Perception and attitude of rural residents for conservation: a case study of Kinawataka Wetland in Wakiso District, Uganda.
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People’s attitudes toward wildlife conservation can significantly affect the success of conservation initiatives. Understanding the factors influencing these attitudes together with the ecological aspects of the environment is essential for designing strategies to alleviate human–wildlife conflict. Although this topic has been studied extensively across diverse regions, there has been no such study in the Kinawataka areas with focus put on Kinawataka Wetland, Uganda. The survey was conducted in 4 villages around Kinawataka Wetland to assess how local community’ perception towards Kinawataka wetland in terms of economic, environmental and socio-cultural aspects affects its conservation. Households were selected randomly and surveyed through semi-structured interviews (n = 154) to investigate the socioeconomic status of local people, and people’s attitudes toward wildlife conservation. The majority of respondents expressed favorable attitudes toward wildlife with only 16% opposing it. The study identified the need to use appropriate measures to increase economic benefit from wildlife in order to reduce negative local attitudes toward wildlife conservation. Cyperus papyrus with a cover of 77.6% was found to be the commonly used plant species and it has been harvested intensively by the local people.