Costs and benefits associated with natural resource exploitation in Chatthin Wildlife Sanctuary in Myanmar, and its impact on thamin (Rucervus eldii thamin) conservation
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- Institutt for biologi 
The conservation of wildlife in the Anthropocene inevitably depends on an understanding of how human populations interact with wildlife and its habitat. This involves understanding (1) how they exploit the natural resources of a given area, (2) any conflicts they have with wildlife, and (3) their attitudes towards wildlife and its conservation. This study aimed to examine the costs and benefits that local people experienced from living near a protected area (PA) that has been established in central Myanmar to protect one of the last populations of an endangered thamin (Rucervus eldii thamin), and consequently gain insights into how they viewed and responded to their conservation. A questionnaire survey was conducted in nine villages with 209 respondents. The results showed that the people living inside the PA exploited many of the area s natural resources, but also they at the same time suffered many costs associated with conflicts caused by the wildlife in PA. Despite this, they still held positive attitudes towards both thamin and the PA. Thamin was identified as the most common crop raider among the medium-sized wildlife. Communities living inside the PA had better knowledge about PA s operations and to some extent supported the thamin conservation, than those from communities along the edge of the PA or outside, however the enclaved communities stated that they were less likely to report thamin poaching to the authorities. Illegal thamin hunting is apparently still going on in the area and the local people living within the PA were more aware about the recent thamin population decline than those from the edge or external villages.