Potential Opportunities and Threats to a Reintroduced Critically Endangered Mountain Bongo Population and Its Habitat at Mount Kenya Forest
Three communities living in areas adjacent the western side of Mount Kenya forest and close to Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy were sampled to assess opportunities provided for by the forest, determine conservation benefits from Mountain bongo and evaluate the threats to a released bongo population and to the forest resources. Structured questionnaires were administered randomly to 120 households and interviews conducted to persons above 10 years of age. Despite a large proportion of respondents believing in community’s ownership of forest resources (48%) and it is their duty to actively protect the forest (65%), benefits received from the forest including farming (72%), livestock grazing and pasture extraction (14%), access to firewood, timber and bush meat (14%) tend to threaten the same forest. Overall, there was a significant difference (χ2=24.96 df=3, p<0.05) on benefits received from the forest by the three communities sampled. Poverty was cited as the driving force to overreliance on forest resources for livelihood support. Kanyoni and Kangaita communities, living in squatter systems, pose more danger to the forest than the small scale farmers at Kwamwea. The high prevalence of hunting in the region (55%) mainly for subsistence purposes (45%) pose a major threat to a reintroduced bongo population. All livelihood support activities from the forest are however, a threat to the success of Mountain bongo reintroduction. Nonetheless, the general feeling that presence of wild bongos would boost tourism in the region (85%) ought to be emphasized and escalate conservation education underscoring the impacts of human activities on forest resources and to Mountain bongo habitat.
Potential Opportunities and Threats to a Reintroduced Critically Endangered Mountain Bongo Population and Its Habitat at Mount Kenya Forest, International Journal of Natural Resource Ecology and Management.
Vol. 5, No. 3,
2020, pp. 102-107.
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