Pupilsâ€™ Awareness and Attitudes towards Wildlife Conservation in Two Districts in Tanzania
Keywords:awareness, pupils, wildlife, conservation, protected areas
With increasing pressure on natural resources, biodiversity conservation will increasingly depend on public awareness and participation. Environmental education is an important tool for improving peopleâ€™s understanding and motivation to cooperate and take initiatives for conservation and sustainable resource use. Although environmental education is included in the primary school curriculum in Tanzania, it places little emphasis on wildlife conservation, a situation that hinders orientation of future generation towards wildlife conservation. This study was conducted in Morogoro urban and Morogoro rural districts in Tanzania to explore pupilsâ€™ awareness and attitudes towards wildlife conservation. Combinations of questionnaires, formal and informal discussions were used to collect data. A total of 96 pupils participated in the study. The findings show that pupils from Morogoro Rural District (61%) had more knowledge of wildlife than Morogoro Urban District (39%). Many pupils (65 %) wanted wild animals to be conserved although some (28 %) did not consider conservation of the environment as essential, since animals were seen as threat to their lives and properties. Many pupils (82%) showed an increased interest in wildlife conservation and wanted to visit the protected areas but were restricted with resources like funds and transport. More boys were aware on wildlife conservation than girls, and older pupils were aware on wildlife conservation than younger ones. Some factors observed to affect pupilsâ€™ awareness on wildlife conservation were age and sex. The study concludes that for conservation to be successful raising and creating conservation awareness among pupils is highly needed, as they are future conservationists.
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