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Title: Status of poaching, community perceptions of its impacts on wildlife and people, and anti-poaching strategies in the Mount Elgon trans-boundary ecosystem
Authors: Shikuku, Ruth Kwata
Keywords: Status of poaching
Issue Date: May-2019
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: The rapidly increasing human population and consequently the human activities carried out especially around wildlife areas such as Mount Elgon trans-boundary ecosystem have increased the pressures on wildlife found in the ecosystem. These pressures occur in the form of habitat loss, poaching and trafficking. Poaching whether commercial or subsistence is a major threat to the viability of wildlife. Not only does it lead to decimation and extinction of some vulnerable species but also negatively impacts entire ecosystems and the local communities found around wildlife areas and who depend on this resource for food and or income. Many studies have been done in this ecosystem but there is little documentation of the status of poaching, the community perception of the impacts and the anti-poaching strategies applied. This study sought to assess the status of poaching, community perceptions of its impacts and the anti-poaching strategies within the ecosystem. The study employed a social survey research design. One hundred households were sampled and interviewed using questionnaires. Secondary data was collected from Kenya Wildlife Services and Uganda Wildlife Authority offices and key informants in Kenya and Uganda. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics. Study results showed that the wildlife taxa mostly targeted in poaching is mammals mainly ungulates (77% in Kenya and 47% in Uganda), primates (37% in Uganda) and rodents (17% in Kenya). Snares (30% in Kenya and 46% in Uganda) and chasing with dogs (24% in Kenya and 28% in Uganda) were the most common method used in poaching. The main motivations for poaching within the study area were for household consumption, need for income through local sale and need for trophies. Human-wildlife conflict (protection of self and property) was also found to be a motivation for poaching. Poaching within the study area takes place in both the core zone and the buffer zone. The peak poaching seasons were the wet season in the Kenyan BR and the dry season in the Ugandan BR. Anti-poaching strategies such as ranger patrols, use of technology, community involvement and awareness campaigns were employed. The community had perceptions on the impacts of poaching. The findings of this study can be used by the management of the biosphere reserves in informing interventions to reduce poaching within the ecosystem.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Environment and Resource Development

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