Demand and proximity: drivers of illegal forest resource extraction


Illegal extraction from protected areas is often shaped by the surrounding socio-economic landscape. We coupled village-scale socio-economic parameters collected using household surveys with measured levels of illegal resource extraction proximate to study villages to investigate the socio-economic drivers of illegal extraction from Kibale National Park, Uganda. The level of illegal tree harvesting and the number of illegal entry trails into the Park were driven by subsistence demand from villages adjacent to the Park and by for-profit extraction to supply local urban markets, whereas grazing in the Park was linked to high livestock ownership. Capital asset wealth, excluding livestock, was found to mitigate illegal resource extraction from the Park. We also found high human population density to coincide spatially with park-based tourism, research and carbon sequestration employment opportunities. Conservation strategies should be integrated with national policy to meet the needs of local communities and to manage urban demand to reduce illegal extraction from protected areas.

Publication Date


Journal Title



Cambridge University Press

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Document Type



Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2013.