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Perceptions and Attitudes among Venders towards Non-human Primates in Mihintale Wildlife Sanctuary in Sri Lanka

Authors:

H. W. R. Kumara ,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About H. W. R.
Department of Anthropology
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C. A. D. Nahallage,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About C. A. D.
Department of Anthropology
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M. A. Huffman

Kyoto University, JP
About M. A.
Department of Social Systems Evolution, Primate Research Institute
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Abstract

A number of studies have revealed that age, gender, ethnicity, level of education, political attitude, landholding size, period of residency and religion all influence attitudes towards wildlife. Attitudes also exhibit regional differences. However, religious beliefs of Sri Lankans and cultural practices play an important role when deciding the perceptions and attitudes toward primates. An important feature of this country is the presence of monkeys at Buddhist temples and archeological sites. Social and environmental conditions are deeply and inextricably linked, an important component of conservation, and the management of human-wildlife conflict, is therefore the examination of people‟s behaviour and perceptions regarding wildlife and the factors that influence these perceptions. This study was carried out in Mihintale wildlife Sanctuary in Anuradhapura district. To understand the nature of human attitude towards primates at the Mihintale wildlife sanctuary, the mixed methods approach was used for data collection. Interviews were conducted from April 2016 to September 2016. Direct interviews were conducted opportunistically with 57 venders in Sinhalese language to learn about macaques and langurs and their interactions with humans. The relationship with the venders and primates is complicated and filled with ambiguity. Venders are happy to see primates and other mammals in the wild, however, primates are not welcome near their business places. High population numbers and the inability to control monkeys are major concerns for venders. The nature of attitude onward each primate species depended on the level of interaction between humans and primate species. The attitude was negative toward the gray langurs and toque macaques, due to stealing of displayed toys, food items and the damage cause to the roofs of small shops, threatening venders and pilgrims when taking food by force. However, no negative attitude towards purple-faced leaf langurs. This study is important for conservation and for understanding the human perspective and attitude towards primates, when entwined with scientific evidence, offers a holistic understanding to one of the major problems in Sri Lanka, the human primate conflict.
How to Cite: Kumara, H.W.R., Nahallage, C.A.D. and Huffman, M.A., 2018. Perceptions and Attitudes among Venders towards Non-human Primates in Mihintale Wildlife Sanctuary in Sri Lanka. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, 5(2), pp.123–129. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/ijms.v5i2.105
Published on 23 Dec 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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