Encourage community-based participation in land management

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • Two studies evaluated the effects of encouraging community-based participation in management of mammals to reduce mammal persecution. One study was in Pakistan and one was in India.



  • Abundance (1 study): A study in Pakistan found that involving local communities with park management was associated with an increasing population of Himalayan brown bears.



  • Human behaviour change (1 study): A study in Namibia found that fewer farmers who engaged in community-based management of land, through membership of a conservancy, removed large carnivores from their land than did non-conservancy members.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A study in 1993–2006 of a primarily mountainous grassland national park in Pakistan (Nawaz et al. 2008) found that involving local communities with park management was associated with an increasing population of Himalayan brown bears Ursus arctos isabellinus. The known population of bears in the park increased steadily from 19 in 1993 to 43 by 2006. Breeding productivity was, however, low and the increase was reported to be due in part to immigration. The paper attributes the larger population to a reduction in poaching and persecution, linked to increased community engagement in the park since its creation in 1993. This involved recognising local community grazing rights, employing local staff, supporting development projects and enabling local generation of funds from park visitors. Eighty-six bears were monitored. Ten were radio-collared. The remainder were monitored through direct observations of individually recognisable animals.

    Study and other actions tested
  2. A study in 2003–2004 of farmers across a large rangeland area in Namibia (Schumann et al. 2008) found that fewer farmers who engaged in community-based management of land through being members of a conservancy removed large carnivores from their land than did non-conservancy members. A lower percentage of conservancy members (57–67%) removed large carnivores compared to non-conservancy members (81–83%). Conservancies were legally protected areas, cooperatively managed by a group of land-occupiers with the goal of sharing resources among members. Some conservancy members derived income from trophy hunting of carnivores. A total of 147 farmers were surveyed from across 30,000 km2 of rangeland. They comprised 76 conservancy members (44 mixed farmers, 32 livestock farmers) and 71 non-conservancy members (33 mixed farmers, 38 livestock farmers). Data were collected by face-to-face interviews or by postal questionnaires in 2003–2004.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Littlewood, N.A., Rocha, R., Smith, R.K., Martin, P.A., Lockhart, S.L., Schoonover, R.F., Wilman, E., Bladon, A.J., Sainsbury, K.A., Pimm S. and Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Terrestrial Mammal Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for terrestrial mammals excluding bats and primates. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation - Published 2020

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 19

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust