle these issues concurrentl y; addressing these two issues side by side can be a compl e mentary matter . Eventually, these improvements will lead to higher satisfaction with KWS and encourage local support of the agency, too. KWS, by its own admission,


29 lacks resources, and that will make this step towards conflict resolution challenging. Thus, perhaps it is more reasonable to expect conservancies to make a positive step towards conflict resolution before KWS is able. C onservancies work outside the confines of (most) beauracracy, meaning t hese organizations can make decisions more efficiently. A needs assessment performed by MRC and/or neighboring conservancies will allow all parties (the local people, specifically the small scale farmers, and the conservancies) to understand what the local people need from conservation efforts in general , then what the local people need specifically from conservanci es . To kick off the needs assessment , the conservancy or conservancies would invite farmers to meet. In this setting, because farming is a full time operation and traveling to a meeting is a cost and time burden , the researching organization would likely need to send representatives to the f ield to conduct these meetings. It is in these meetings where data are collected, and after, are analyzed. As a result of using this tool, the researching organization would be left with a summary of findings, including what farmers hope to see change and what farmers hope remains unchanged. This effort creates a space of dialogue and is a logical first step in det ermining a conflict mitigation strategy . Of course, conservancies like M RC are not altruistic in nature. Many conservancies operate at cost as it is expensive to upkeep and maintain such broad expanses of land complete with an array of wildlife species, each with their own management needs. If farmers believe conservancies possess the resources and flexibility to addres human wildlife conflict and want them to do so, conservancies must see that this is in their best interest as well. As alluded to above, conflict over land and grazing rights has reached violent levels in the past two decades , especially between conservancies and pastoralist communities. During the 2017 drought, armed herders invaded multiple conservancies in Laikipia C ounty , indiscriminantly killing wildlife in their fight for cattle pasture (van der Zee, 2017) . The combination of societal pressures (by herders) and environmental pressures (lengthier periods of severe drought) has led MRC to form grazing contracts with pastoralists (Scheetz, 2020) . Such


30 contracts are meant to prevent undue conflict in the short term by granting grazing access for a predetermined number of heads of cattle each month. Perhaps, then, it is advantageous for MRC and other Laikipian conserva ncies to adopt similar agreements with local smallholder farm ers. Community supported agriculture (or CSA) is a relatively new institution in agriculture but is gaining worldwide traction . CSA is a contractual agreement Cone & Mhyre , 2000). This is very similar to the contractual agreement that exists between certain pastoralist groups and MRC. its (Cooley & Lass, 1998) . Both the farmer and consumer share the risks of farm production as the members provide capital up front , allowing farmers to plan production. The consumer, by taking up membership, is able to buy bounty from the farmers at the re al cost of production . By doing so, members contribute to the support of local, small scale growers . MRC makes large produce purchases often for the consumption of researchers and staff. Rather than purchasing from larger scale farms or at the market, MRC could ease tensions with local farmers by directly investing in their livelihood through a CSA arrangemen t . It goes without saying that the methods employed in this project (particularly as they relate to camera trapping) may have been lacking or partial , providing only a partial or misinformed understanding of the con text . Therefore, it is my recommendation that further research be conducted on this topic, broadening the scope of research to include more farms, more participants, and more came ras. By including more farms and operating over a longer period of time, using more cameras, the patterns of crop raiding by any wildlife species in the area can be better understood. It is noteworthy that an array of factors could have limited my came ra trapping method, including the number of cameras, the number of farms, weather patterns, and more. On the otherhand, expanding the project could confirm exactly what my camera trap data points to that the consistent presence of humans on farms successfully deters crop raiding by wildlife.


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36 Appendix A Semi Structured Interview Tool Demographic Information Age: Gender: Marital Status: Highest Level of Education Completed: Household Income: The following questions explore your farming operations. How many acres do you own? If you do not own, how many acres do you rent? What crops do you grow? Which crop is your most profitable? Do you keep records of crop losses? Do you irrigate your cro ps? If yes, what do you use to irrigat e your crops? Do you have a guard dog? Section III asks about the benefits of conservation and of wildlife. Do you think wildlife has value? Do you think wildlife should be conserved for future generations? How do you benefit from wildlife conservation? Overall, do you support conservation efforts? How do you benefit from baboons?


37 The following questions further explore attitudes about wildlife. Which of the following wild animals cause crop damage to your farm? elephants warthogs bush pigs baboons Vervet monkeys/other monkeys other Have you observed a baboon in the wild? Have you heard of a baboon being killed in your community? If yes, please describe. Have you ever heard of a baboon being killed outside of your community? If yes, please describe. How are you impacted by baboons? Which crops are most susceptible to baboon damage? Has a baboon ever caused damage to your other property ( e . g . f e n c e s , v e h i c l e , w a t e r t a n k s ) ? If yes, please describe. Approximately how many dollars do you lose to baboon damage every year? How do you report a baboon problem? Overall, how would you rate the management of human baboon interactions where you live? Do you worry about the risk you face from baboons? How would you like to see the number of baboons in the area where you live change in the next 3 years?