An Assessment of the Effectiveness of Nkuringo Buffer Zone in Mitigating Crop Raiding Incidences around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, S.W. Uganda.
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In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP), a buffer zone strategy was introduced in Nkuringo (southern BINP) in 2005 to counter wild animal crop raiding incidences and to generate income for adjacent local people. This included introducing different strategies aimed at reducing the crop raiding incidences that were so prevalent then. Ten years after, we undertook an assessment of the effectiveness of the different interventions introduced in reducing the crop raiding incidences and the perceptions of the local people on the effectiveness of the strategies. To achieve this we interviewed 81 local people on the effectiveness of available problem-animal management interventions using semi-structured questionnaires. Data on 117 and 5 crop raiding and poultry incidences respectively was collected on standardized plots that were originally set up by Andama (2009). Results revealed that: there were significant differences in the spatial distribution of crop raiding incidences. There were also significant differences in the seasonal patterns of crop raiding incidences and this was also true for the different planted crops and across different conditions of the Mauritius thorn hedge. In comparison to a previous study by Andama (2009), we recorded fewer crop-raiding incidences; perhaps an indication of reduced crop raiding in Bwindi like in the past. Majority of the local indicated that the planting of the Mauritius thorn hedge and tea was the most effective in mitigating crop raiding incidences while planting of lemon grass was the least effective. We recommend a bottom-up approach of community based human-wildlife monitoring tool for a continuous collection of crop raiding data by local people. This involves the affected local people that will own the crop raiding mitigation approaches and will ascertain and track the effectiveness of interventions. This in turn will help the improvement of old interventions and development of better interventions for the future
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