Raptors provide ecosystem services to African rural communities by: (1) preying on rodents, (2) regulating harmful snake populations, (3) shaping cultural beliefs, and (4) being part of tourist attractions. Peasant farmers, however, connect them with poultry depletion, telepathic omens, and traditional witchcraft. Consequently, raptors suffer human–induced persecution. Using a qualitative content analysis technique, we investigated the interaction between farmers and raptors in areas adjoining the Chembe Bird Sanctuary. Our results unravel negative perceptions, attitudes and practices that could threaten the extinction of five raptors in the study area. We propose the use of transformative cognitive measures (e.g., raising stakeholder awareness, ensuring stringent law enforcement for raptors and protecting their habitat, and strengthening relational social capital) and physical measures (e.g., providing appropriate fencing and poultry breeding of high resilient phenotypes) to improve the co–existence between farmers and raptors.
Social–ecological system, Stakeholder participation, Technical ecological knowledge, On–farm counter–measures, Ecosystem services
Reception date: 23 I 16 | Acceptation date: 18 XI 16 | Publication date: 14 II 17
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