Local awareness of and attitudes towards the pygmy hippopotamus Choeropsis liberiensis in the Moa River Island Complex, Sierra Leone

April L. Conway, Sonia M. Hernandez, John P. Carroll, Gary T. Green, Lincoln Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The pygmy hippopotamus Choeropsis liberiensis is an Endangered species found only in the Upper Guinea rainforests of West Africa. Using a two-phase approach, with initial semi-structured interviews followed by more extensive questionnaires, we examined local residents' awareness of and attitudes towards the pygmy hippopotamus along the Moa River near Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Sierra Leone. The interviews and questionnaires addressed human-hippopotamus interactions, local knowledge and awareness of pygmy hippopotamus ecology and behaviour, and public attitudes towards hippopotamus conservation. Overall, 22% of questionnaire respondents acknowledged benefits related to hippopotamus conservation; factors affecting the perception of benefits included age, livestock ownership, distance from Tiwai Island and exposure to conservation programmes. The results of this study could be used to inform the conservation of the pygmy hippopotamus and highlight the critical role of local support in the management of threatened species in biodiversity hotspots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)550-558
Number of pages9
JournalORYX
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015

Keywords

  • Choeropsis liberiensis
  • community attitudes
  • community-based conservation
  • Endangered species
  • protected areas
  • pygmy hippopotamus
  • Sierra Leone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Local awareness of and attitudes towards the pygmy hippopotamus Choeropsis liberiensis in the Moa River Island Complex, Sierra Leone'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this