Conservation of turtle requires adequate scientific understanding of the status and dynamics of the population and consideration of the coastal communities’ attitudes towards conservation of this species. Therefore, this paper explores the attitudes and knowledge of coastal communities towards the freshwater turtle and their views about conserving them in three coastal divisional secretariat divisions in Ampara district. A survey was conducted with 50 randomly selected coastal community villages in 2008. Logistic regression and Chi-square test were used to provide empirical insight of the research problem.
Average age and education of the respondents were 39 and 9 years respectively. About 67% of them were below the poverty line of Rs.2,233.00 (Real total expenditure/ person/ month). About 69, 30 and 11% of the total respondents were poaching freshwater turtle for their own consumption, selling and hobby, respectively. In general, coastal communities had a low level of awareness and knowledge on the fresh water turtles. About 49 and 45% of the respondents have seen live fresh water turtles less frequently and believed their endangered nature, respectively. Age, education and interest on nature had positive and significant relationships with their willingness to support conservation of fresh water turtles. The coastal communities expressed their positive attitude towards participatory conservation of fresh water turtles. However, it was not their priority concern. Awareness program and community participation in the conservation efforts are needed to protect the valuable endemic fresh water turtles in the Eastern Sri Lanka.
How to Cite:
Kirupakaran, S. & Thiruchelvam, S., (2011). Coastal Communities’ Attitudes towards Conservation of Freshwater Turtle in Ampara District. Tropical Agricultural Research. 21(4), pp.427–434. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tar.v21i4.3319