Patterns of wildlife use by local people and its impacts on the future conservation of Jorgo-Wato Protected Forest, western Ethiopia
Keywords:Forest products, Local people, protected area, natural resource
This study explored the patterns of wildlife products used by the local communities around Jorgo-Wato Protected Forest and its future impacts on the conservation of the forest. Data were collected from households located within a 3 km radius around the forest. Incidences of resource use encountered along the transects revealed that livestock grazing (6.59±3.80/km), debarking trees for beehive preparation (5.8±0.77/km), logging large trees over coffee plantation (5.41±0.35/km), girdling trees (4.66±0.33/km), poaching (4.02±3.32/km), and timber production (3.41±1.10/km) were identified as destructive resource use patterns in the area. However, the use of alternative sources of energy has a positive impact on the future conservation of the Jorgo-Wato Protected Forest. A significant negative relationship (r (9) = -0.971, p < 0.05) was recorded between fuelwood consumption and distances of households from the forest. The alternative sources of energy use could have a positive impact on the sustainable use of forest and non-forest products. However, a significant positive (r (9) = 0.900, p > 0.05) relationship was recorded between the mean number of livestock and mean annual income per household (r (9) = 0.930, p > 0.05) which could be attributed to their contribution as sources of income to reduce human pressure from resource extraction. Since the wildlife resource extraction system has not yet been reported from the study area, the finding of this study could provide baseline information for Oromia Forest and Wildlife Enterprise to implement wildlife laws and policies in the area.
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