FACTORS AFFECTING THE ATTITUDES OF THE LOCAL INHABITANTS OF THE KONDOA DISTRICT-TANZANIA, TOWARD THE RED-BILLED QUELEA (Quelea quelea)
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- Institutt for biologi 
Interactions between humans and the red-billed queleas in the Kondoa District have shaped the attitudes of the local inhabitants toward these birds. This bird is considered a pest of small grain cereal crops, which represent the major crops grown in the area. On the other hand, quelea birds are caught and consumed as a household food source. Furthermore, harvested birds are sold at bus stops to passengers, as well as to local villagers, as a source of household income. This study aimed to evaluate the influence of differential costs and benefits of the red-billed quelea, as well as the socio-economic factors (education level, gender, age and economic activity) that might shape the attitudes of the local inhabitants of Kondoa. To explore the attitudes of the inhabitants, a questionnaire survey was randomly conducted among 360 households in six villages within Kondoa from June to August 2012. Most of the inhabitants who incurred costs of crop damage exhibited negative attitudes toward the red-billed quelea, despite the benefits obtained from them. In contrast, those who benefitted from harvested quelea birds exhibited positive attitudes. The most important socio-economic factors influencing both the positive and negative attitudes were education and gender. In contrast, economic activity only influenced the negative attitudes. Most of the inhabitants of Kondoa rely on crop production as the only important economic activity. However, the majority of local people exhibited negative attitudes because the benefits from the red-billed quelea were perceived to be lower than the costs of the resulting crop damage. To change such negative attitudes; practical, economical and applicable solutions for the quelea pest problem are needed. Further studies examining the application of harvesting methods with a sustainable quelea management strategy are therefore recommended.Key words: Attitudes, costs, benefits, red-billed quelea, socio-economic factors, local inhabitants and Kondoa-Tanzania.