M.Sc. in Zoology (Primatology)
Department of Zoology and Entomology
University of Fort Hare Alice
HUMAN PERCEPTIONS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NON-HUMAN PRIMATES: AN ETHNOPRIMATOLOGY APPROACH TO CONFLICT MITIGATION FOR PRIMATE CONSERVATION IN HOGSBACK.
The conflict between human and non-human primate is often under documented and under researched. When the affected humans take matters into their own hands, the aftermath can be catastrophic. Human perceptions of non-human primates determine the way humans will treat their wild kin. This research focused on how the people living in Hogsback view primates. The objective was to map out the perceptions and attitudes of the Hogsback people and match them against scientific facts, to ultimately protect and conserve the samango monkeys and chacma baboons found in the Afromontane forests of Hogsback. An ethnoprimatological approach was deemed the best way to realise this objective. This was done through the use of questionnaires and surveys. A chi-square test, testing the effect of gender on perceived threats posed by primates was done and it suggested there is very strong evidence of a relationship between fear of primates, gender and having heard of or witnessed a primate attack. This means that the males (26%) tend to fear once they have heard of attack, than the women (20%). The relationship was analysed using a chi-square goodness of fit test. The null hypothesis (ᵡ2=16.5, DF=1, p<0.001) was rejected and the alternate hypothesis accepted. The research findings also show that there are two extreme clusters in Hogsback. Cluster 1 was characterised by tranquil dwellers that are mindful of protecting and conserving primates. Cluster 2 on the other hand, was comprised of people hostile to primates, amongst them poachers and hunters. Based on these two clusters possible conservation strategies could be discussed in future studies.
Key words: non-human primates, Hogsback dwellers, perceptions, ethnoprimatology, conflict mitigation, conservation