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Title: Primate crop raiding in Uganda : actual and perceived risks around Budongo Forest Reserve
Author: Webber, Amanda D.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3565 0239
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2006
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Crop damage by wildlife is a significant threat to global conservation and human development. This interdisciplinary study compared the actual and perceived risk of primate crop raiding around Budongo Forest Reserve, northwest Uganda during 2004/2005. Weekly farm monitoring established that at least seven wild species damage crops. and primates (primarily baboons) are responsible for forty percent of all raids. The creation of risk maps using GIS technology and logistic regression revealed that those cultivating maize close to the forest edge are particularly vulnerable to loss. An elevated level of human presence was found to significantly reduce raids by wild species although it is not considered effective due to the high social cost. Overall the majority of farmers experience little damage by wildlife and many other factors limit agricultural production e.g. insects, weather and domestic livestock; goats raid more frequently than any other animal and their pruning of maize was proven to significantly reduce yield. Despite the low risk of actual loss, semi-structured interviews, focus groups and participant observation revealed that crop raiding by wild species is believed to be the most significant limitation to livelihoods in this area. Damage intensity, fluctuations in social condition and restrictions on traditional crop protection methods all inflate perceptions of risk. Crop damage by wildlife also symbolizes control by external forces; the forest is believed to be 'owned' by the same organizations that impose conservation legislation and restrict access to resources. Raiding species, and primates in particular, are judged alongside human moral values and local people are more tolerant of animals they believe they can control or that have associated benefits i.e. domestic and game species. This thesis emphasises the need to both reduce damage to acceptable levels and increase tolerance toward wild species at this site. Mitigation strategies are suggested that build upon traditional techniques, provide an economic incentive for conserving wildlife and assist farmers to manage the conflict. Ultimately, however, the success of any initiative will depend on the participation of local people.
Supervisor: Hill, Kate ; Thompson, Stewart Sponsor: Oxford Brookes University ; Wildlife Conservation Society ; Parkes Foundation ; Werner Grenn Foundation ; Primate Conservation ; British Airways ; Royal Geographical Society
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral