Wildlife damage and control methods around Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda
Tumusiime, David Mwesigye
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This study documents the different management and control measures developed and implemented by farmers to mitigate vertebrate pest attacks on crops and livestock around Lake Mburo National Park in Uganda. A semi-structured interview administered to 40 randomly selected park neighbours was supplemented with key informant interviews, a review of secondary data, and direct observations of vertebrate pest problems and their management. All participant farmers had experienced some damage from vertebrate pests. Bush pigs ranked as the most destructive to crops, while leopards were most destructive to livestock. Most damage occurred during severe dry seasons. The most common methods for combating pests were guarding, fencing, and poisoning. Physical guarding was perceived as being the most effective method; however, there were reports of pest resurgence, which varied between pest species, seasons, and methods used. Bush pigs showed the greatest resistance against control measures. Control efforts were found to be tedious and time-consuming, and they created the possibility for the transfer of infectious diseases from pests to humans. We recommend conscious efforts to augment local control methods so as to enhance both biodiversity conservation and farm production.