The abundance, distribution and community utilization of Loeseneriella apocynoides and Manilkara Obovata species in Sango Bay Forest, Rakai District
The study examined the abundance, distribution and community utilization of the two woody species Loeseneriella apocynoides and Manikara obovate in Sango Bay forests. The two species are used for making fishing baskets by the people living adjacent to these forests. The objectives of the research were:- 1. To assess the abundance and the distribution of Loeseneriella apocynoides and Manikara obovate species. 2. To determine who harvests these species and their quantities. 3. To document present methods used in harvesting these species. 4. To find out the awareness of local people towards conservation of these species. The study consisted of two surveys, the village surveys and the forest surveys. The forest surveys were carried out in two forest reserves, Malabigambo and Namalala. The assessment involved use of 2 transects of length 1000m in Malabigambo and 2 transects of length 750m in Namalala. Plots of size 20 x 20m were established and in total there were 48 plots established with 28 in Malabigambo and 20 in Namalala Forest Reserves. The abundance and distribution was assessed in order to know what is available in the forest and where the location where harvesting can be done. For village surveys four villages neighbouring these forests were assessed which, are Mujanjabula, Mugamba, Nalubega and Mutegombwa using a questionnaire. In total 65 respondents were interviewed. From the forest surveys it was found out that these species are sparsely distributed and they generally increase with increase in distance from the edge of the forest a factor attributed to over harvesting at the edge of the forest. L. apocynoides was abundant in the diameter class <1 cm that are seedlings while M. obovate species was abundant in diameter class >5 cm which is the harvestable size. Malabigambo had more individuals of both species than Namalala. From village surveys it was found out that men are the only ones involved in harvesting these species and they have low levels of education. The methods of harvesting included cutting stems or branches in case of M. obovate and for L. apocynoides only stems were harvested. It was concluded that these species abundance is low and the distribution is not uniform but clumped. The methods of harvesting were not sustainable and therefore species are being depleted. It is recommended that a monitoring program should be started for these species so that the harvesting is controlled and regulated.