|dc.description.abstract||Wildlifeis a renewable natural resource and has considerable economic value not only in Kenya but also all over the world. In Kenya it holds economic, cultural, aesthetic, spiritual and scientific values. When used wisely wildlife can enhance a country's economy though tourism. In Kenya it is estimated that 70 % of the gross tourism earning and 50 % of total gross domestic product is attributed to wildlife. Wildlife is also a source of game meat, tusks, horns and skins. Due to its value, Kenya has undertaken measure to protect it and ensure its sustainability through the concept of National parks and Reserves. Even with these concept of value in mind, National Parks and 01 Donyo Sabuk National Park in particular face threats of extinction resulting from varying perceptions on conservation by the local people. Conservation of wildlife in the park is greatly dependent on how people perceive the existence of wildlife. This study was
carried out to examine factors that contribute to human perceptions and how this implicates on the conservation of wildlife. Ways of integrating these perceptions in conservation have also been identified. Data collection methods included structured questionnaire administration for both household and KWS administration that composed the sampling frame. Other instruments used to collect data included; observation, photography aid and review of documented data. Data collected was
analyzed using qualitative and quantitative techniques. This study established that there are several factors that influence human perception on wildlife conservation. Cases of animals escaping from the park and damaging-local community's crops and property, killing domestic animals and injuring people has led people to view wildlife as an
enemy rather than a valuable resource. This tension creates human-wildlife conflicts. The conflict is worsened by the fact that no form of compensation is offered by the wildlife custodians to the victims suffering from wildlife destruction. The constant conflict between wildlife and the local community are attributed to the lack of community participation in wildlife management. Benefits derived from the park are not also shared with the community. The existing policy framework does not give the local community a chance to feel like they belong to the conservation system. The policies have excluded people from national Parks and this makes people view wildlife as government property.
To rescue these wildlife resource local communities need to perceive conservation positively. This is the only way for them to participate in conservation. To put this appropriate conservation strategy in place, the study recommends that: policies and legislation governing wildlife should be reviewed to accommodate people's needs; community participation should be greatly enhanced; revenues derived from the park should be shared with the community; compensation schemes should be reviewed; public awareness and sensitization on conservation should be practiced; a project to plant a buffer zone||en_US