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The Resource Basis of Human-Wildlife Interaction

The Resource Basis of Human-Wildlife Interaction

(p.95) Four The Resource Basis of Human-Wildlife Interaction
Serengeti III
Han OlffJ. Grant C. Hopcraft
University of Chicago Press

This chapter analyzes how current human population density and land use respond to environmental gradients, with an emphasis on rainfall and soil fertility, and compares this to the responses of large resident herbivores. It identifies historic shifts that led to intensified human land use in East Africa, identifying three distinct phases: hunter-gatherer, agripastoralist, and modern commercialized societies. These three historic phases of human land use are analogous to current main land use systems in the Serengeti–Mara ecosystem: (1) parks for wildlife and ecotourism; (2) protected multiple-use areas where people and wildlife coexist; and (3) the rural/village areas, with agricultural and livestock systems managed by a variety of more or less formal land tenure systems. This sets the scene for a discussion of the resource basis of human-wildlife interactions in savannas, from which we can learn to manage these interactions better in the future.

Keywords:   human population density, land use, rainfall, soil fertility, herbivores, East Africa, hunter-gatherer, ecotourism, wildlife, savannas

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