Journal Article

Awareness of traditional knowledge and attitudes towards wildlife conservation among Maasai communities: The case of Enkusero Sampu Conservancy, Kajiado County in Kenya

Traditional wildlife conservation methods and attitude towards wildlife conservation are key for the success of wildlife conservation intervention. This study examined awareness of traditional wildlife conservation measures and socio‐demographic factors associated with attitudes towards wildlife conservation among the Maasai communities living in Enkusero Sampu Conservancy (ESC) in Kajiado County, Kenya. Data were based on a cross‐sectional household survey conducted from 02 February to 23 March 2018, among 278 heads of households. Analysis entails cross‐tabulation with chi‐square test and estimation of a multivariate logistic regression model. Awareness of traditional wildlife conservation methods and attitude towards wildlife conservation were significantly (p < 0.05) associated with gender and household size. Heads of household who were aware of traditional wildlife conservation methods were aged 50 or more years. While people from smaller household size (<6 persons) were more likely to have a positive attitude towards wildlife conservation. Those who experienced livestock predation or crop destruction by wild animals were less likely to have a positive attitude towards wildlife conservation. The findings underscore the need for conservation managers to factor in local people's traditional knowledge and attitudes to foster sustainable wildlife conservation in areas surrounding and within wildlife conservation areas.