Patterns of crop raiding by primates around the Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda
Hill, Catherine M.
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Crop raiding by primates in particular and wild animals in general is a significant source of people-forest conflict around the Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda. Crop loss to wild animals undermines local support for conservation efforts in this area. Patterns of primate crop raiding were studied over a period of 14 months in six villages (five adjacent to the Budongo Forest Reserve and one that is approximately 3,500 m from the forest edge). Data were collected via a questionnaire survey. Additional information was obtained from the relevant local government offices. Chimpanzees Pan troglodytes, baboons Papio anubis, other monkeys, bush pigs Potamochoeus procus and porcupines Hystrix cristata were reported by farmers to be the major causes of crop losses by wildlife. Of farmers, 73% reported suffering crop damage caused by primates, and 79% considered baboons to be the most destructive of all crop raiding species. Drought, insect pests, poor sowing, plant diseases and accidental fires were other sources of crop losses to farmers, though the risk of crop damage particularly by primates is perceived as the most serious potential cause of losses. Using chimpanzees as a case study, patterns of crop damage across the year are compared with seasonal fluctuations in availability of wild foods.
- Natural Sciences