Application of Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Wildlife Management: A Case Study of the Samburu Pastoral Community in Kenya
Gordon O. Ocholla, Prof. Caleb Mireri, Dr. Paul K. Muoria
The value of knowledge-practice-belief complex of the indigenous people relating to conservation of wildlife is seldom recognized in research. In the African context, indigenous knowledge has long been overshadowed and thus ignored by western conservation knowledge. Consequently, much of this knowledge is fast disappearing in application to wildlife diversity conservation. This study was conducted to elucidate how the Samburu traditional knowledge is relevant in the conservation and management of wildlife species. The survey was conducted among three communities in the Wamba Division of Samburu East District. For the study, stratified random sampling was used to draw 72 households from three conservation areas. Key Informant Interviews and Focused Group Discussions were also conducted to consolidate information from interviews. The study identified several indigenous benefits that the community derives from different wildlife species. The benefits include nutritional values, ceremonial wears and traditional uses of wildlife body part, medicinal and aesthetic values. The study concluded that there exist several facets of indigenous knowledge among Samburu community that supports their harmonious living with wildlife. This knowledge can be an important tool in biodiversity conservation in the area.
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