BIO Web Conf.
Volume 19, 2020International Symposium on Indonesian Fauna (ISIF 2019)
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Published online||10 April 2020|
Role of culture in the emotional response towards komodo dragon in Komodo and Rinca Islands of Komodo National Park
1 Department of Forest Resources Conservation and Ecotourism Faculty of Forestry, IPB University, 16001 Bogor, Indonesia
2 IUPHHK-HA PT. Sarmiento Parakantja Timber (SARPATIM), 74312 Kotawaringin Timur, Indonesia
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Human emotions towards wildlife were seldom considered in wildlife conservation. This study seeks to identify, explore and understand the local communities perceptions and interactions with Komodo dragons. Data were collected from February to April 2018 in Komodo Village and Rinca Village of Komodo National Park, using close and semi-open questionnaires, three-scale Likert statements and interviews with 60 respondents. Although 98.5% considered Komodo as a dangerous species, in total, 60.6% of Komodo villagers had positive perceptions of their interactions with Komodo, while 47.6% of Rinca’s had moderate perceptions. Komodo attacks were less reported in Komodo Village despite the more frequent direct encounters. Komodo villagers have learnt how to adjust to the dangers, with 13% showed no actions during an encounter with the dragon, 77% pelt the dragon with rocks and 10% pulled it by the tail. On the contrary, 50% of Rinca Villagers, although showed no actions, but reported the sightings, 20% pelt it with rocks, 27% herd it with sticks and 3% hit it with wood. The different responses correlated with the different cultural beliefs and values towards Komodo. All Rinca villagers were migrants with no cultural attachments to the reptile, while for Komodo villagers, the dragons were perceived to be cousins, hence should not be harmed. Such perceptions have resulted in the approximately 83% of Komodo villagers believed they could co-exist with the dragons, and showed higher supports for its conservation (81.5%) than Rinca villagers (65.3%). This study confirms the importance of integrating local cultural values in building supports for conservation.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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