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Serengeti IVSustaining biodiversity in a coupled human-natural system$
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Anthony R. E. Sinclair, Kristine L. Metzger, Simon A. R. Mduma, and John M. Fryxell

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226195834

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226196336.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

The Plight of the People

The Plight of the People

Understanding the Social-Ecological Context of People Living on the Western Edge of Serengeti National Park

(p.451) Sixteen The Plight of the People
Serengeti IV

Eli J. Knapp

Dennis Rentsch

Jennifer Schmitt

Linda M. Knapp

University of Chicago Press

Living next to large protected areas like the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem is fraught with a complex milieu of interactions that may be both harmful, beneficial, or both. Moreover, interactions can be quick and direct, like losing a maize crop overnight to an elephant, or slow and indirect, like opportunity time that is lost in guarding one’s crops for several years. If the goal of conservation is to decrease human-wildlife conflict and increase biodiversity, there presently is no one-size-fits-all solution for doing this. Although park-related employment has been offered here as workable initiative, it currently has many unanswered questions that need to be researched further. For one, there are simply too many people in western Serengeti and employment opportunities are too few. Secondly, any employment that is not year-round may allow employees to continue on in illegal hunting or grazing activities. Thirdly, advertising employment opportunities may lure households into the area which may increase local population size and exacerbate the issue. And fourthly, poachers are the greatest threat to the system but they lack the necessary amount of secondly education to procure employment opportunities. In lieu of these obstacles, park-related employment opportunities must be done carefully and strategically—if at all.

Keywords:   Maasai, Kenya, GSE, Tanzania, conservation

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