The impact of crop raiding by wild animals from Bugoma Forest Reserve on farmers' livelihoods
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This research dealt with the impact of crop raiding by wild animals from Bugoma Forest Reserve on farmers’ livelihoods. The research was carried out with the objectives of finding out the animal species most involved in crop raiding, type of crops most affected, extent of damage by wild animals, the causes and effects of crop raiding on the livelihoods of the people surrounding the forest reserve. The research conducted was both qualitative and quantitative in nature whereby descriptive cross sectional methods were used. Data were collected using questionnaires, one to one interviews, direct assessments/observations, reviewing of literature, and was later analyzed using statistical package for social scientists (SPSS). The results of the study indicate that animal species most involved in crop raiding/damage from Bugoma Forest Reserve are baboons, vervet monkeys, wild pigs, several species of birds, squirrels, edible rats, porcupines and chimpanzees . Most raided crops were sweet potatoes, cassava, maize, and sugar cane by wild animals both vermin and non vermin animals. The least raided crops include: rice, millet, beans and peas. These are mainly raided by avian species. However there are some crop species which are not eaten by wild animals but vandalized. Some of the vandalized crops include tobacco, onion, pepper, cabbage, and simsim. Over 96% of the population of Igwanjura parish adjacent to the forest reserve was affected by crop raiders. Therefore palatable and nutritive crops should not be grown within the fringes of the forest reserve, conservation education is paramount, coherent land use plans should be emphasized to determine where certain crops can be grown.