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.

[1]   Kangalawe, R., Mwakalila, S. and Masolwa, P. (2011) Climate Change Impacts, Local Knowledge and Coping Strategies in the Great Ruaha River Catchment Area. Tanzania Natural Resources, 2, 212-223.

[2]   Kovacs, J.M. (2000) Perceptions of Environmental Change in a Tropical Coastal Wetland. Land Degradation and Development, 11, 209-220.<209::AID-LDR378>3.0.CO;2-Y

[3]   Shemdoe, R.S., Kingazi, S.P., Kitula, R. and Chaggu E.J. (2007) Reducing Stress on Wetland Resources in Dryland Ecosystems of Mpwapwa District, Central Tanzania: Where Do We Start? Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa, 9, 197-206.

[4]   Ambastha, K., Hussain, A.S. and Badola, R. (2007) Resource Dependence and Attitudes of Local People toward Conservation of Karbartal Wetland: A Case Study from the Indo-Gangetic Plains. Wetland Ecology Management, 15, 287-302.

[5]   Gjersing, F.M. (1975) Waterfowl Production in Relation to Rest-Rotation Grazing. Journal of Range Management, 28, 37-42.

[6]   Bowen, B.S. and Hamerlinck, O. (1993) Effects of Grazing on Nesting by Upland Sandpipiers in South Central North Dakota. Journal of Wildlife Management, 57, 291-301.

[7]   Fondell, T.F. and Ball, J.J. (2004) Density and Success of Bird Nests Relative to Grazing on Western Montana Grasslands. Biological Conservation, 117, 203-221.

[8]   Raban, C. (1996) Human Perceptions of Environmental Degradation in Part of the Kalahari Ecosystem. GeoJournal, 39, 65-67.

[9]   Robertson, A.H. and Tara, K.M. (2003) Applying Local Knowledge: The Contribution of Oral History to Wetland Rehabilitation at Kanyapella Basin. Australia Journal of Environmental Management, 69, 275-228.

[10]   Stringer, L.C. and Reed, M.S. (2007) Land Degradation Assessment in Southern Africa: Integrating Local and Scientific Knowledge Bases. Land Degradation and Development, 18, 99-116.

[11]   Taylor, R.V. and Albert, S.K. (1999) Human Hunting of Non-Game Birds at Zuni, New Mexico, USA. Conservation Biology, 13, 1398-1403.

[12]   Johnson, A. and Walker, D. (2000) Science, Communication and Stakeholder Participation for Integrated Natural Resource Management. Australian Journal of Environmental Management, 7, 82-90.

[13]   Oba, G. and Kaitira, L.M. (2006) Herder Knowledge of Landscape Assessments in Arid Rangelands in Northern Tanzania. Journal of Arid Environments, 66, 168-186.

[14]   Olsson, P. and Folke, C. (2001) Local Ecological Knowledge and Institutional Dynamics for Ecosystem Management: A Study of Lake Racken Watershed, Sweden. Ecosystems, 4, 85-104.

[15]   Jew, E. and Bonnington, C. (2011) Socio-Demographic Factors Influence the Altitude of Local Residents towards Trophy Hunting Activities in the Kilombero Valley, Tanzania. African Journal of Ecology, 49, 277-285.

[16]   Egan, D. and Howell, E.A. (2001) The Historical Ecology Handbook: A Restorationists’ Guide to Reference Ecosystems. Journal of Environmental Management.

[17]   Fogerty, J.E. (2001) Oral History: A Guide to Its Creation and Use. In: Egan, D. and Howell, E.A., Eds., The Historical Ecology Handbook: A Restorationist’s Guide to Reference Ecosystems, Oxford University Press, Washington DC, 101-120.

[18]   Duvail, S. and Hamerlynck, O. (2007) The Rufiji River Flood: Plague or Blessing? International Journal of Biometeorology, 52, 33-42.

[19]   Ramsar Convention Secreatariat (2002) Tanzania Designates Rich New Ramsar Site.^2268940000

[20]   Starkey, M., Birnie, N., Cameron, A., Daffa, R.A., Haddelsey, L., Hood, L., Johnson, N., Kapapa, L., Makoti, J., Mwangomo, E., Rainey, H. and Robinson, W. (2002) The Kilombero Valley Wildlife Project: An Ecological and Social Survey in the Kilombero Valley, Tanzania. Kilombero Valley Wildlife Project, Edinburgh, 104 p.

[21]   Baker, N.E. and Baker, E.M. (2002) Important Bird Areas in Tanzania. A First Inventory. Wildlife Society of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, 302 p.

[22]   Kajembe, G.C. (1994) Indigenous Management System as a Basis for Community Forestry in Tanzania. A Case Study for Dodoma Urban and Lushoto Districts. Tropical Resource Management Paper No. 6, Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen, 148 p.

[23]   Bailey, D.K. (1998) Methods of Social Research. The Free Press Collier-MacMillan Publishers, London, 478 p.

[24]   Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2007) Research Methods for Business Students. 4th Edition, FT Prentice Hall, Harlow, 624 p.

[25]   McClanahan, T., Davies, J. and Maina, J. (2005) Factors Influencing Resource Users and Managers’ Perceptions towards Marine Protected Area in Kenya. Environmental Conservation, 9, 283-298.

[26]   Lindskog, P. and Tengberg, A. (1994) Land Degradation, Natural Resources and Local Knowledge in the Sahel Zone of Burkina Faso. GeoJournal, 33, 365-375.

[27]   Shibia, M.G. (2010) Determinants of Altitudes and Perception on the Resource Use and Management of Marsabit National Reserve, Kenya. Journal of Human Ecology, 30, 55-62.

[28]   Shrestha, R.K. and Alavalapati, J.R.R. (2006) Linking Conservation and Development: An Analysis of Local People’s Altitude towards Koshi Tappu Wildlife, Reserve, Nepal. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 8, 69-84.

[29]   MNRT (2009) Kilombero Valley Ramsar Site Project. Final Report, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Ifakara, 209 p.

[30]   Baker, N.E. and Baker, E.M. (2002) Important Bird Areas in Tanzania. A First Inventory. Wildlife Society of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, 302 p.