Citation
Human-wildlife interactions in the Sangay-Podocarpus Connectivity Corridor, Andes of Southern Ecuador

Material Information

Title:
Human-wildlife interactions in the Sangay-Podocarpus Connectivity Corridor, Andes of Southern Ecuador a socio-ecological and geographic characterization
Creator:
Morales Mite, Manuel A. ( author )
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (90 pages) : illustrations ;

Subjects

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

Notes

Abstract:
This research project addresses human-wildlife interactions in the Podocarpus - Sangay Connectivity Corridor (PSCC), which stretches between these two National Parks in Ecuador, encompassing a wide array of natural and altered ecosystems, protected areas, human settlements and different types of land tenure. I partnered with Nature and Culture International (NCI), a non-governmental organization working in natural resources management and sustainable development in several South American countries. NCI is interested in operationalizing managerial activities into the corridor, jointly with local people, to achieve common sustainability goals for this region. I developed a set of workshops that used participatory methods and conducted semi-structured interviews to understand rural people's relationships with natural areas, wildlife, and biodiversity, as well as their perceptions toward present or potential conservation interventions. People living around the corridor interact with the forest and wildlife in different ways. Five "hotspots" of negative interactions with wildlife have been identified, where the main driver for conflict is large predator attacks on cattle, mainly Andean bears (Tremarctos ornatus) in the mountains, and jaguars (Panthera onca) in the lowlands. People's attitudes toward biodiversity have been documented through a series of one-on-one semi-structured interviews. On average, conservation attitudes are positive and do not seems to be conditioned by negative previous experiences. However, their responses changed with the place where a would-encounter with a wild animal occurs. Attitudes are in general more neutral when the encounter would take in the forest, farther away from their homes, but changes in average towards an active response (for instance, scare the animal away) if the encounter would occur into their property, or close to
Abstract:
their house. Local inhabitants showed a good predisposition to work in innovative crop and farm-animal management, but some issues with local authorities need to be properly addressed.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Major departments: Latin American Studies, African Studies.
General Note:
Major: Sustainable Development Practice.
General Note:
Advisor: Hull, Vanessa.
General Note:
Committee member: Loiselle, Bette.
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 Manuel A. Morales Mite.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
037835490 ( ALEPH )
Classification:
LD1780.1 2020 ( lcc )

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Wildlife interactions in the Sangay Podocarpus Connectivity Corridor, Andes of Southern Ecuador: A socio ecological and geographic Field Practicum Report Master of Sustainable Development Practice (MDP) Program University of Florida Center for Latin American Stud ie s /Center for African Studies Manuel A. Morales Mite Cohort 9 Spring, 2020

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1 Table of Contents ABSTRACT 2 INTRODUCTION 3 G EOGRAPHIC C ONTEXT 5 N ATURE & C ULTURE I NTERNATIONAL E CUADOR 10 CONTEXTUAL FRAMEWORK 12 OBJECTIVES 14 METHODS 18 G ATHERING INFORMATION AND LOBBYING 18 F OCUS GROUPS 20 P ARTICIPATORY MAPPING 24 T RAINING IN THE USE OF THE INTERVIEW FORM 25 O NE ON ONE INTERVIEWS 26 RESULTS 27 P ARTICIPATORY MAPPING 27 O NE ON ONE I NTERVIEWS 28 H OTSPOTS OF HUMAN WILDLIFE CONFLICT 30 N EGATIVE INTERACTIONS AND THE PRESENCE OF PROTECTED AREAS 34 H UMAN PERCEPTIONS ABOUT WILDLIFE AND PAST EXPERIENCES 35 C ATTLE RANCHING PRACTI CES , LOCAL CONDITIONS , AND HUMAN WILDLIFE CONFLICT 40 P EOPLE ´ S PERCEPTIONS OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES 42 DISCUSSION 43 H OTSPOTS OF HUMAN WILDLIFE CONFLICT 43 E CONOMIC LOSS 46 H UMAN PERCEPTIONS ABOUT WILDLIFE AND PAST EXPERIENCES 47 P ERCEPTIONS OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES 50 C ATTLE RANCHING PRACTICES , LOCAL CONDITIONS , AND HUMAN WILDLIFE CONFLICT 50 R ELOCATIONS 52 C OMPENSATION S CHEMES 53 P RODUCTIVE A LTERNATIVES 55 CONCLUSIONS 56 RECOMMENDATIONS 57 LIMITATIONS 59 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 61 REFERENCES 68 APPENDIX 1. . ONE TO ONE INTERVIEW FORM 75 APPENDIX 2. PARTICIPATORY MAPPING IN EL PROGRESO, LIM"N INDANZA MUNICIPALITY, SOUTHEASTERN LOWLANDS, SPCC 2

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2 ABSTRACT This research project addresse s human wildlife interactions in the Podocarpus Sangay Connectivity Corridor (PSCC), which stretches between these two National Parks in Ecuador , encompassing a wide array of natural and altered ecosystems, protected areas, huma n settlements and different types of land tenure. I partnered with Nature and Culture International (NCI), a non governmental organization working in natural resources management and sustainable development in several South American countries. NCI is int erested in operationalizing managerial activities into the corridor, jointly with local people, to achieve common sustainability goals for this region. I developed a set of workshops that used participatory methods and conducted semi structured interviews to understand rural people´s relationships with natural areas, wildlife, and biodiversity, as well as their perceptions toward present or potential conservation interventions. People living around the corridor interact with the forest and wildlife in different ways. Five for conflict is large predator attacks o n cattle, mainly Andean bears ( Tremarctos ornatus ) in the mountains, and jaguars ( Panthera onca ) in t he lowlands. People´s attitudes toward

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3 biodiversity have been documented through a series of one on one semi structured interviews. On average, conservation attitudes are positive and do not seems to be conditioned by negative previous experiences. However , their responses changed with the place where a would encounter with a wild animal occurs. Attitudes are in general more neutral when the encounter would take in the forest, farther away from their homes, but changes in average towards an active response (for instance, scare the animal away) if the encounter would occur in to their property, or close to their house . Local inhabitants show ed a good predisposition to work in innovative crop and farm animal management, but some issues with local authorities need to be properly addressed. INTRODUCTION Natural systems, which include wildlife populations, communities, and ecosystems, are tight ly linked with social systems, which encompass human societies and associated modified ecosystems, such as villages, cities and agricultural landscapes (Hull et al . , 2015, Morzillo et al knowledge that integrates social and natural sciences to better understand the outcomes of interactions and feedbacks inherent to coupled systems, and how undesired interactions might be addressed from a holistic perspective for improved results (Dressel et al ., 2018; Hull et al ., 2015; Marchini, 2014).

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4 The integration of social sciences into the traditional wildlife ecology approach to managing conflicts have proven to be far more eff ective than the application of any one of th e se two approaches alone (Treves et al ., 2009) . Further, the application of new, integrated methods , such as spatial models and social network analysis is already producing tangible benefit for management science s and planning elsewhere (Gray et al ., 2015). In rural areas, humans and wildlife frequently develop complex interactions; the level of tolerance toward wild animals depends on previous experience, cultural predispositions as well as on the context and place where the encounter takes place (Lischka et al ., 2018; Struebig et al ., 2018). Negative interactions result in economic damage inflicted to property ( e.g., livestock, crops, material goods) by animals, which normally are large herbivores or predators that are, in turn, faced with deterrence measures or lethal control (Marchini 2014; WWF, 1997). Several interventions have been proposed for alleviating those antagonistic interactions, including economic compensation to those inflicted with damage, lethal removal (killing) of conflict animals, deterrence, or relocation (Sillero Zubiri et al ., 2006). Generating economic benefits for local people is also an alternative, making from wildlife a profitable benefit that can turn it into a valuable asset. Those assets should represent higher revenues for the people than the alternatives, which may include farmland, cattle ranching, or lethal control of the problematic animals (Hackel, 1999; Pettigrew et al ., 2012). Ecotourism and game hunting are su ccessful measures applied in other parts of the world in this regard (Child et al ., 1997,

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5 2012; Lopez Gutierrez et al., 2019). Nonetheless, the effectiveness of these interventions is highly context specific and depends, in part, on human perceptions towar ds biodiversity (Naughton Treves et al ., 2006; Struebig et al ., 2018). In the modern Ecuadorian context, the need for addressing human wildlife conflicts (HWC) has grown in recent years, since habitat fragmentation and the uncontrolled expansion of human populations has multiplied the frequency and intensity of these interactions, especially with large, endangered predators such as bears and jaguars, whose local populations are quite small and isolated (Espinosa et al ., 2016; Espinosa & Jacobson, 2012). Th erefore, there is a need for sustainable alternatives that would capitalize on the presence of wildlife as an economic asset and transform present negative interactions among humans and wildlife in a win win situation. G eographic Context Ecuador is a South American republic located on the equator, hence the origin of its name . With 500,000 square kilometers of territory, Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in the region, although it harbors remarkable topographic, habitat and biologic al diversity , making it one of the 17 most megadiverse countries on the planet. Further, the Andean region that crosses the country from north to south is considered a Biodiversity Hotspot and Global Conservation Priority area (Brooks et al ., 2006). Regrettably, this is also one of the most impoverished countries in South America, with high rates of inequality and social injustice (Kliesner, 2014 ; Lombeida, 2018). These features make sustainable development both a

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6 necessity and a challenge for authori ties, decision makers, and the public in general, and th e se issues worsen in rural areas. According to the last population census, Ecuador has roughly 16 million inhabitants (INEC, 2010); 24.5% of whom live in poverty (Lombeida, 2018); Ecuadorian rural a reas 43% live in poverty conditions (Banco Central del Ecuador, 2018). rural areas are sparsely populated (Lanjouw, 2000). The Andes of southern Ecuador constitut e a complex landscape, dominated by rural areas and vast crop extensions, especially in the highla nd s (above 2,000m) where the local population h eavil y relies on staple crops as a source of income and survival. These cultivated areas are intertwined with s mall and medium sized human settlements, natural areas of secondary and mature forest (several of them protected) , and urban regions. Some major roads, such as the Pan American way (running north to south) are also present, splitting apart significant frag ments of forest and shaping the landscape. The Podocarpus Sangay Connectivity Corridor (PSCC) is a 567,000 h a multi landscape territory, stretching from Sangay National Park (north) to Podocarpus National Park (south) in the Andean Oriental cordillera, in southern Ecuador (Figure 1).

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7 In 2012, a public private consortium started an initiative for establishing a conservation connectivity corridor in this massive area, encompassing tropical and And ean ecosystems as well as paramo grasslands. The corridor aims to include, in a coordinated managerial effort, several national and municipal (local) conservation areas, protected forests , as well as agricultural landscapes, human settlements and the north ern portion of the Biosphere Reserve Podocarpus El Condor (MAE, 2004; Frenkel & Rodas, 2017).

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8 Map 1. Delimitation of the Podocarpus Sangay Conservation Corridor. The red line demarks the corridor´s proposed zone, stretching north to south from southern Sangay National Park (P.N. Sangay), to Northern Podocarpus National Park (P.N. Podocarpus). Darker green areas depict Protected Areas in the National System of Protected Areas (N S PA), and include Río Negro Sopladora National Park (to the north), Siete Iglesias Municipal Ecologic Conservation Area (AECM) and Tambillo Communal Protected Area (APC, to the center). Light green represents Municipa l Conservation Areas (MCA), and Yellowish green stands for Protected Forests (PF); striped zones are PFs into MCA regions. The corridor includes the northern portion of Podocarpus El Condor Biosphere Reserve (south, brown line) which has the Podocarpus NP as a core zone. The corridor is flanked by another Biosphere Reserve, the El Cajas Massif Biosphere Reserve (northwest, brown line), which includes Cuenca city (purple line) and harbors El Cajas National Park and Quimsacocha National Recreation Area (ANR) as core zones. The dotted line (east) represents the international Ecuador Peru borderline. Near this line are El Quimi and El Condor Biological Reserves (RB) and El Zarza Wildlife Refuge (RVS).

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9 The preserved areas will provide environmental services, su ch as water supply for the surrounding villages, carbon sequestration, and natural population viability, the last one by fostering connectivity among montane, sub montane, and lowland forested areas (Keese et al., 2007). Sangay NP and Podocarpus NP serve a s core areas for the corridor. Both reserves harbor important populations of the endangered Andean bear ( Tremarctos ornatus ) and the Andean tapir ( Tapirus pinchaque ) and other endangered species (De May et al ., 2014; Ortega Andrade et al ., 2015). There are 127 bird species reported for the lower Sangay National Park alone (Guevara et al. , 2010), and it has have 86 species of mammals reported (Brito & Ojala Barbour, 2016). The reserves make the main conservation areas in terms of habitat representative of th e central southern Andean foothills of the country (Map 2). Map 2. The Ecuadorian National System of Protected Areas, depicting the PSCC in the southwest.

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10 The primary goal of the Ministry of Environment in implementing this corridor is to lead to collaborative actions among diverse stakeholders to achieve common objectives : natural resources sustainable management, development, and conservation. For doing so , several protected areas must be re deli nea ted or must have a management plan (MAE, 2012). In addition , the newest national reserve was created recently (2018) in this region: the Rio Negro Sopladora National Park, a 30,616 ha reserve encompassing Param o and Cloud forest habitats in the Eastern Andes, with highly isolated and seldom visited portions of territory, from which a recent survey has revealed three new vertebrate species for science (Frenkel & Rodas, 2017, World Land Trust, 2018). There is als o a proposed Connectivity corridor in the same area, although at a smaller scale. This corridor, called the Llanganates Sangay Ecological Corridor , aims to connect the ecosystems represented in between these two National Parks, a 36,000 ha unit of native forests where roughly 80% of its natural cover remains intact (Ríos Alvear & Reyes Puig, 2015). This corridor is a keystone unit for local ecosyste m conservation and represents a managerial opportunity to maintain the provision of ecosystem services within this landscape. Nature & Culture International Ecuador Nature & Culture International (NCI) is an International non profit Conservation Organization, based in Del Mar, California, operating in Natural Resources Management and Conservation issues in Latin America, through nine offices in six countries: Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Brazil , and México. The organization was f ounded in the early 1990s

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11 by Ivan Gayler, a North American businessman and conservationist, who envisioned the need to protect the last remnants of cloud forest and evergreen forest that he visited in southern Ecuador, in areas that were severely threatene d by deforestation and unsustainable human activities. He started a conservation program, jointly with a team of Ecuadorian conservationist s and technicians; their work has spread through other countries in the region and overall has protected roughly eigh t million Ha of natural forest (NCI, 20 20 ). NCI works to protect biodiversity and human cultures in concert with local people in several unique ecosystems in Latin America. The main topics they cover in their geographic areas of interest include protected area establishment and management, water supply and water shed protection, empowerment of indigenous group s , and law enforcement. In Ecuador, NCI is partnering with the Ministry of Environment (MAE) to achieve common conservation goals, especially in regard to ecosystem services such as water provision to local communities. Several other essential stakeholders (e.g., the National Secretariat for Water, Senagua, the municipalities of Oña, Gualaceo, Cuenca and Sigsig in Azuay, Gualaquiza and Limón Indanza in Morona Santiago, Cordillera Tropical Fundation, Universi dad del Azuay, etc.) in the sector have worked jointly with MAE, frequently with technical advice from NCI, to create protected areas at the regional level, under Protective Forest or Municipal Conservation Areas categories, which are small, decentralized conservation management units that can be eventually integrated into the National Protected Area System (SNAP). Several examples of this kind have been created and implemented into the corridor, and managerial plans have been written and run jointly betwee n both (local and national) levels of authority.

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12 NCI is working to integrate for the first time a Corridor category into the official Ecuadorian National System of Protected Areas, as a multi purpose zone. One of the goals in the proposed territory is to achieve the harmonic coexistence between protected areas and their wildlife and local people. One of the objectives of this study was to find and describe the conflicts (if any) people have with local wildlife and/or with natural areas and , drawing on locally derived information and the literature, formulate plans on how to tackle or alleviate these conflicts in actual or planned programs of development. The research conducted aims to contribute to this larger goal, through an informed descr iption of human nature systems of interest, associated strengths and problems that need to be addressed. CONTEXTUAL FRAMEWORK The Podocarpus Sangay Connectivity Corridor is an extensive and complex territory encompassing an array of unique landscapes, portrayed here as a human (green) and natural (blue) coupled system, which is influenced by several internal and external stakeholders acting at local, regional and global scales. The two integrated systems are arranged in different hierarchical organizational levels that intersect as illustrated by the colored ovals. In the center of the figure, I positioned the human wildlife interactions studied in th e corridor; these interactions can be positive or negative and are shaped by the socio economic and cultural context s , as well as the previous experiences the people have had which have

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13 influenced their perceptions and attitudes. Previous experiences, in t urn, might be influenced by the distance to protected areas or areas of natural cover and proximity to specific sites in which interactions occur. Several biotic and abiotic factors directly impact the type and quality of habitats found in the corridor, and they are strongly associated with human influence , as illustrated in the lower part of the figure, on the right. Several stakeholders exert influence in this region, with different levels of political and geographical influence, depending on the admini strative context, and most of them interact closely. The local host organization Nature & Culture International, and the Ministry of Environment are key stakeholders, as they have direct presence and influence in the whole region and beyond. Figure 1 . Conte x tual Framework, Human Wildilife interactions in the PSCC Adapted from Carter et al ., 2017 and Liu et al ., 2007

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14 OBJECTIVES The following table depicts the objectives of the study, with specific questions, hypothes e s and metholodogy utilized on each specific objective: Objectives Problems/Questions to address Specific Questions Hypothesis Methods General Objective To understand present and potential future human wildlife interactions in the Podocarpus Sangay Conservation Corridor (PSCC). The managerial activities proposed for the corridor, need to cope with coupling human and natural systems, in a geographical range where vast extensions of protected areas and sites of wilderness intertwine with human settlements, crops, pastures and several other altered ecosystems

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15 Specific Objective 1 Map out the geographical occurrence of different types of human wildlife interactions in the PSCC Human wildlife interactions in this particular region, both actual or emerging , are just anecdotally known and need to be properly described. Leading research questions include: spots for human interactions and/or conflict ? , and where should specific mitigation measures be implemented? 1) Are negative human wildlife interactions evenly distributed in space? 1) There are "hot spots" of negative interactions in the PSCC Participatory mapping with local communities and stakehold ers, through a series of workshops.

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16 Specific Objective 2 Enhance understanding of local people´s perceptions related to wildlife and protected area presence and its influence on their livelihoods within the PSCC Local stakeholders perceptions about wildlife and protected areas are only partially understood. This objective intends to describe human attitudes and perception in the regions towards wild animals, protected areas and the performance of local environmental authorities/ st akeholders. 2) Is there a relationship between the presence of protected areas (natural vegetation) and the incidence of a nta gonistic human wildlife encounters? 3) What perceptions do local people have about wildlife presence/abundance and conservation of their habitat? 4) What perceptions do local people have about the performance of local environmental authorities and policies? 2) There are more negative interactions in the proximity of protected areas or areas of natural vegetation, and this conflicts diminishes in intensity as long as geographic distance between human modified habitats and natural habitats increases. 3) People´s perceptions toward wild animals and conservation change with their previous experience and/or cultural beliefs. An internet survey with stakeholders, and one to one semi structured interviews

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17 Specific Objective 3 Propose managerial intervention s, agreed upon with different stakeholders present in the PSCC, with which to mitigate human wildlife interactions. There is a need for a Managerial Plan for the region that must include natural resource management guidelines, that are designed with as man y local stakeholders as possible. 4) Do the implemented managerial practices respond well to the negative interactions observed between local people and wildlife? 5) How can negative interaction s be turned into positive outcome s , and how can positive benefits be created? 4) Human practices of cattle management directly af f ects the shape and intensity of relationship s with wildlife. 5) Local stakeholders previous experiences can enhance the efect iveness of conflict prevention or mitigation, through collaboration and information sharing, along the PSCC. Workshops with local stakeholders and focus groups.

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18 METHODS Gathering information and lobbying There are several actors implementing conservation and/or research activities in the Corridor and the protected areas and biosphere reserves around it. I devoted the first weeks of the field practicum to make contact with them according to the advice and g uidance of the NCI office coordinator, Fabian Rodas. These people represent the institutions working on the field in conservation, management, or biology monitoring strategies. They are: The Paute river basin Fund (FONAPA), Cutin Environmental Stewards, a nd El Collay Organization; all of them conduct environmental activities in the northern highlands of the Corridor, through their field personnel. Their rangers and technicians advise local people with agricultural practices, reforestation, watershed manage ment, and simplified biological monitoring techniques. The Gualaceo Municipality and the three aforementioned organizations, participated with their field technicians and rangers on the training workshops developed by us, and posteriorly in conducting one on one interviews in their respective work zones. It was also necessary to talk with local authorities (Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health) and governments (Provincial, Districtal , and Parrish governments), seeking support for the proposed activities. Through these initial contacts, we were able to access several rural villages and explain directly to the people the scope of the study and request their collaboration. At the techn ical level, I held meetings with people from u niversities and research institutes that were conducting similar work to avoid duplication of efforts. I met in Loja city with

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19 Rodrigo Cisneros (professor at the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja) to recei ve feedback on the interview instruments, and to obtain information about the places where he and his students have conducted similar studies on wildlife uses, hunting , and human wildlife conflict in the southern section of the Corridor and the northern bo rder of Podocarpus National Park. Rodrigo shared his interview questionnaire, and I developed a unified version that get approved University of Florida ´s IRB. I met in Cuenca with María Cristina Narváez (researcher at the National Research Institute of P ublic Health INSPI), who conducted a recent study about human perceptions toward endangered faunal elements in the southern Andes. I also received feedback on the survey instruments from her, and she volunteered to conduct interviews in the field. I al so talked with Carlos Nivelo (Mastozoologist, Universidad del Azuay, Cuenca) about the known distribution of large mammals in the region, particularly tapirs and Andean bears from the highlands, and about anecdotal information he gathered on human wildlife interactions. I met in Cuenca with the Director of Amaru Zoo (Ernesto Arbelaez) and one of his field technicians (Gonzalo Córdova) to discuss the methodology. I met in Cuenca, with the District Chair of the Ministry of Environment, Priscil a Calle, to explain to her the Project. She ended up designating Fernando Juela, a field biologist , and representative of her technic al staff to accompany the process and vouch for its technical validity. With Fernando's accompaniment, I met with the techn ical staff of the municipalities intended to be part of the study: Luisana Cabrera (Sigsig Autonomic Municipal Government), t he technical Staff of the Gualaquiza Autonomic Government, t he Director and staff of the

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20 Ministry of Environment of Pastaza provinc e, Gloria Aguilar (Gualaceo Autonomic Government) and Jimmy Ortega (Limón Indanza Autonomic Government). Focus groups NCI and the Ministry of Environment stressed the importance of collecting information from the people working in the field with human wildlife conflict . For doing so, we planned to gather them together in a meeting to discuss the p r oposed methodology (interviews, workshops, and participatory methods). T he Ministry of Environment hosted the event, which took place in Cuenca, on June 14, 2019 and 43 representa tive s of the local governmental entities , NGOs, u niversities, field technicians, loc al leaders, experts and other representatives participated in the workshop . We worked in plenary , and then broke up in small groups, with two main purposes: comment on and giv e feedback to improve the survey instrument, and identify sites of present or potential interaction/conflicts between local people and wildlife in the Corridor and its buffer zone . The participants of this exercise identified four main zones along the corridor where conflicts or negative interactions have been reported in the past. Th e se were: 1) T he southern part of the Sangay National Park and its area of influence ; 2) T he Collay forests, among the Municipalities of Gualaceo Sigsig Chordeleg, in the center of the corridor ; 3) T he southw estern lowlands, around La Florida Buenos Aires localities, in the Gualaquiza

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21 Municipality , and 4) T he northern buffer zone of the Podocarpus National Park in Loja province. The last one was excluded from the present research for practical purposes, considering that UTPL has worked and is still working over there, through different baccalaureate's thesis research, on similar topics, but the relevant information from this area will be integrated with the rest of the data into a meta analysis in the future . During the field work, we received information about attacks on cattle, purportedly performed by wild animals, in two extra zones: 1) The outskirts of the Cuenca city metropol itan area, in its western part, which is not part of the Corridor but is considered to be part of the buffer zone, and 2) The Limón Indanza District, around the General Leonidas Plaza city, where recent jaguar attacks on cattle have been reported. Finally, one of the volunteer field technicians conducted interviews in Mendez municipality, in the northeastern part of the corridor, which is considered as a different zone, because of its isolation, for the purposes of the present analysis. The study site was accordingly divided into six study zones, which roughly are considered representative of the northern section of the Corridor, northward of the Yacuambi district. Field zones are the places where field personnel concentrated the one on one interviews, in the next step (Table 1, Map 3). I will use the term zone for referring to one of these sites. According to the main ecosystems of the study site, that are cloud forest on the highlands, and evergreen forests on the lowlands. I divided the Corridor for the present analysis in a mountain area above the 1,000m of altitude and a lowland area below this limit. Hereafter, the term area will be alluding to this altitudinal classification.

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22 Table 1 . Study zones in the PSCC and its main features

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23 Map 3. The PSCC showing the six zones in which one on one semi structured interviews were conducted

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24 The original interview form was adapted to include a section on wildlife uses and the overall recommendations coming from the participants of this activity. The form and content of the questions proposed were also modified, following the suggestions from the experts gathered in the focus group workshop. The final field interview form had 58 questions divided into seven sections and took on average one hour to be comple ted. The resulting final version was submitted and approved by the University of Florida's IRB committee. (Appendix 1). Participatory mapping Based on the results of the workshop, communal mapping workshops were held at prioritized localities. People who gathered in the communal meeting s received an explanation of the p roject, and then were asked to draw their communal territories with principal geophysical features and landmarks. Then, we provided them with blank flipcharts and color markers, and they were asked to hand draw a map , including different landmarks, like the cropping zones, cattle ranching zones, reserve zones, the places of occurrence of wild animals, as well as where they c ould recall, attacks on domestic animals or crops, if any, that h ave occurred in the past. Communal mapping workshops were held at Mariano Moreno (Gualaceo Municipality), Gualaceo (La Unión and La Merced parishes), El Progreso (Limón Indanza Municipality) and el Sígsig (Sondeleg, Curín, and Callancay Parishes). The re sulting maps were digitalized.

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25 Training in the use of the interview form The original proposal envisioned only one researcher (myself) conducting one on one interviews. However, after the focus group workshop, it bec ame clear that considering the geographic scope of the p roject, and the limited amount of time allotted for the fieldwork, it would be necessary to have more people working on generating th e information. Besides that, it became clear that there were certain zones where the relationships among the local inhabitants and the authorities, particularly environmental authorities, were tense and where I would not be successful, as a foreign researche r, in soliciting information . Considering this, we decided to take advantage of the offer s of several organizations with years of work in the field, to conduct the interview process through their field personnel, persons with whom the people in the dist inct villages were already familiar. I conducted training workshops with park rangers/field technicians from el Sigsig and Gualaceo municipalities, the Mancomunidad del Collay field personnel, and with the technicians of the Cutín Organization and the Wa ter Fund for the Paute river basin (FONAPA) . The former is a private organization, working with several local water authorities in vigilance and biological monitoring in several sites surrounding Cuenca municipality; the lat t er is a local organization inte grated by public and private enterprises participating in water management issues; the Paute river basin encompasses most of the Azuay and Morona Santiago provinces territories, corresponding roughly to the northern half of the Corridor . Cutin work ed with local technicians in the southern Sangay National Park

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26 and in the Machángara and Paute river basins, near Cuenca city; FONAPA coordinate d field and extensionist work with their own field technicians, in several localities . One on one interviews In terviews were conducted in a one on one fashion in the field, during July August, 2019 , by myself and my field assistants: Nancy Tapia in La Florida (Limón Indanza Municipality), and Fernando Juela, María Cristina Narváez , Ulises Méndez, Jacinto Peña and Paul Bermeo in Mariano Moreno (Gualaceo Municipality) . During November 2019 March 2020 interviews were conducted by Lindaly Tapia from NCI and 32 volounteers representing partner organization s both in the hig h land and lo wland areas of the corridor . Interviews were all conducted in Spanish since my field team and I are all native speakers, and this is also the primary language of the intervi ewee s. The interviews took place in several locations , including the interviewee's home to public spaces and during communal meetings, taking advantage of moments when persons of interest were available to meet . Since most of the interview ee s work in agricultural activities on a daily basis, o n several occasions, it wa s unpractical to try to arrange meeting s that coincided with work hours during the week. The information obtained was recorded on interview form s and on additional sheets when necessary , but it was not recorded because most of the interviewees did no t feel confortable with this kind of technology . People participating in the interviews gave their oral consent to participate before the interview was started. The actual names have been coded in order to protect the priva cy and persona l identity of the informants.

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27 All the information data were entered, and the answers to open ended questions were coded and grouped in like categories, for analytical purposes. The cost of the damage used is self reported, and on some occasions, where the informant was not able to estimate the economic value, it was approximated using the current (2019) public price of staple product for the year of the study (2019) were used. The total value of the financial damage was estimated by household, and an average was obtained, dividing for the number of cases in each zone that reported any negative interaction event. The average value of the reported damage was compared t o the published average income for rural people in Ecuador, which is 6805.02 USD for the year 2019 (Ecuador en Cifras, 2020). RESULTS Participatory mapping The main observation that is commonplace in the maps, is the proximity of mountains, in the case of the highlands or forested areas, designed as areas of protection, and in the lowlands, is where participants report the presence of large carnivores, like Andean bears ( Tremarctos ornatus ) pumas ( Puma concolor ) and jaguars ( Panthera onca ). From secondary habitats, like crop fields or meadows, people report the presence of a wide array of small to medium sized mammals, several of them identif ied as detrimental, for instance, opossums ( Didelphis albiventris ) and weasels ( Mustela frenata ) are reported to attack poultry; the la t ter also pre y on Guinea pigs ( Cavia porcelus ).

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28 In the sites where jaguar attacks were recorded, like El Progreso, peop le can easily recall the sites where those interactions occurred, as well as the names of the persons affected ( Appendix 2). One on one Interviews A total of 129 valid interviews were obtained from the field between June and August 2018. Fourteen interviews were conducted in zone 1, 43 in zone 2, 25 in zone 3, 31 in zone 4, 12 in zone 5, and four in zone 6 (Map 4).

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29 Map 4. Natural ecosystems represented in the PSCC and one on one interview ponint conducted in the study zones.

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30 From the total population interviewed, 82 were men and 47 women, with an age range from 19 to 82 years. The sample population was skewed toward s men in most of the zones except in zone 2, where the sex ratio was 1:1 and zone 6, where the sex ratio was 3:1 favoring women. The level of illiteracy is high for the region, and more severe among the female population. According to self reported levels of edu cation, 83 . 7% of the sample population have completed only primary school level of education or less. Hotspots of human wildlife conflict N egative interactions among people and wildlife do n o t seem to be evenly distributed in space, among the study zones, and within the Corridor. There are at least 18 species involved in negative interactions reported by the interviewees; these conflicts can be classified into two broad categories: raids on cr ops and attacks on cattle and domestic animals. At the same time, the conflict scenarios vary from the lowland area to the mountain area. In the lowlands, two main conflict areas have been identified: the Limon Indanza and Gualaquiza Districts; here, the re are crop r a iding events attributed to small to medium size d rodents, like rats ( Rattus rattus ), pacas ( Dasyprocta spp.) and acouchis ( Myoprocta spp.); birds, including parrots (several likely species), y ellow rumped cacique ( Cacicus cela ); and ungulates, like peccaries ( Pecari tajacu ) and tapir ( Tapirus terrestris ). Among domestic animals, several species depredate on poultry, mostly ocelots ( Le opardus pardalis ), tayras ( Eira barbara ), opossums ( Didelphis marsupialis ), hawks (Accipitridae,

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31 several species) and Andean eagle ( Spizaetus i s idori ). Among domestic animals, the most salient reported conflict is the attack on cattle by jaguars ( Panthera onca ). For the Gualaquiza and Limón Indanza District s (zone s 4 and 5 ), there were 1 2 jaguar attacks on cattle in 2019 and 2020. Those attacks occurred during two separate events, both during the rainy season of the corresponding year, the first one between January and A p ril, 2019, and the second one between January and March 2020. At least 1 7 animals were killed the first time, and three on the second time. The total self reported financial damage was 1 5 , 14 0 USD ( Table 2 and Map 5). T able 2 . Reported jaguar attacks on cattle and economic damage, into the PSCC 2019 2020

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32 for human wildlife conflict, identified in the PSCC

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33 When it comes to mountain highlands, species involved in crop r ai ding included the w hite tailed deer ( Odocoileus ustus ), Andean bear ( Tremarctos ornatus ), opossums ( Didelphis marsupialis ), parrots (Psittacidae, several species), rats ( Rattus spp.), skunks. ( Conepatus chinga ), d warf red brocket ( Mazama rufina ), and Brazilian guinea pig ( Cavia aperea ). In this region, farm animals affected by wild or feral animal atta cks were cattle, sheep, donkeys, pigs, alpacas, and poultry. The reported species to be involved in the attacks were Andean bears (cattle), m ountain lions ( Puma concolor ) w h ich attack ed cattle, sheep, pigs, and alpacas, Andean fox ( Lycalopex culpaeus ) which preyed on sheep and poultry; opossums and hawks (Accipitridae, several species), which attack ed poultry; and rats and weasels ( Mustela frenata ) both attacking domestic guinea pigs ( Cavia porcelus ). Besides that, there is a remarkable incide nce of feral dogs ( Canis familiaris ) attacking different farm animals, primarily sheep and cattle. In zone 1, Cuenca district, there is one report of an attack on cattle by the bear, which left two animals killed and caused 1 , 200 USD in financial damage; Th e re were also two reports of attacks on sheep, the first one by m ountain lion s and the second one by feral dogs, with no specified date and financial damage of 1,700 USD. In the Azogues district (Zone 3), interviewe d s reported six attacks on cattle by Andean bears, from 2004 to 2019, resulting in 11 animals killed and financial damage of 4,250 USD. In the same zone, there were reported attacks on sheep by the Andean fox, in 2012 and 2017, with a total loss of 600 USD. From zone 2, the Collay Reserve, people reported two bear attacks on cattle, one in 2010 and one with a non defined date, causing a total of 5,800 USD in damage. Attacks on sheep from

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34 this zone were attributed to feral dogs on at least five occasions fro m 2014 to 2018, causing financial damage of 350 USD (Map 5). Interviewees reported a total of 60 conflict events (crop raides or attacks on domestic animals by wildlife) for the whole study area , representing 46% of the total of interviews . The reported damage covered a nineteen years time span, from 20 01 to 2020. The estimated total damage was 44,430 USD. For the year 2019 alone, there were 43 conflict events, and the finantial damage was 23,251.25 USD. Assuming those values as the total annual lost by household, that amount would represent among 3 and 12% of their annual total income (Table 3 ). Table 3 . Total economic lost by wildlife attacks on domestic animals and crop riding by zone, for the year 2019 in the PSCC, and its relation with houshold´s average annual income Negative interactions and the presence of protected areas The second hypothesis proposed by this project postulated that human wildlife conflict w ould be more intense closer in proximity to protected areas. Nonetheless, once in the field, one realized that the whole Corridor is indeed a protected area. Whereas it is true that there are several scattered human settlements along with secondary habitats (yellow zones, Map

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35 5), most towns are loc protected areas or areas of natural vegetation, and the human intervention areas as long as they are closely interspersed. Given these circumstances, this hypothesis cannot be tested (Se e Discussion section below). Human perceptions about wildlife and past experiences Most of the people interviewed (78%), when asked, have reported, to have experienced at least one type of attack over time, on their crops or on domestic animals by wild or feral animals. Zones 5 (Limón Indanza) and 4 (Gualaquiza) are the ones with larger percentages of people affected, among the sample population (84% and 91% of the respondents, respectively). We asked people if they wanted more or less wild animals in the future (Figure 2). Nonetheless, people from different stu dy zones want more or the same amount of wild animals in their surroundings when projecting ten years into the future. Among 115 respondents to this question, most people (63%) wanted much more or more animals in their surroundings in the future scenar io, regardless of having or not having experienced some kind of conflict with wild animals. Only nine interviewees responded they would like to have less or much fewer animals in the future (Figure 2 ); among them, every single one had experienced negative interactions with wild animals in the past.

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36 Figure 2 . Desirability of having wild animals in the surrounding forests in the future The acceptability of killing wild animals in response to an alleged attack over domestic animals or crops varied among zones; respondents in Zones 2 (Collay), 3 (Azogues) and 4 (Gualaquiza) were on average, in favor of killing wild animals under these circumstances (0 . 051; 0 . 136 and 0 . 077 on weighted values, respectively) whereas people in Zones 1 (Cuenca), 5 (Limón Indanza) and 6 (Méndez) were o n average against this measure ( 0 . 057; 0 . 067 and 0 . 125 on weighted values). When people were asked, ´Do you think it is important to prote ct these animals from disappearing, or to get their population back into this zone, most agreed (93%). Only 9 out of 127 people responding to this question did not believe protecting wildlife was important; five of them were from El Collay and three from G ualaquiza; the last ones were from Azogues. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 Much more More The same amount Less Much less In ten years, how many wild animals would you like to exist into the forests surrounding your community, compared with the amount that exists today?

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37 Roughly two thirds of the sample population believe d wild animals bring problems to crops or domestic animals. This trend is more pronounced in zone 3 (Azogues), where only one out of five respondents believed wild animals d id not bring any trouble. People in the study zone responded that they enjoy ed living with wild animals in their neighboring areas in most of the cases (89%); people express ed that they do not enjoy it came from zones two to five ; the site with more negative responses (16% of respondents) was zone 2, El Collay ( F igure 3 ). Figure 3 . People´s responses about their direct interaction with wild animals When people were asked if they would feel satisfied if there were none of these animals ay, represent ing 22 . 5% of the answers (Figure 4 ). 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Cuenca El Collay Azogues Gualaquiza Limón-Indanza Méndez Do you enjoy having these animals living in your forests? YES NO

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38 Figure 4 . People´s responses about the ir satisfaction about the future likelihood of extinction on wild animals The ways in which people report ed how they would react in an encounter with a wild animal , varied in general with the proposed scenario (Figure 5) . Most people (61 . 5%) responded they would just watch or do nothing when encountering a wild animal in the forest, but that percentage diminish same time, there is a much larger percentage of people answering they would scare it away, in these two scenarios (42% and 38% of the responses, respectively) on average. People answer ing they would attack or hunt down the animal were in the minority, and the percentage of it, slightly rises with the scenario, from the forest, to inside the person´s property, to beside the house (5.5%, 7.9%, and 8.9% of total responses) (Figure 5 ) . 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Cuenca El Collay Azogues Gualaquiza Limón-Indanza Méndez Would you feel satisfied if there were none of these animals living in your forests? YES NO

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39 Pe distinguish among the type of animal and/or what it was doing there; those answers concentrate d typically on what people perceive d as property. However, their responses changed with the place where a would encounter with a wild animal occurs. Attitudes are in general more neutral when the encounter woul d take in the forest, farther away from their homes, but changes in average towards an active response (for instance, scare the animal away) if the encounter would occur in their property, or close to their house. Those species included carnivores, lik e jaguars, ocelots, and tayras in the lowlands, and mountain lions, Andean fox, and opossums in the highlands. Farmer´s LTG14 answer to this set of questions did not change with the scenario and portrayed how people´s behavior would change with the species not causing damage, but when it comes to the jaguar, I will like white tailed deer, parrots (several species) rodents (native and introduced), rabbits ( Sylvilagus brasiliensis ) and pecari. Some times the answer could go the other way when Azog ues, and Limón Indanza sites show larger proportions of people saying they would scare away the animals in scenarios 2 and 3, in comparison to the other three zones.

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40 Figure 5 . People´s responses about how they would react to a direct encounter with a wild animal in three proposed scenarios: a) I n the forest; b) Inside their property ; and c) Beside their house. Most of the interviewees (73%) have heard about the protected areas (both local and statal) existing nearby their site of residence, and were able to name it; 69% of the respondent s know those areas, and 89% can name one or more objectives those areas were enacted for. Cattle ranching practices, local conditions, and human wildlife conflict There are several cattle ranching practices identified during the one on one interview proc ess, which have influenced the shape and intensity of human wildlife negative interactions, or conflict, through out the study zones in the Corridor. With regard to the cattle related conflict, people most frequently identifie d two inter related factors: configuration of crops and grasslands directly adjacent to the forest fragments, and habitat loss /fragmentation . 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Watch and leave alone/Take pictures Nothing Be afraid Run/Hide Scare it away Attack the animal / Hunt it down It depends Ask for help Others What would you do if you find one of these animals In the forest In the property Beside the house

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41 People recognize that some practices, like leaving cattle unattended during prolonged periods (weeks or months) is a factor promoting attacks of large predators on domestic animals. At the same time, when people asked why they think these attacks are likely to happen, the most frequent answers were habitat loss or fragmentation, which force wild animals to come in con tact with human modified ecosystems, and lack of food in their natural habitats. One person (G09) told that wild animals, like parrots, venture away from the forest because of me into urban ne of the interviewees (AR20) When people were asked what they did to cope with the wild animal attack s , some of the managerial measures where: moving the animals to a different place (for instance, away from the grass/forest border), using guard dogs and making patrols. One person t old that o n several occasions, people mentioned using fireworks to scare away the attacking animals, particularly jaguars, and two interviewees (Zone 4, Gualaquiza) reported having used lion scat, that was dispersed in the farmland, to deter jaguar incursions. Lion feces w as accessible to people in this Municipality (Gualaquiza) through the local government officials who get it from the Amazu Zoo, in Cuenca city. The conflict that involves crops and smaller animals we re more diverse and highly variable by region. Corral construction and improved enclosures are the solutions people have

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42 implemented to deal with attacks on poultry (by several animals) and guinea pigs (by rats and weasels, in the mountains). People frequently mention ed having taken retaliatory measures, like chasing, hunting down, and killing the animal causing the damage , as a definitive measure. This consequence has been reported for animals attackin g both small and large animals, and include Andean bear, jaguar, Andean fox, Andean eagle, hawks, weasels, and opossums. People´s perceptions of local authorities The big majority of interviewees have a good opinion, overall, about their environmental authorities. 64% of the respondents believe that the performance of these environmental authorities is very good or good, and in the opposite end, only 12% believe it is bad or poor; the 15% did not answer, and 9% had a neutral position (n= 128). The Gualaquiza zone concentrated the most number of negative responses; here, ten people (32%) believe the authorities performance in this regard was bad or poor and another te n rate it as good or very good; the remaining 36% rather didn´t answer or remain neutral in their responses. One of the answers was differentiated, giving a bad qualification to local (public) authorities, and a positive one to a private organization (NCI) . Table 4 .

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43 Table 4 . Question about people´s perceptions about their environmental authoritie´s performance DISCUSSION Hotspots of human wildlife conflict In the study area, human wildlife conflict is shaped by proximity to the forest and forest fragments, and by the specific region addressed, with major differences among the Andean region, above 1,000 m altitude compared to the f oothill s or eastern region, below that altitudinal limit, which is continuous with the Amazonian lowlands. Even when considering their cultural and historical differences, rural people of both regions that make up the sample population, for the present study share several commonaliti es. The large majority of people in this population are self defined as mestizo people, or people with white and indigenous mixed ancestry; they are small farmers that depend heavily on subsistence agriculture for daily living. They usually are also small landowners and develop small scale cattle ranching as an additional source of income.

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44 The traditional farmland in the scenarios presented is normally situated (except the Cuenca District or zone 1) along the border (or in some cases inside) of the Corridor, considered as a whole, mostly forested area, under several political and technical l evels of management and protection. Considering this , the matrix in which each farmland is embedded must be seen as a highly heterogeneous landscape with different interspersed natural ecosystems, secondary areas, and human settlements. In this landscape, the agricultural border is steadily expanding, and the natural areas are becoming more and more fragmented over time, as are the resources in which natural wildlife populations rely upon. People inhabiting th is zone recognize these characteristics; living in forest neighboring areas cause s direct interactions with nature and wildlife, and some of th e se interactions are not beneficial for human interests. The more notorious human wildlife conflicts are the ones related to large carnivores. The large carnivores occurring in the study site are the Andean bear and the m ountain lion, on the highlands, and the jaguar in conflict are the ones of which the local authorities and experts (participating i n the focal group workshop) were aware of; certainly, there are many more conflict sites in the Corridor and in the whole region, from which we do no t have record or that were not reported. Additionally, the information reported here represents only a snapshot of what has happened in the study area in recent times . It seems obvious that the conflict has existed in several of the study zones for a long ti me. It is also true that this kind of interaction is exacerbated in recent times by human population growth and habitat fragmentation. Conflict relate d to attacks on small animals (mainly poultry), and crops are much more common and occur more broadly in the region, relative to the large carnivores . Nonetheless,

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45 the scale in which small farmers operate, makes it harder to quantify the real damage inflicted in both directions: one is the economic loss produced to the farmer by wild ani mals, and the other is the number of perpetrating animals killed in retaliation. It is reasonable to suspect that this kind of conflict is highly prevalent in the study area, considering that the small to medium sized predators mentioned during the intervi ews are very adaptable, in terms of habitat use, and have sizeable geographic distribution ranges. Those species include Andean fox, weasels, opossums, and several species of hawks, in the highlands, and ocelots, tayras, opossums, and several bird species in the lowlands. Addressing the most recent jaguar attacks in Gualaquiza District, there are two features that deserve further investigation. First of all, and even when the amount of information prevents us from coming to definite conclusions, the attac ks on cattle between January and April 2019, and then again between January and March 2020, suggest some seasonality o f the events. During the interview with a local expert in Cuenca, he mentioned some anecdot al information in similar terms, in which a wil d jaguar attacked in the same place, during the same season, for two or more years. The likely explanation, from his technical perspective, was that these large carnivores typically occupy vast territories, that encompasses a number of small human settleme nts, and that there can be a periodicity on which the animal goes over its territory. Besides that, the most recent attack occurred in La Florida, Buenos Aires, and Amazonas this year . A ll of them, nearby settlements in the Gualaquiza District, m o st like ly correspond to the same animal, given that the different reported attacks occurred with few days in nearby localities. Th is is also true for the attack series attributed to a jaguar in 2019 from El Progreso, in Limón Indanza District, which followed the same pattern. In both cases, local informants

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46 Economic loss The self reported financial damage inflicted by wild animals on crops and wildlife can represent up to 10% of the year domestic income for a rural family (see results), which seems to be substantial damage over the familiar economy. Under these circumstanc es, the rising of conflicts with wild animals is not a surprise; only 46% of the interviewees have reported having experienced some kind of damage on crops or domestic animals. These data represent a snapshot of what was happening in that locality in the p articular moment in which the interview took place; moreover, the informants some times referred that the damage reported or prey birds. Therefore, the real damag e received is far greater than the one the sample analyzed here describes. As such, mitigation strategies of the damage are urgently needed, as one of the first steps to alleviate the existing conflict. Local people interviewed demand a closer involvement of the local authorities and funds for developing productive projects. These can be achieved with the direct participation of the Ministry of Environment, the local authorities and the local inhabitants, perhaps with technical support of independent or thi rd parties institutions, interested in working in conservation and development issues in the study zones, like Nature & Culture International, Mancomunidad del Collay, and Cutín, among others.

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47 Human perceptions about wildlife and past experiences A significant majority of people interviewed have had encounters with wildlife and experience d some level of personal damage coming from wild animals in the form of crop raiding or attacks on cattle or other domestic animals. Perhaps surprisingly, the averag e level of negative attitudes towards wildlife among the sample population were low, according to their responses to desiring to have more or less wild animals in the nearby forests, in a 10 year future scenario. People also overwhelmingly responded Yes , when asked if they feel satisfied with having wild animals in their surroundings, and No , to the possibility of not having those animals anymore in a future supposed scenario. All of these attitudes point toward a generally positive attitude toward wild life; those attitudes, at the same time, are indicators of future actions in terms of conservation (Engel et al ., 2017). The acceptability of killing a wild animal in response or retaliation to damage received is also an indicator of likely attitudes tow ard wild animal conservation (Engel et al ., 2017). In these cases, opinions were divided among the respondents of the different study zones. In those places, and particularly in Collay (zone 2) and Azogues (zone 3) , this pattern relates to the proportion o is responsible for attacking human property. In both cases, there are important reported conflicts with bears attacking cattle, as well as other wild animals attacking poultry an d crops. The proximity of large blocks of continuous forests, the Collar Protected Forest, in the first case, and the Sangay National Park, in the second , are likely sources of those wild animals that eventually became in contact with human dominated ecosystems. The third zone where

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48 people on average are pro killing problem wild animals is the Gualaquiza District, where several jaguar attacks of cattle have been recently reported. Previous experiences with wild animals were not a strong predictor of attitudes or behaviors towards them. Even when most of the people believe d wild animals cause problems to the crops and domestic animals, and when the majority of them have experienced some kind of conflict with wildlife, a very small percentage of them demonstrated negative or retaliatory attitudes. Other studies have shown that factors different from previous experience, like broader social characteristics suc h as education levels, can be a stronger predictor of human attitudes towards wild animals (Carter et al ., 2014), and the present study shows the same trend. The answers from the people demonstrate awareness about environmental law, as well as a good knowledge of the benefits protected areas and wildlife provide. This knowledge can be a determinant for intended behavior because the interviewees frequently menti oned that in past times they use to kill wild animals, but that now they don´t do that regarding the law forbids it. Levels of education are not particularly high among the population sample: 68% of the men interviewed (n= 82), and 77% of the women (n= 47) have completed only middle school studies; this result seems to be contradictory with the high levels of acceptance towards coexistence with wild animals in the sample population. One possibility is that awareness comes from informal education or because of the fear of unobserving the law.

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49 Moreover, it seems that young generations have better attitudes towards wild animals in general and that men have better views in this regard as well; nonetheless, the sample size prevents us from expanding any further on these preliminary notions. The general trend observed among the sample population is that tolerance towards wildlife goes as long as it does not compromise human economic interests. One can arrive at that conclusion, analyzing the answers to the three proposed scenarios in which the person encounters a wild animal in the forest, inside their property, and near their house. People in the study area recognize in general that forests and animals are important for the maintenance of ecologic processes. When people were asked what the pro tected areas for, the big majority (88%) were capable of linking its function with wildlife conservation, watershed protection, oxygen production, and/or nature conservation in general. One of the respondents said that lthy environment, and for the animals to have a place about ecosystem services are. People also understand, in most cases, that the main driver of conflict is habitat destruction through human activities; therefore, people are conscious that their productive activities are adversely impacting wild animals (see below). This can be seen as a managerial opportunity, given that people already have positive attitudes towards biodiversity and protected areas, as long as their personal (financial) interests are not compromised.

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50 Perceptions of local authorities The interviewed people have a good overall perception of their local environmental authorities and their performance, which constitute an opportunity for managerial purposes. People highlight control and vigilance and capacitation as the more important inputs they receive from these authorities. People that have a poor perception of the authorities are concentrated in the site with higher levels of jaguar livestock conflict, which is the Gualaquiza District (zone 4). People there believe they are not receiving enough attention f rom the authorities to deal with the conflict and feel that they need to deal with it by ) need to stop being greedy (with wildlife); they are very good at putting fines, but not so much on caring for the help them to kill the problem animals. Since this kind of extreme measure is currently against the Ecuatorian law, this position reflects both the lack of people´s knowledge about the legal framework, and the weakness of the communication channels among them and the law enforcers. Cattle ranching prac tices, local conditions, and human wildlife conflict It is clear, from the information gathered during the interviews, that certain cattle ranching habits exacerbate the conflict with wild animals, whereas others may help to avoid it. Attacks over cattle tend to occur in isolated areas, surrounded by forest or just beside it. Fences or

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51 enclosures could presumably diminish the level of conflict, but in some isolated places, this is an unpractical measure, if not completely infeasible. On the other hand, l ike people have pointed out, some strategies can be effective for some species but not for others; for instance, interviewee TT11 told that he used enclosures to deter the Andean eagle from attacking poultry and that was successful. Still, he has not the s ame jaguar attacks is a major endeavor that can not be managed by a s ingle person or household. Deterring the presence of large predators using fireworks or other predator feces seems to have worked in these areas, particularly in the lowlands, as a measure used against jaguar attacks. Nonetheless, more experiments need to be done in order to test the real effectiveness of this intervention. This practice also needs to be analyzed at a spatial or regional scale, to avoid the possibility of deflecting the problem to a nearby village or productive region. One of the interv the people interviewed are aware of the negative effects of habitat fragmentation. Peop le know that one of the direct consequences of it is more frequent contact among large animals and human modified ecosystems, which in turn leads to conflict. Roughly 26% of the sample

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52 population believe that forest conservation or other measures to stop h abitat fragmentation, need to be taken to avoid conflicts with wild animals; 16% of the people believe in the use of fences or enclosures as an effective solution for the conflict, and only 5% of the respondents believe in killing or eliminating the proble matic animals as a feasible solution. People have also suggested compensation schemes, translocations, and the use of chemical deterrents as alternatives. Relocations The idea of relocating problematic animals away from the zone has been proposed severa l times during the interview process, always from interviewees from the lowland areas. While it is interesting that the people consider this intervention as an alternative, the feasibility of translocating jaguars, the problematic species in the lowlands n eeds to be evaluated, and the local population dynamics need to be reasonably described. As far as I know, the level of knowledge about the species in this particular Ecuatorian region is not at that point yet. On the other hand, translocations of big cats have at least some caveats: it is expensive and the translocated animal can alter the social dynamics of the population where it is translated, or cause the same kind of problems in the place of relocation, or even get those worsened, because of the habit uation to human presence during the transportation process (Athereya et al. , 2010; Fonturbel & Simonetti, 2011).

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53 Compensation Schemes Some people from the study site suggested that the Government should compensate them financially for conserving the forest or as compensation for the damage inflicted by wildlife. Specifically, people from the lowland area (n=7) have proposed that the auth orities should pay them in retribution for the economic damage produced by jaguar attacks or by other wild animals as well, both over domestic animals and crops; they think this would be a feasible way of mitigating the conflict and avoiding retaliation on the wild animal responsible for the damage. In the highlands, some interviewees (n= 4) mentioned a different type of compensation scheme, suggesting that the Government shall pay them for preserving areas of the native forest; in fact, one of them has o ne of his pieces of land under a governmental compensation preserving pieces of native habitats undisturbed, on a yearly basis. Socio Páramo or Grassland Partner, and its , aims to preserve private lands on the Andean region of the country, on the basis of a long term conservation agreement, established by a legal contract. The program is a modality of paymen t for environmental services, that has been successfully running for almost twenty years (de Koning et al ., 2011) and constitutes a valid alternative for landowners in the whole Ecuatorian Andean Corridor.

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54 Compensation schemes for the damage inflicted by wild animals, on the other hand, has not been established in Ecuador yet. Moreover, published evidence for the success of such an intervention is sparse. The experience shows that even when the compensation system succeeds, that doesn´t alleviate the conf lict, and it does not create a better disposition for co existence among the people affected (Gausset et al ., 2009). This type of measure is expensive and depends on the availability of funds. Probably it can be considered as a viable solution for the PS CC if private funds are ensured and canalized through local governments for this purpose. Several technical aspects need to be considered for this scheme to be successful, including the put in place of procedures for proving that the reported cases were in fact caused by a wild (or feral) animal, the methods for calculating the value of the damage, the socialization methods , etc. (Zukowsky & Ormsby, 2016) . A fter paying attention to this aspects, the compensation scheme could be a feasible alternative for bo th the highland and lowland areas of the Corridor. Finally, cultural aspects play an important aspect in this matter, considering that the economic payments in some cases do not compensate the emotional attachments and the time and effort invested in rea ring a domestic animal (Naughton Treves et al ., 2003).

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55 Productive alternatives Wild animals are considered a nuance by some people in the study zone due to their lack of economic value. Because of the damage inflicted, this is a win lost situation that, in some cases, turns into a lost lost situation, when the problem animal is killed in retaliation. Carnivore killing is a serious problem in Ecuador, because of the rapid decline in numbers, that have pushed several species like jaguars, Andean bears, and vultures on the endangered species list. Nonetheless, this scenario can be turned in a win win situation, if large carnivores and other wild animals are turn ed from being a threat to human´s property into an economic asset (Child et al ., 1997, 2012). Biodiversity of the study area in terms of bird, mammal, amphibians, and flowering plants in the Corridor, offers an opportunity for tourism. Local or communita rian tourism can be developed as an alternative in both the highlands and lowlands of the study site. Interviewees from the lowland area (n= 3 ) have expressed their interests in ecotourism; whereas the initial investment can be high, for an operation that offers lodging, other alternatives can be considered at the first stages of such an operation, like the creation of agreements with local governments and tourist service providers. Local people must be involved in all the stages and benefit directly and in an equitable share (among them) of the economic profits. Financial management must be performed with transparency, and the managerial operation must be put on the hand of the community that is

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56 directly benefitting from it. In the case of the Corridor, c attle ranching associations already exist, and those can be the organizational foundation for the tourism initiative as well. The existence of large predators can escalate the value of the touristic operation offered; the value of the animal alive (the car nivore) granted by tourism, must exceed the eventual cattle (or other domestic animals, or crops) loss for been successful (Child et al ., 1997, 2012 ; Hackel, 1999 ). CONCLUSIONS Human Wildlife Interactions (HWI) in the Sangay Podocarpus Connectivity Corridor (SPCC) are complex and highly divergent among the targeted population of interviewees. As it has been described in previous studies, most of the people support wildlife conser vation, as long as it does not affect their personal well being, and as long they do not need to directly interact with large animals perceived as threats ( i.e., bears are good, but not in my backyard). The type and intensity of negative interactions (co nflicts) are highly dependent on local productive systems, ecosystems, and cultural backgrounds, all of which interact in shaping the response to an actual or potential threat, such as crop raiding, cattle attacks, or pest infestation. The strengthening of institutions (rules) at the national level that can percolate down to the regional/local level is a must, in order to materialize sub sets of regulations at the corridor level, enacted from the municipality (level) in coordination with the national envi ronmental

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57 authority (The Ministry of Environment). The leadership of Nature and Culture International, a local NGO, and my Host Organization have made it possible to get most of the stakeholders together to come up with a sound, consensus based managerial proposal (s). RECOMMENDATIONS Future investigations on this topic need to recognize the high variability in terms of ecosystems, cultures, and socioeconomic conditions that characterize the PSCC and use a sample design adapted accordingly. The recruitme nt of personnel for interviews and other participatory methods that have a reasonable knowledge of the particularities of each zone is essential, and sufficient financial and time resources must be allotted to cover a sample that is representative of the v ariability identified for the corridor. The engagement of local stakeholders over a long term timespan is necessary to ensure the proper functioning and self sustainability of the proposed managerial unit, the PSCC. Empowerment of local authorities, local organizations, and technicians is urgently needed to ensure the participation and support of local communities for agreed on managerial interventions. This study shows that local people overwhelmingly like wildlife, and therefore would b e willing to participate in conservation activities and ecotourism initiatives, in a way higher than previous expectations. This result needs to be seen as an opportunity and a potential for valuable engagement in future proposed innovative, sustainable de velopment initiatives.

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58 The implementation of managerial interventions with domestic animals would highly reduce the extent and intensity of human wildlife conflict in the study area. These activities can include building enclosures for the animals and usi ng deterrents for wild predators. As long as it is possible, domestic animals should not be left for prolonged periods in isolated areas surrounded by forests, where more likely the attacks will occur. The first line of action to address human wildlife c onflict is to prevent it from occurring. With this in mind, and over the basis of the information compiled herein, I recommend to implement a pilot program at a sub regional level, that might include all the municipal governments and representatives of cen tral environmental authorities, as well as technical institutions (for instance, Nature and Culture International, Amaru Zoo) of a given site of potential conflict with large carnivores. The pilot site could be La Florida Buenos Aires Amazonas region. In this zone, a deterrence plan must be put in place on the rainy season, in agreement among the landowners of the previously affected areas. This passage would be intended to deviate the likely migration route of jaguars towards the protected areas. This measure will be practiced in concordance with a patrol plan concerted with the local inhabitants and a monitoring program with trained people from the communitie s. The funds to ensure sustainability for this activity might come from a mixed public private initiative among the NGOs working in the study site and the corresponding provincial or regional office of the Ministry of Environment. This consortium will le ad and monitor the implementation of the project. In the end, the management of the project must be transferred to the local communities to ensure its sustainability.

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59 Other interventions discussed herein, such as economic compensations, relocations of pro blematic animals, ecotourism, and other productive alternatives, are all feasible measures that are context specific, and that can be considered in more detail, depending on the conditions of the particular zones, the stakeholders involved and the fund's a vailability. LIMITATIONS The one on one interview methodology has several issues, particularly related to the limited resources on hand. It requires a lot of time (one hour per interview) and qualified personnel, which I had to train, after, of course, convincing the local partner s to participate in the research. Even when the final number of valid interviews is high (n=129) , we recognized that the variability of the possible scenarios throughout this massive landscape, in conjunction with differ ences in responses given by gender, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographic position, etc., reduces the broad applicability of the recommendations and conclusions derived from this study . This effort points the way for additional, complementary st udies that involve to a greater degree, under represented respondents in this research. The Ecuadorian environmental law explicitly prohibits killing wild animals and imposes penalties that range from fines to incarceration penalties. Even when it is likely that people do not feel free to tell the truth about their attitudes or behaviors toward wild animal s, they were participating voluntarily in the interview and were aware that the interviewers came from different organizations.

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60 Still, none were representing the Environmental authority (the Ministry of Environment), which would have the legal authority of taking actions against such faults. Therefore, it is safe to assume that people were truthful during the information gathering. Political instability is another topic of relevance , because people in decision making positions, including authorities and technicians, are highly unstable particularly after an election , as was the case at this particular time in Ecuador. The constant rotation of interlocutors is certainly a limitation f or the potential planned activities and interventions in a particular geographic area and for essential, long term continuity .

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61 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The research reported here has been made possible through a Field Research Grant from the Tropical Conservation and Development Program (TCD) at the University of Florida, and the Tinker Foundation. Moreover, my entire Master's Program has been funded by T he TCD Fellowship Program and the Center for Latin American Studies the University of Florida, who offered me a joint Graduate Assistantship position for the two academic years. I want to express my dept gratitude and recognition to these organizations f or making my graduate studies possible. The fieldwork and coordination of the data collection process in Ecuador were successfully led by Nature & Culture International Ecuador, my host organization. I have a dept of gratitude with Fabián Rodas, the So uthern Program Coordinator in NCI Cuenca office, by his leadership and advisory. His performance has been decisive for the implementation of the research interventions made in the field and in coordinating the linking process with the other organizations involved. Felipe Serrano, NCI country director, supported this research from its very beginning and provided the needed Institutional backup. Mónica Pesántez and Carla Arévalo generously shared the working space with me during the almost three months of r esidence in Cuenca. Carla graciously coordinated the administrative and logistic affairs in Cuenca and prepared the maps for the workshops, presentations, and reports. This work would not be possible without the generous support received from the Ministr y of Environment of Ecuador. Fernando Juela served as the liaison technique among MAE and

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62 NCI and personally assisted me in several ways, from engaging with local stakeholders to accompanying me to the field and helping up with the one on one interviews. I wanted to express a very special thanks to Fernando for his efforts and kindness. Priscila Carpio, the MAE representative for Azuay province, made everything on hands to facilitate this research and gave me Institutional support; I am indebted with her an d with Silvio Cabrera, the Natural Resources Specialist and Fernando´s supervisor, for their unconditional help and support. I want to thank my advisor, Dr. Vanessa Hull, for her guidance and support during my career . The earlier versions of this report and its associated documents greatly benefit from her experience and knowledge. I am also grateful to the members of the graduation committee, Drs. Bette Loiselle and Bryan Child for their guidance during the program and for their insightful comments on th e manuscript. The MDP Program has supported me as a student in every imaginable way. For their selfless support and guidance, I am indebted to Dr. Glenn Galloway and Dr. Andy Noss, that have gone beyond their administrative duties to provide advisory and guidance in every affair, logistic, administrative and academic, where they were needed. Thank you very much! The MDP extended family, Cohorts 7,8, 9, and 10 and beyond has been a very cohesive group from which I have learned a lot. Many thanks to them an d many other classmates from different career paths, for their company and friendship, especially to my cohort mates for countless hours of study and fun and endurance. A special thank to the fellows at the Global Human Wildlife Interactions lab , at the Wi ldlife Ecology and Conservation Department : Dr.

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63 Vanessa Hull, Dr. Jindong Zhang, Martial Kiki, Christian Rivera and Xiaoxing Biang , for the ir knowledge and for many great moments shared . The core and associate professors of the MDP program, has made this experience truly enriching; thank you for your teaching and for sharing your wisdom and experience with us. The administrative personnel in the Center of Latin American Studies and the TCD program have helped me up in a number of ways through these years, so I am deeply grateful to them, especially with Dr. Carlos de la Torre, Patricia Sampaio, Lenny Ureña, Jessica Caicedo, Wanda Carter, and Ivette Mundo. The city of Gainesville has been a place where I made many good friends since my first visit in 2008. Still, presently I have a lifetime debt of gratitude with Paula Bak, Jessica Mostacedo, Stephanie Muench, Katie McNamara, Oswaldo Medina, and Sofie Muench, and with Andy Noss and Lauren S amuels and their family, not only for their incredible friendship, but for becoming a true family for Sylvia, the kids, and myself during this stay. My beloved family in Ecuador helped me up, as always, in several ways during this period. My special tha nks go to my father, Efrain, my brother Juan Carlos, my sister María Elena and my nieces María Graciela and María del Rosario for their love, hospitality, and permanent care during the summer days. I make this acknowledgment extensive to my aunts

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64 Lourdes, Aurora, Teresa and Julieta Mite Delgado and their families, and my cousins brothers sisters for their unconditional love. I vividly desire for all of us to get reunited soon. Rodrigo Cisneros from Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (UTPL) shared with me his experience working with human wildlife interactions around the Podocarpus National Park. I especially want to thank him for his advice and guidance during the design and application of the research tools. Lindaly Tapia from NCI coordinated and exec uted fieldwork in the lowland area of the corridor, long way before my visit to the country; her professional work and commitment have made the scope of this study possible , for what I am especially thankful for with her. The field work greatly benefited from the participation of a number of local technicians, specialists, biologists, naturalists and authorities, that shared their experience and knowledge with us, and that have supported the implementation of the one on one interviews in the field. I express my gratitude for that with, Eduardo Toral and Maritza Bermeo from Fonapa, Karina Chamorro and Zaira Vicuña from Cutín Promotores Ambientales, Blanca Rojas and Mariuxi Ordóñez from Mancomunidad del Collay, Gloria Aguilar and Pablo Castillo from Gualaceo Municipality, Jimmy Ortega from Limón Indanza Municipality, Edwin López and Byron Yangora from Gualaquiza Municipality, Luisana Cabrera from El Sigsig Municipality, Luz Malla from La Florida Municipality and Florencio Sucuz hañay from the Ministry of Environment Morona Santiago.

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65 The design of this study greatly benefited from insightful discussions with many experts that I have meet, formally and informally during my visit to Ecuador. I want to express my acknowledgements in that regard to Dr. Silvio Marchini from University of Oxford, María Cristina Narváez, from Instituto Nacional de Investigación en Salud Publica (INSPI) at the Ministry of Health of Ecuador, Carlos Nivelo from Universidad del Azuay, Ernesto Arbeláez and Gonzalo Córdova from Amaru Zoo, Galo Zapata from the Wildlife Conservation Society Ecuador, Santiago Espinosa from the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis de Potosí, and Fabián Rodas, Rodrigo Cisneros, and Eduardo Toral. For their company in the field and/ or for conducting one on one interviews, I am thankful with Fernando Juela, Cristina Narváez, Lindaly Tapia, Nancy Tapia, Pablo Castillo, Gloria Dickie, Aida Uyunkar, Bladimir Parra, Byron Peñafiel, Byron Yangora, Carlos Carchi, Diego García, Fabián Bueno, Fernando Benenaula, Flor Vintimilla, Henry Ávila, Hernán Naikiai, Ismael Cuji, Jacinto Peña, Jairo Taisha, John Gómez, Jorge Abad, Jorge Tomay, José Andrés García, Lilian Solís, Luis Castro, Luis Zhunio, Manuel Sánchez, Manuel Zhibri, Mélida Borja, Miguel Placencia, Pablo Marín, Paúl Bermeo, Pedro Galindo, Ramiro Guzmán, Santiago Marquino and Ulises Méndez. Many people from Ecuador helped me up in many different ways from the beginning of this enterprise, for what I am thankful with the personnel from Fu ndación Otonga, my former Institution, especially with my boss, Dr. Luis Coloma and with Lola Guarderas, Diego Acosta and Marco Rossi for their support. My mentors and colleagues Luis Coloma, from Jambatu

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66 Research Center for Amphibian Conservation, Luis Su árez from Conservation International, Galo Medina from The Nature Conservancy , and Antonio Crespo from Universidad del Azuay, generously provided me with letters of support. Esteban Suarez from Universidad San Francisco de Quito, helped me up in many ways during the application process. For their friendship and hospitality, and for many great moments shared in Gainesville, I am grateful to Paloma Carton de Grammont, Mayra Rivas, Marliz Arteaga, Felipe Beluk Gutierrez, and their beautiful families. For the ir long run friendship and company, I want to thank Marco Albarracín, Isabel Valverde, María José Arias, Fabián Rodas, Vicky Ortíz, César Fajardo, Eduardo Toral, Caty Frenkel, Lucía Lasso, Susana Chamorro, Christian Cavicchiolo, Camilo Martínez, Francisco Neira, Andrea Cobos, Felipe Serrano, Alfredo Martínez, Cristina Serrano and many, many The people from El Progreso, La Florida, Mariano Moreno, Gualaceo, Sigsig, Chordeleg, Gualaquiza, and other localities visited, shared their time, knowledge and concerns with us; their wisdom constitutes the basis for the piece of information compiled here, and their kindness has enriched our lives in many ways, for what I am endlessly thankful with them.

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67 Finally, I want to especially thank my wife Sylvia for h er continuous care and support, and my beloved son José Antonio and daughter Victoria for their existence and for enduring by my side through the ups and downs of this fantastic adve nture.

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68 R EFERENCES Athreya, V., Odden, M., Linnell, J.& Karanth, K. (2010). Translocation as a Tool for Mitigating Conflict with Leopards in Human Dominated Landscapes of India. Conservation Biology No. 1 9. Banco Central del Ecuador. ( 2018 ) . Finanzas. www.bce.ec Brito, J., & Ojala Barbour, R. (2016). Mamíferos no voladores del Parque Nacional Sangay, Ecuador. Pap. Avulsos Zool. . Brooks, T., Mittermeier, R., da Fonseca, G., Gerlach, J., Hoffmann, M., Lamoreux, J., Mitt ermeier, C., Pilgrim, J. & Rodrigues, S. (2006). Gl obal Biodiversity Conservation Priorities. Science 313 (5783): 58 61. Carter, N., Riley, S., Shortridge, A., Shrestha, B. & Liu, J. (2014). Spatial Assessment of Attitudes Toward Tigers in Nepal. Ambio 43: 125 137. Resource Management by the People. IUCN ROSA. Environmental Issues Series 2. Harare, Zimbabwe. 1 48. Child, B., Musengezi, J., Parent, G. & Child, G. (2012). The Economics and Institutional Economics of wildlife in private land in Africa. Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Prac tice 18 (2): 1 32.

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69 D e Koning, F., Aguiñaga, M., Bravo, M., Chiu, M., Lascano, M., Lozada, T., & Suarez, L. (2011). Bridging the gap between forest conservation and poverty alleviation: the Ecuadorian Socio Bosque program. Environmental Science & Polic y, 14(5), 531 542. DeMay, S. M., Roon, D. A., Rachlow, J. L., & Cisneros, R. (2014). Selective foraging on bromeliads by Andean bears in the Ecuadorian páramo. Ursus , 25(2), 139 147. Dressel, S., Ericsson, G. & Sandstrom, C. (2018). Mapping social ec ological systems to understand the challenges underlying wildlife management. Environmental Science and Policy 84: 105 112. Engel, M., Vaske, J., Bath, A. & Marchini , S. (2017). Attitudes toward jaguars and pumas and the acceptability of killing big cats in the Brazilian Atlantic Forests: AMBIO 46: 604 612. Espinosa, S. & Jacobson, S.K. (2012). Human Wildlife Conflict and Environmental Education: Evaluating a Community Program to Protect the Andean Bear in Ecuador. The Journal of Environmental Education (43) 1: 55 65. Espinosa, S., Albuja, L., Tirira, D.G., Zapata Ríos, G., Araguillin, E., Utrera s, V. & Noss, A. (2016). Análisis del Estado de Conservación del Jaguar en el Ecuador. En: Medellín, R.A., de la Torre, J.A., Zarza, H., Chávez, C. & Ceballos, G. (Eds). El jaguar en el siglo XXI La perspectiva continental. Ediciones Cientificas Universita rias. Ciudad de México.

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70 Fontúrbel, F. & Simonetti, J. (2011). Translocations and human carnivore conflicts: problems solving or problem creating? Wildlife Biology 17 (2): 217 224. Guevara, E., Santander, T., Guevara, J. E., Gualotuña, R., & Ortiz, V. (2010). Birds, Lower Sangay National Park, Morona Santiago, Ecuador. cl , 6(2), 319. Gray, S.A., Gray, S., De Kok, J., Helfgott, A., O´Dwyer, B., Jordan, B. & Nyaki, A. (2015). Using fuzzy cognitive mapping as a participatory approach to analyze change, pr eferred states, and perceived resilience of social ecological systems. Ecology and Society 20 (2): 11 http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES 07396 200211 . Hackel, J. (1999). Community Conservation and the Fu Conservation Biology 13 (4): 726 734. Hull, V, Tuanmu, M. & Liu, J. (2015). Synthesis of human nature feedbacks. Ecology and Society 20 (3): 17 http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol20/iss3/art17/ INEC. ( 2018 ) . Censo de población humana y vivienda 2010. www.ecuadorencifras.gob.ec/wp content/des cargas/.../memorias_censo_2010.pdf Keese, James., Mastin, Thomas., & Yun, David. (2007). Identifying and Assessing Tropical Montane Forests on the Eastern Flank of the Ecuadorian Andes. Journal of Latin American Geography , 6(1), 63 84. Kliesner, K.W. ( 2014 ) . Poverty in Ecuador: Plans for development and growth. The Borgen Project. https://borgenproject.org/poverty ecuador plans development growth/

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71 Lanjouw Lischka, S.A., Teel, T.L., Johnson, H.E., Reed, S.E., Breck, S., Don Carlos, A. & Crooks, K.R. (2018). A conceptual model for the integration of social and economical information to understand human wildlife interactions. Biological Conservation 225, 80 87. Lombeida, E. ( 2018 ) . Reporte de pobreza y desigualdad Junio. 2018 . Instituto Nacional de Estadíst ica y Censos (INEC), Quito, Ecuador. Lopez Gutierrez, B., Almeyda Zambrano, A. M., Mulder, G., Ols, C., Dirzo, R., Almeyda wildlife conservation in the Osa Peninsula, Co sta Rica. Journal of Ecotourism , 1 20. MAE ( 2012 ) . Propuesta para la creación de un corredor de conservación en la cordillera Real oriental, entre el Parque Nacional Sangay y Parque Nacional Podocarpus. Ministerio del Ambiente, Coordinación General Zonal 6 ACMS Dirección Provincial del Azuay. Discussion Document. Manfredo, M. (2008). Who cares about wildlife.? Social sciences concepts for exploring human wildlife relationships and conservation issues . New York: Springer. Marchini, S. (2014). Who´s in Conflict with Whom? Human Dimensions of the Conflict s Involving Wildlife. In: Verdade, L.M. et al., (eds). Applied Ecology and Human Dimensions in Biological Conservation. Pp: 189 209. McArtthur, R.H. & E.O. Wilson. ( 1967 ) . The Theory of Island Biogeography. Princeton University Press. Princeton, New Yersey.

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72 Morzillo, A., de Beurs, K. & Martin Mickle, C. ( 2014 ) . A conceptual framework to evaluate human wildlife interactions within coupled human and natural systems. Ecology and Society 19 (3): 44. ociety 19(3): 44. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES 06883 190344 Naughton Treves, L., Grossberg, R.& Treves, A. (2003). Paying for Tolerance: Rural Citizen´s Attitudes toward Wolf Depredation and Compensation. Conservation Biology 17 (6): 1500 1511. Naughton Treves, L., Alvarez Barrios, N., Brandon, K., Bruner, A., B uck Holland, M., Ponce, C., Saenz, M., Suarez, L. & Treves, A. (2006). Expanding protected areas and incorporating human resource use: a study of 15 forest parks in Ecuador and Peru. Sustainability: Science, Practice & Policy 2 (2): 32 44. http://ejournal.nbii.org . DOI: 10.1080/15487733.2006.11907983 . Ortega Andrade, H. M., Prieto Torres, D. A., Gómez Lora, I., & Lizcano, D. J. (2015). Ecological and Geographical Analysis of the Distribution of the Moun tain Tapir ( Tapirus pinchaque ) in Ecuador: Importance of Protected Areas in Future Scenarios of Global Warming. P los One , 10(3), e0121137. Pettigrew, M., Xie, Y., Kang, A., Rao, M., Goodrich, J., Liu, T. & Berger, J. (2012). Human carnivore conflict in China: A review of current approaches with recommendations for improved management. Integrative Zoology 7: 210 226. Ríos Alvear, G. & C. Reyes Puig. ( 2015 ) . Corredor ecológico Llanganates Sangay: Un acercamiento hacia su manejo y funcionalidad. Yachana 4 (2): 11 21.

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73 Sillero Zubiri, C., Sukumar R. & A. Treves. (2006). Living with wildlife: the roots of conflict and the solutions. In McDonald, D. & Service, K. (Eds.). Key Topics in Conservation Biolog y. 255 272. Wiley, Hoboken, New Yersey. Struebig, M.J., Linkie, M., Deere, N.J., Martyr, D.J., Millyanawati, B., Faulkner, S.C., Le Comber, S., Mangunjaya, F.M., Leader Williams, N., McKay, J.E. & St. John F.A.V. (2018). Addressing human tiger conflict using socio ecological information on tolerance and risk. Nature Communications : 1 9. www.nature.com/naturecommunications . DOI: 10.1038/s41467 018 05983 y T reves, A., Wallace, R.B. & S. White. (2009). Participatory Planning of Interventions to Mitigate Human Wildlife Conflicts. Conservation Biology , 1 11. Vaske, J., Needham, M., Newman, P., Manfredo, M. & Petchenik , J. (2006). Potential for Conflict Index: Hunter`s responses to chronic wasting disease. Wildlife Society Bulletin 34 (1): 44 50. Wilson, E.O. & E.O. Willis. ( 1975 ) . Applied biogeography. Pp: 523 534. In: Cody, M.I. & Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. World Land Trust. ( 2018 ). https://www.worldlandtrust.org/news/2018/02/ecuador declares new national park for the first time in nine years/

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74 WWF. (1997). Problem Animal Reporting. Wildlife Management Series. Technical Report. WWF World Wide for Nature (formerly World Wildlife Fund), Programme Office, Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Trust and Safari Club International. Zukowski, B. & Ormsby, A. (2016). Andean Bear Livestock Depredation and Community Perceptions in Northern Ecuador. Human Dimensions o f Wildlife 21 (2): 111 126.

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75 Appendix 1. . One to one interview form Human wildlife Interactions Interview Form SPCC Interview code (Locality code/Interviewer Initials / Interview number ) / / A) General Information Interviewer´s name: Day: Month: Year: 20 Start ing time: Coordinates: N E Locality: Par ish County Personal Information 1) Interviewed name: 2) Sex (M/F) 3) Age ( in years completed ): 4) Place of Birth: _ 5) Place of residenc e : 6) Are you an inhabitant of this region? Yes/No ( No=go to question 8) 7) Since when do you live in this region? ( years or months ) 8) Since when do you work in this region? 9) How many people live in this h ouse? 10) What educational level did you achieve? (A). No studies (go to question 12), (B). Adult educational center, (C). School (D) High School, (E). College, (F). Graduate, (G). Other ¿Which one?) Are you still studying presently? YES/NO 11) What´s your main income activity? / / / / / / (A) Agricultur e (B) Cattle ranching (C) Tourism (D) Commerce (E) Building industry (F) Other 12) What your working present status is? / / / / / / ( A) Owner or Associate (B) Freelance worker (C) Waged worker (D)Temporal worker (E) Worker with no wage (F) Other 13) How do you identify yourself ethnically? _______(A) Mestizo (B) Indigenous (Nation?) (C) White (D) African American (E) Other (F) No answer 14) Do you own or lease any piece of land? YES /NO ¿How many? ( No: Go to question 25 ) 15) What is the size in Ha of those lands? Property Grass Ha Forest Ha Crops/Crops/ another Ha P1 P2 P3

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76 P4 16) At what distance from you r house are they? Property 1 P2 P3 P4 17) How much time does it take to get there? Property 1 P2 P3 _ P4 (in hours or minutes, please specify) 18) How often do you visit your property? Property 1 P2 P3 P4 a. Every day (B) 2 3 days/week (C) one day/week (D)every two weeks (E) Other (specify) 19) What kinds and breeds of animals do you rise there? Property 1 P2 P3 P4 A) Cattle (B) Pork (C) Goats (D) Sheep (E) Poultry (F) Horses. (G) Guinea pigs (H) Others 20) How much time do your animals expend in each piece of land? Property 1 P2 P3 P4 21) Do you keep your animals leashed or free ranging? P1 P2 P3 P4 22) What kind of agricultural pr o ducts do you grow? P1 P2 P3 P4 a. Corn, (B) Potato, (C) Coffee, (D) Chocolate, (E) Banana, (F) Tropical fruits, (G) Achiote, (H) Vegetables, (G) Others (please specify). 23) What is the distance between the nearest patch of forest and your land? ( km or m ) Property 1 P2 P3 P4 Wild animals perceptions Local name What does it eat ? Where does it live ? Do you think there´s a lot of them, some or few ? ¿Have they disappear ed during the las t ten years? In what do you use it? (Food, medicine, handicrafts, selling, others? How many times have you seen them?

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77 25) FIRST Name the first five wild species from this region that you can recall. THEN Mention the three first words that come to your mind when you think in these species: Please include animals tha t are known for producing conflict s in each locality, (e.g. Bears). ( Add additional sheet if needed ) Local name Com m on name 1 st word 2 nd word 3 rd word Observations INTERVIEWER: PLEASE TRANSCRIBE THE ANIMAL´S NAMES FROME THE PREVIOUS TABLE TO THE NEXT (QUESTION 26) 26) What do you know about th ese animals? 27) Do you think it´s important to protect these animals from disappearing or to get their populations back into this zone? YES/NO___________ Why? B) Human Wildlife interactions 28) Do you think wild animals bring problems to crops or domestic animals? Any other kind of trouble? Please explain

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78 29) Do you enjoy having these animals living in your forests? YES/NO/Don´t k now, no answer 30) ¿Would yo u feel satisfied if there were none of these animals living into your forests? YES/NO/Don´t k now, no answer ______________ 31) Have you ever had a direct encounter or any kind of interaction with one of these wild animals? When? Please explain 32) What would you do if you found one of these animals into the forest? 33) What would you do if you found one of these animals into your land or property?

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79 34) What would you do if you found one of these animals beside your house? 35) In ten years, how many wild animals would you like to exist into the forests surrounding your community, compared with the amount that exist s today? A) Much more B) More C) The same amount D) Less E) Much less 36) Did wild animals ever attack your cattle, your crops or domestic animals? (Add extra sheet if required) FILL THIS SECTION FIRST FILL THIS SECTION LATER Species Damage inflicted (number of domestic animals killed or wounded, species, etc.) Damage magnitude (weight of the animals, crop area affected, etc.) Piece of land and date of the attack Cost of the damage What did you do?

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83 37) What other affected people do you know? ( Name, site type of damage ) 38) How many animals were responsible for the damage inflicted and why do you think they present this behavior? Species and number of individuals Causes (lack of wild food, forest los s , human population growth, forest proximity, others) 39) If a wild animal attacks your cattle or domestic animals, do you think it would be allowed to kill the attacking animal? Strongly agree____. Agree_____ Neutral ____Disagree____. Strongly disagree____ 40) Do these attacks occur at a particular time of the year? Or have been they registered all ye ar round? 41) Have you ever killed one of these wild animals into this territory or the nearby territories?

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84 D. Wildlife uses and other interactions 42) Family diet information. TYPE OF ME A T SOURCE DISTANCE TO THE SOURCE INTENSITY/FREQUENCY PREFERENCE (1 TO 5, been 1 the least and five the most) OBSERVATIONS PORK COW POULTRY FISH GUINEA PIG TURKEY DEAR TAPIR AGOUTI WILD RABBIT MONKEY OPOSSUM BEAR WHITETAIL DE E R GUAN OTHER SOURCE: Reared, Bought, Hunting INTENSITY: Quantity per week (number of individuals, pou n ds, litters)/ FREQUENCY: Times per week. PREFERENCE (1 Most Preferred, 2) Preferred, 3) Neutral, 4) Less preferred 5) Not prefer r ed. Number repetition is allowed).

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85 43) Had the number of people living in this community changed during the last 10 years? 44) How much? _ A). It had grown, B) It had stabilized , C) It had diminished, D) Don´t know. Quantity : same, half, double, etc. 45) Do you think there has been forest destruction? ---, 46) What would be the causes? A) Logging; B) Agriculture. C) Cattle Ranchi ng; D) Urbanization. E) Mining, F) Others (specify) E) Protected Areas Perceptions 47) Which are the Protected Areas existing in this sector? 48) Do you know those areas? 49) Do you know what are those Protected Areas for? F ) Environmental Authority Perceptions 50) What organizations work here on environmental issues or natural resources management? 51) What are the responsibilities of those organizations?

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86 52) How do you rate the performance of those organizations? Very good Good Neutral Bad Poor Why? 53) What do you think does organizations must work in?

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G ) Wildlife management alternatives 54) What do you think it must be done to protect your domestic animals or crops, for diminishing conflicts with wildlife? 55) Would you be willing to do an arrangement with the local authorities for diminishing conflicts and preserving wild species? St r ongly agree____. Agree Neutral__ __ Disagree____. Strongly disagree______ 56) What would you like local authorities to get committed to do ing ? 57) What are you able to commit yourself?

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1 58) Would you like to participate in workshops, aiming to improve cattle ranching and crop management methods? YES NO____ FINAL COMMENTS (PLEASE INCLUDE A HAND MADE MAP OF PROPERTY LOCALIZATION) Ending time:

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2 Appendix 2. Participatory mapping in El Progreso, Limón Indanza Municipality, southeastern lowlands, SPCC