The black crowned crane is one of the six crane species found in Africa with population declining and considered as vulnerable species. Understanding the knowledge, attitude and practices of local people is important in conservation of black crowned crane. A survey study was conducted in Jimma zone, Chora Boter district in southwestern Ethiopia between February to November 2015 with the aim to investigate knowledge, attitude and practices of the community on the conservation of black crowned cranes. Data was collected through field observation, questionnaire survey (n=105) and focus group discussions. Descriptive statistics such as frequency, percentages, p-value and tabulation were employed to analyze the quantitative data. Qualitative data were analyzed and interpreted thematically. The result of the study revealed that the number of black crowned cranes in the area varies with seasons. Maximum of 273 black crowned cranes were counted in the dry season and less number in the wet season. Most of the respondents, 73% perceived that the population of black crowned crane around Chalalaka wetlands is increasing. The majority of the respondents, 93.3% confirmed that the black crowned crane is not a crop pest and only few, 6.7% claimed that they damage crops mainly maize. The results showed that community knowledge, attitudes and perception on Black Crowned crane conservation were significantly difference. The study also revealed that there is less human- crane conflict but the local community is exploiting the Chalaleki wetland, which will threaten the black crowned cranes. Therefore, to overcome the problem capacity building and awareness creations should be conducted within short period of time. Moreover, action researches should be designed to promote participatory conservation of black crowned cranes and wetland.
Key words: Black crowned crane, Chora Boter, population, vulnerable, wetland
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