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Baird, Timothy D. & Leslie, Paul W. (2013). Conservation as Disturbance: Upheaval and Livelihood Diversification near Tarangire National Park, Northern Tanzania. Global Environmental Change, 23(5), 1131-1141.


Recent studies have identified poverty reduction near parks and protected areas, findings that challenge an extensive literature on the social burdens associated with protected areas. These studies move the discussion on the social dynamics of conservation forward, however, they do not offer insight into the underlying mechanisms that shape household-level outcomes such as income and wealth. By focusing on protected areas as centers of uncertainty, upheaval, and disturbance, this study examines the character and incidence of livelihood diversification within communities near Tarangire National Park in northern Tanzania compared to communities far from the park. Livelihood diversification is well understood as a coping and/or risk mitigation strategy pursued in response to various types of shocks, and uncertainty more generally. This study draws on mixed methodologies to construct multivariate statistical models to estimate the effect of proximity to the park on measures of livelihood diversification. The results indicate that proximity to park is strongly correlated with livelihood diversification, suggesting that households near the park are adapting to opportunities and constraints and may be seeking to reduce variance in income and wealth in response to disturbances and uncertainty associated with the park.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Global Environmental Change


Baird, Timothy D.
Leslie, Paul W.