|Categories||Biodiversity, Habitats, Invertebrates|
|Date||22 Feb 2017|
Crabs are an important prey items, forming the intermediary trophic links between detritus and higher level organisms such as fish, otters and birds (Cumberlidge and Daniels, 2008). Given that there is a degree of tangible benefits associated with these large crustaceans, communities in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, a region where Potamonautids are harvested for consumption (Dalu et al., 2015), communities will be interviewed to assess their level of crab exploitation and willingness to participate in conservation efforts of these species. There are, however, few, if any studies that have tried to link socio-economic factors such as household composition and income profiles or even the incorporation of community by-in to conservation practices aimed specifically at invertebrate conservation.
As (human) community dynamics are ever changing, it has been recognized that within a local context, it is usually challenging to identify the issues that the local people regard as important within conservation (Andrade and Rhodes, 2012). This creates great conflict of interest with the community and any potential cause towards conservation. With this in mind, we aim to provide key ecological and conservation strategies for freshwater crabs. The socio-ecological information has conservation value for any action plans that will be developed or initiated and we hope to be able to provide data on freshwater crab populations, threats, habitats preferences and human associations. Through the involvement of local communities, schools and university students we hope to develop human capital capacity that has knowledge in invertebrate projects and conservation so that habitat loss or any associated threats can be avoided in future. Awareness campaigns which will be one of the main pillars, will provide the interaction and working together of different groups of people from the local communities up to the government level so the conservation of these species to be a success.
Read about Tatenda's previous project http://www.rufford.org/projects/tatenda_dalu or for more information contact: