Journal of
Ecology and The Natural Environment

  • Abbreviation: J. Ecol. Nat. Environ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9847
  • DOI: 10.5897/JENE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 389

Full Length Research Paper

Patterns of human – wildlife conflicts in Zambia, causes, consequences and management responses

Chansa Chomba1*, Ramadhani Senzota2, Harry Chabwela3, Jacob Mwitwa4 and Vincent Nyirenda1
1Office of the Director General, Zambia Wildlife Authority, P/B 1 Chilanga, Zambia. 2Department of Zoology and Wildlife Conservation, University of Dar es Salaam, P. O. Box 35065 Dar es Salaam Tanzania. 3Department of Biological Sciences, University of Zambia P. O. Box 32379 Lusaka, Zambia. 4School of Natural Resources, Copperbelt University P. O. Box 21692 Kitwe, Zambia.  
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 07 August 2012
  •  Published: 30 September 2012



A study was carried out to determine causes, consequences and management responses of human – wildlife conflicts in Zambia during the period 2002 to 2010. Data was collected by field staff in the four management regions of Zambia Wildlife Authority and analyzed to establish patterns and species responsible for human fatalities, livestock predation, crop damage and other damages to human property. During the period of 2002 to 2008, a total of 347 people were killed or 49 people killed annually by five species of wildlife; crocodile, elephant, hippo, lion and buffalo. Nile crocodile killed the largest number of people 185 (53%) and was the most significant cause of human fatalities, the second was hippo 65 (19%) and elephant was third 63 (18%). There were fewer livestock predation incidences and only 305 incidences were recorded which was 12% less than human fatalities. With regard to livestock, the largest number killed was for cattle 159 (52%) and the least was the dog, 8 (2.62%). Lion was responsible for 157 (51%) of all livestock predation incidences and the least was python 1 (0.32%). The most important livestock predators were lion, crocodile and hyaena. Overall, crocodile was responsible for the greatest number of human fatalities and livestock predation combined, 273 (42%) while elephant was responsible for the largest number of crop damage incidences 1,799 (42%). Further research is required to determine gender and age group of people killed, time of the day and activity conducted by the victims at the time of the fatality incidence. Smaller species such as rodents and red billed quelea should also be considered rather than concentrating on large species such as elephant, hippo and buffalo which have meat value.


Key words: Human-wildlife conflict, crocodile, predation, crop damage, control, retribution.