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 OJE  Vol.4 No.12 , September 2014
Local Knowledge on the Influence of Land Use/Cover Changes and Conservation Threats on Avian Community in the Kilombero Wetlands, Tanzania
Abstract: Local knowledge of the history and ecology of wetland ecosystems is very useful in wetland resources management, especially when other historical ecological information is not available and can be integrated with scientific knowledge to introduce better management of resources. The aims of this paper were to assess existing local knowledge on land use/cover changes in the Kilombero wetlands, thereafter investigate local knowledge on its effect on avian population in the wetland and identify factors influencing local knowledge on such changes in the study area. Random sampling was used to obtain representative sample population for this study. Structured questionnaire and focus group discussions were used to extract information from local people in six villages. Study results from multi-response analysis showed that natural forests had been converted into cropland and bushed grassland, grassland to crop land, grassland to grazed land, forest to settlement and grassland to settlement. Land use change was singled out as primary cause of decrease in avian community in the wetland. Threats to the conservation of avian species were identified as livestock grazing, drought, use of poison, traps and bush meat hunting for food. Age and education level were seen as determinants of household’s knowledge on the ecological changes. This pool of existing knowledge is important among wetland users and stakeholders in order to generate conservation strategies of the wetland ecosystem.
Cite this paper: Ntongani, W. , Munishi, P. , More, S. and Kashaigili, J. (2014) Local Knowledge on the Influence of Land Use/Cover Changes and Conservation Threats on Avian Community in the Kilombero Wetlands, Tanzania. Open Journal of Ecology, 4, 723-731. doi: 10.4236/oje.2014.412062.
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