Many protected areas (PAs) have following the conventional and exclusionary approach applied at Yellowstone in 1872. As such, many parks have failed to fully consider other important factors such as social, cultural and political issues. In some cases this has triggered adverse social impacts on local communities, disrupting their traditional ways of living, and limiting their control of and access to natural resources. Such approach can undermine protection policies through conflicts between park managers and local communities. The success of conservation strategies through protected areas may lie in the ability of managers to reconcile biodiversity conservation goals with social and economic issues and promoting greater compliance of local communities with PA conservation strategies. To address this issue we built a model consisting on 55 published case studies from developing countries to determine whether the level of compliance of local communities with protected area regulations was related to: (1) PA age, (2) PA area, (3) the existence of buffer zone in the vicinity of PAs, (4) the level of protection as defined by IUCN categories, (5) GDP per capita, (6) population density in the vicinity of PAs, and (7) the level of local community participation in PA management. The statistical analyses were conducted in R version 2.12.1 (http://www.r-project.org/) using the “polr” function in the “MASS” package.