Wildlife snaring in Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda
Tumusiime, David Mwesigye
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Snaring is an indiscriminate vertebrate trapping method that has maimed more than 36% of an estimated 700 resident chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) of Budongo Forest Reserve. This study was conducted in two phases to assess this problem. First, we administered questionnaires to 240 randomly selected households in villages around the reserve to look at socioeconomic and cultural contexts within which snares are set. Second, hunters identified in the first phase were purposefully selected for deeper discussions into snaring; 12% of the farmers set snares. Logistic regression showed a significant relationship between snaring and socioeconomic variables such as education. Hunters considered bushmeat an integral part of their livelihood and thus, snaring may continue or increase from current levels. Alternative sources of protein and cash for local people will be necessary to offset snaring problems. Conservationists need to address in-forest diversity and strategies that improve food security and income for forest edge communities.