CAMPSITE GARBAGE, SITE SELECTION AND THEIR EFFECT ON HUMAN-WILDLIFE INTERACTIONS IN SIMIEN MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK, ETHIOPIA
Waste is one of the anthropogenic problems in most parts of the world‟s ecosystem. Likewise, waste (garbage) management is a perennial concern in SMNP, particularly in and around campsites. Currently, issues pertaining to campsite garbage, site selection and their effect on human-wildlife interactions in SMNP pose a major challenge to the management and conservation of wildlife in the park. This study was aimed at determining the current status of campsite garbage in SMNP; determining the conflicts between wildlife and campsite users; mapping suitable campsite garbage disposal sites, and assessing current and potential measures for mitigating the effects of campsite garbage on HWCs. Data were collected using questionnaires and field observation. Samples of garbage were collected, sorted and weighed to characterize it. GIS, remote sensing and multi-criteria evaluation techniques were used to collect and analyze geographical data for suitable garbage site selection. Garbage data were analyzed using ANOVA and Chi-square tests were used for socio economic data. Results showed that tourist campsites, staff residences and community lodges were the main sources of campsite garbage in SMNP. Tourist camps had the highest garbage generated (mean±SE=114.04±3.366kg), while community lodges had the least (mean±SE =18.18 ±1.068kg) generated. The daily mean garbage generated rate and compositions varied significantly (F = 12.098, p <0. 001) among the three campsites and garbage sources. Food waste had the highest (69%) composition percentage of campsite garbage, while glass had the least (1%). There was also a significant association (χ2 = 73.932, df = 6, p = 0.0001) between problematic animals and types of HWCs. Geladas and birds were the most problematic animals in SMNP. Poor waste disposal is the main cause of HWCs around campsites. Snatching food items from kitchens, tables, and people‟s hands were the main forms of HWC around campsites in SMNP. Garbage management practices had a significant relationship (χ2 = 128.558, df = 12, p = 0.0001) with the respondent‟s awareness and occupation. Slope, land use/land cover, distance from rivers, roads and buildings were listed as important criteria when selecting suitable garbage disposal sites in the park. The existing disposal sites are not suitable since they are located near buildings and surface water sources. Results further showed that 24% of the park is suitable for location of garbage disposal sites while 76% is not. In conclusion, a large quantity of garbage generated in SMNP is due to lack of environmental awareness and poor waste management practices. Campsites are the main hotspot places for human-wildlife conflicts. GIS and AHP methods were found to be the most suitable in locating sites for solid waste disposal. Awareness creation should be promoted among campsite users to have a sense of ownership of the park and engage in proper garbage management practices to reduce the quantity and effects of garbage. Finally further study on effects of campsite garbage on wild animal‟s health and behaviour is needed.
SomoCAMPSITE GARBAGE AND HUMAN-WILDLIFE INTERACTIONS, SITE SELECTION AND HUMAN-WILDLIFE INTERACTIONS, WILDLIFE INTERACTIONS IN SIMIEN MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK, ETHIOPIA
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