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Survey of Attitudes Toward, Conflicts With and Management Of Wolves and Bears in Rural Villages in Armenia

By Serda Ozbenian

Category Theses
Abstract

Many studies aimed at assessing human attitudes towards and negative interactions  (conflicts) with carnivores, such as wolves (Canis lupus) and bears (Ursus arctos), have  been conducted throughout the world. Although villagers in Armenia have reported  conflicts with these species and the government recently introduced a wolf-culling  program, no such attitude studies had been conducted in Armenia. In an effort to  understand more about human attitudes and interactions with these species in Armenia,  23 rural communities were surveyed using focus groups and interviews in July 2012. The  types and locations of conflicts that villagers reported experiencing with wolves and  bears, the mitigation measures currently being used by villagers, and their attitudes  towards wolves, bears and wildlife management policies were documented. Differences  were found in the severity and types of conflicts experienced by villagers across the  surveyed communities, but no social or geographic variables were identified to explain  the variation. Conflicts with wolves centered on wolves attacking livestock, namely cows and sheep, and domestic animals, namely horse and dogs. Conflicts with bears mainly  involved damage to orchards, crops, beehives, fences and livestock. Over half of the  surveyed communities described a sense of frustration and defenselessness because of a  lack of support from the government and an overall difficulty with managing conflicts.  Participation in the wolf-culling program was very low and attitudes towards wildlife  management policies were mostly negative. Current wildlife management policies in  Armenia are not effective in helping communities deal with human-wildlife conflicts, and  conflicts with wildlife seem to be further exacerbated by conflicts with management  policies. Therefore, it is recommended that a participatory human-wildlife conflict  management plan, with stakeholder involvement, be pursued in Armenia, as well as more  outreach and education to affected communities.

Submitter

Katie Carroll

Date 2013
Pages 107
Publisher George Mason University
Department Environmental Science and Policy
Degree Master of Science
URL http://hdl.handle.net/1920/8331
Language English
University George Mason University
Tags
  1. Animal roles
  2. Animals in culture
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Armenia
  5. Bears
  6. human-animal conflict
  7. human-wildlife interactions
  8. Mammals
  9. Nature
  10. Physical environment
  11. rural areas
  12. villages
  13. Wild animals
  14. wildlife
  15. wildlife conservation
  16. wildlife management
  17. Wolves