Quantitative evaluation of conservation strategies in Tanzania: Household livelihoods and wildlife conflict in community-based management areas
Results/Conclusions: Results from controlled multi-level models indicate substantial heterogeneity in social outcomes associated with community-based conservation projects across multiple project sites: certain sites have significant positive effects on participating households, yet others fail to do so. In addition, although households in project villages experience more frequent wildlife conflict and receive few provisioned benefits, there is evidence that these households may be buffered to some degree against the negative consequences of wildlife conflict. This effect to reduce the costs of losing livestock to predators suggests a potential mechanism whereby CBC projects may be acting to benefit households. Using village-level data, we discuss potential proximate pathways whereby projects affect households, such as through the providing social services (e.g., health centers) or supporting local governments (e.g., implementing land use plans). Few previous studies have demonstrated quantitative evidence on the social outcomes of national-scale conservation and protected area management, particularly regarding the mechanisms driving outcomes. Tanzania, like many areas of conservation importance, contains threatened biodiversity alongside areas of extreme poverty. Our research additionally highlights the need to examine the complex and locally specific mechanisms whereby interventions do, or do not, benefit wildlife and local communities.