In 2018, Wild Nature Institute commissioned a local gospel choir to record the song Tuwatunze Twiga, which means “let’s protect giraffes.” The song describes how giraffes are beautiful and God tells people to conserve giraffes, but that giraffes are threatened by poaching. The song was played on a major radio station servicing the Tarangire-Manyara region, every day for the entire months of December (2018) and January (2019).
To document community perceptions of giraffes and whether they were influenced by the Tuwatunza Twiga song, James Madeli of the Wild Nature Institute in Tanzania administered short surveys of randomly selected community members before and after broadcast of the song. We are excited to announce the new report prepared by Madeli and our colleagues Alex Ocañas and Dr. James Danoff-Burg of The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Ocañas and Danoff-Burg are experts in the human dimensions of conservation, and helped us design the survey questionnaire and analyzed our survey data. This report documents the impacts of this conservation media project on perceptions of giraffes by community members.
The report revealed some interesting information that will improve Wild Nature Institute’s giraffe conservation messaging in the future. In summary, the data showed:
Our results indicate that the song appealed to people’s religious beliefs, and suggest that in the future we could leverage these beliefs to improve our conservation messages. We will be including this project in an upcoming book to be edited by Dr. Derek Lee and Dr. Monica Bond of Wild Nature Institute called Tarangire: Human-Wildlife Coexistence in a Fragmented Ecosystem.
Please see the full report for details. We thank all of our donors for supporting our giraffe conservation projects in Tanzania – we could not do this work without you. Thank you to James Madeli whose hard work in the field generated these data. Thank you also to Alex Ocañas and Dr. James Danoff-Burg for doing an excellent job on this important report, and The Living Desert for being our long-term conservation partners.
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