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Title: Livelihood Security and Perceived Prevalence of Illegal Activities Threatening Mountain Gorilla Conservation in East Africa’s Virunga Landscape
Illegal activities pose challenges to the conservation of mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) across the Virunga Landscape (VL). This paper investigates the relationship between household livelihood security (HLS) and the perceived prevalence of illegal activities across the VL. Results from a survey of 223 residents of areas adjacent to the VL in Uganda and Rwanda reveal varied links between human livelihoods and illegal activities threatening wildlife. For example, while poaching appears to be negatively associated with health and financial security among residents, it is positively associated with education security, indicating that education may be contributing to illegal activities threatening wildlife. Food security constraints were also found to be significantly associated with poaching. Finally, findings suggest that although HLS investments are essential in improving local community livelihoods, only food and financial security are the most effective means of reducing illegal activities in Virunga.  more » « less
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