Responses by households to resource scarcity and human–wildlife conflict: Issues of fortress conservation and the surrounding agricultural landscape


Although protected areas have become the primary mechanism for biodiversity conservation, their establishment can have long-term impacts on land use, land cover, and livelihoods of people living near them. Where land use and resource extraction is severely limited, local people turn to resource pools outside parks. Kibale National Park in western Uganda is a remnant of a previously larger, mid-altitude forest region surrounded by dense agricultural settlement. We combine remote sensing techniques and household surveys to examine landscape change and fragmentation and the implications for securing rural livelihoods. Forests and wetlands outside the park provide important resources such as fuelwood, building poles, and water, but they are also problematic for local farmers since crop raids by primates and elephants emanate from these fragments. Our analysis shows that since 1984 forests and wetlands have decreased in size and number and those that remain have become increasingly isolated within the agricultural mosaic. Farmers have adapted to resource shortages and human–wildlife conflict in different ways. Our results suggest that wealth, ethnicity, and distance from the park are important factors in determining responses to these issues.



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Journal for Nature Conservation



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