ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0198.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: local perceptions; chimpanzees; conservation; natural resources; human-chimpanzees conflict; traditional beliefs
Online: 29 December 2017 (08:00:35 CET)
The objective is to study the local perceptions on the conservation of wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in the Réserve Naturelle Communautaire de Dindéfélo (RNCD), southeast of Senegal, to design specific actions to improve conservation management. We conducted 338 semi-structured interviews in three main villages of RNCD. Three-fourths of the population were farmers. Of those interviewed, 29% received elementary education. Two of the three villages participated in a project to plant trees as fences. On average, 66% of the respondents were animists. Of the respondents who were afraid to see a chimpanzee, 68% answered because they attack. Seventy-seven percent washed their clothes in the forest river because there was more water than in the village wells. Of the interviewees who threw the old clothes into the forest, 50% did it due to tradition. Ninety-six percent of respondents stated that chimpanzees do not feed from their crops. The main problems of the locals with the Reserve were lack of water and basic resources and not been allow to cut trees in protected areas. There were significant relationships between education (1 relationship), environmental project (4 relationships) and animism (11 relationships) with local perceptions. The 93% of the respondents who had the traditional belief that “if the old clothes were burnt, children would become sick” feel fear of chimpanzees, while those who did not have this animistic belief the 6% are afraid (χ2 = 1.57, P < 0.02). These local perceptions allow us to design specific course of action to improve chimpanzee conservation and sustainable coexistence in this complex period of the Anthropocene.