Use and conservation status of woody plants of Nawaikoke Sub-County, Uganda
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Woody species are an important resource to human livelihoods. They are however declining steadily everywhere in the world and some have been threatened with extinction. In order to slow down the loss of woody species, we need to have a clear understanding of which factors can help in the conservation of the species. This study therefore sought to establish the priority woody species, their uses, their conservation status and management methods. This study was conducted in Nawaikoke Sub County and data was gathered through group discussions, group interviews with key informants, focus group discussions and a household questionnaire. To determine the conservation status, quantitative ecological methods were used. These involved measuring tree diameters at breast height and stump diameters. The results show that 132 species are known to the community members of Nawaikoke Sub-County although of these, only 29 are highly valued. The priority species served a variety of uses. It was found that most of the priority species had poor conservation status characterized by low densities, low frequencies, and low dominance levels. The management methods used by community members are mainly conserving seedlings and trees that grow on their own, planting and pruning to improve production of already existing woody species. Despite there being a wide diversity of useful woody species; people depend on only a few. The people are willing to manage woody species on their farms. However, the many challenges that they are faced with need addressing by the local governments if tree management is to be successful.