Danson Kareri Mwangi

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Institute of Primate Research

Grant number

Gr. 10200

Approve Date

October 7, 2021

Project Title

Mwangi, Danson (Institute of Primate Research) "Perceptions of wildlife conservation among pastoralists, farmers, group ranchers and conservationists at the human-wildlife interface of Chyulu Hills National Park, Kenya."

DANSON MWANGI, Institute of Primate Research, Nairobi, Kenya, was awarded funding in October 2021 to aid research on “Perceptions of Wildlife Conservation among Pastoralists, Farmers, Group Ranchers and Conservationists at the Human-wildlife Interface of Chyulu Hills National Park, Kenya.” How conservation is perceived and understood by communities living and working in conservation areas remains understudied. This project investigated how different ontologies of conservation are configured and reconciled (or not) across pastoralists, farmers, group ranchers, and conservationists at the human-wildlife interface of Chyulu Hills National Park, Kenya. Using qualitative methods, the project explored the ways in which different actors perceive, experience and understand conservation and how these in turn shape their everyday lives. Results are framed in colonial and post-colonial conservation paradigms and through everyday encounters with wildlife. Among the predicaments that the local communities face are negotiating conservation bureaucratic language and logic different from their own, resentment over historic displacement, denied access to forest resources, punitive fines and punishments, lack of tangible benefits from wildlife, and wildlife induced damage to crops and livestock. Conversely, government conservation agencies and NGO operatives espouse fortress conservation, often treating the local communities as antagonists. The work contributes to the anthropology of conservation and can inform debates about pastoral property relations, land tenure, and management plans of Chyulu, the larger Tsavo and similar conservation areas.