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CHAPTER 3: HUMAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT AND WILDLIFE ABUNDANCE: ASSESSING WILDLIFE DENSITY AND ABUNDANCE ON MAUNGU RANCH.

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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 3: HUMAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT AND WILDLIFE ABUNDANCE: ASSESSING WILDLIFE DENSITY AND ABUNDANCE ON MAUNGU RANCH."— Presentation transcript:

1 CHAPTER 3: HUMAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT AND WILDLIFE ABUNDANCE: ASSESSING WILDLIFE DENSITY AND ABUNDANCE ON MAUNGU RANCH

2 Wildlife Abundance in Kasigau An Integral Part of CBE Dispersal area for wildlife (Maina 2004) Tsavo East and West National Parks Mt. Kasigau, an isolated peak of the Taita Hills: Recognized Biodiversity Hotspots (C.I. 2007) Kenya’s Wildlife- 36% loss in wildlife populations from 1977 to 1997 in the National Parks alone (Western 2006) Knowing the amount and type of biodiversity in an area is critical to CBE and conservation efforts

3 Community-owned Maungu Ranch (52,000 acres ) Conservation Trust

4 Current Economic Model Ranching The shareholders own 600 cattle Cattle ranchers lease the land at 30KSH a head ($0.45USD) 2,000 head= $900USD/month

5 Multi-Ranch Conservation Trust Conversion from a livestock-dependent economic model to a wildlife-based ecotourism model is underway.

6 Impetus of our Study To determine the diversity and abundance of wildlife on Maungu Ranch To provide estimates for the number of cattle Our results will be made available to ranch managers Our data will also provide a baseline to determine the effects of the transition from ranching to CBE

7 Transect Diagram NORTH EAST WEST SOUTH Field Camp Systematic sampling 14 5km transects 2km apart Covered 70km

8 Study Methods Transect methods with angular distances (Buckland et al. 1993) Density Estimates using Distance Sampling Species-specific strip transects Density Estimates using Census Sampling Scat counts along transects Area Most Utilized by Specific Species Observations of human activity along transects Area Most Utilized by Humans

9 Transect Teams Members – WKU students – UoN students – KWS rangers Duties – observation – navigator – recorder – Range finder – GPS

10 Observations Wildlife Livestock Scat Human Activity – Bomas – Charcoal pits – Camps – Poaching

11 Data Recorded

12 Line Transects: Distance Sampling Distance 5.0 ®software for these calculations. All Distance models in CDS (conventional distance sampling) No constraints on the detection function and expected cluster size determined by the average Each line transect was transformed into a species- specific strip transect Greatest sighting distance = width Average density (N) within the strip transects was then scaled up to the area of Maungu Ranch. Strip Transects: Area Census Sampling

13 Density Analysis Methods At least two sightings on at least two transects Difference between the two estimates for each species was calculated Wilcoxon signed rank test

14 Scat Counts and Human Activity The Ranch was divided into 4 quadrants Two transects in each quadrant except in the north Doubled in northern quadrant The quadrant with the most evidence of a particular species (including Homo sapiens sapiens) was determined NORTH EAST WEST SOUTH Field Camp

15 Density of Cattle on the Ranch 1.Cattle were recorded along the transects 2.“Cow counts” at the two boreholes present on the ranch 3.An interview with the herders at one of the boreholes regarding usage 4.We asked the herders how many cattle they suspected were on the ranch.

16 Results: Density Estimates Density estimates using distance sampling were calculated for eight species Density estimates based on strip transect sampling were calculated for 43 species Differences between the two types of density estimates were not significant (p=0.123) Red-Billed Hornbill, Fischer’s Starling, cattle, Kirk’s dik dik, impala

17 The 91 Species of Birds Observed on Maungu Ranch

18 21 Mammals and 10 Reptiles Observed on Maungu Ranch

19 Scat Counts: 2,572 piles (no shit!) Most in western quadrant- near river

20 Human Activities Human activities observed: – charcoal pits, mining, old and “in- use” bomas, poachers and poachers’ camps. We recorded evidence of human activity most frequently in the northern quadrant

21 Estimations of Cattle Density Average estimate of 8,868 cattle Strip transect sampling yielded the highest estimate (9,552) Interviews about the boreholes resulted in the lowest estimate (7,700)

22 Discussion: Wildlife Large and diverse avian population A destination for bird watchers Bird watching is one of the largest and fastest growing segments of ecotourism (Sekercioglu 2002) Bird walk or birding “hides” recommended Dr. Bowker? Is that you?

23 Discussion: Wildlife The Big Five – elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, buffalo Low number of mammals observed on the transects – Poaching? – Hypersensitive to the presence of humans on foot? Game drives recommended

24 Discussion: Scat Counts Several factors bias the scat counts – Experience of the observer – Visibility – Decomposition rate Plan tours of the ranch in areas most likely to meet the expectations of the tourists

25 Discussion: Human Activities Charcoal burning is illegal in Kenya, but the sale of it is not – unsightly – destructive activity – Affect on wildlife? Highest number near planned hotel for the new conservation trust Managers must address this issue as planning moves forward

26 Discussion: Cattle Density Estimates 6,268 more cattle use the ranch for grazing than the 2,000 for which the stakeholders are being compensated This overgrazing is the largest threat to a successful CBE initiative on the Ranch. The ranch managers must quickly begin removal of the cattle

27 Future Research Driving transects to measure mammalian wildlife densities Effects of cattle grazing, poaching, charcoal burning and mining – Comparisons with the abundance of mammals in the bordering Tsavo West National Park Baseline data to measure changes in future analyses – To ensure the higher level of tourism is not negatively impacting ranch wildlife – To gauge the success of the new CBE project

28 Conclusion: The Potential for CBE The bushmeat trade is not a commercial enterprise in the region. Communities are enthusiastic about a CBE enterprise and understand the importance of protecting wildlife. Managers of Maungu Ranch have agreed to participate in a conservation trust. Maungu Ranch is home to a varied and abundant wildlife population.

29 Recommendations 1.The bushmeat trade must not be allowed to transition into a commercial market. 2.More information is needed regarding the informal (house-to-house) bushmeat trade. 3.A better method of crop protection must be implemented in the area, and may lead to a decrease in bushmeat prevalence. 4.The villages within the Kasigau area must be treated, to some degree, as separate entities.

30 5.Community members must a have realistic goals as to income and capacity-building the CBE initiative can produce. 6.The Board of Directors and managers of Maungu Ranch must quickly transition away from ranching as an economic model. 7.The Board of Directors and managers of Maungu Ranch must decrease the amount of illegal human activity on the ranch; including charcoal burning, mining and poaching. 8.The Board of Directors and managers of Maungu Ranch should utilize our data in attracting birders to the ranch and organizing game drives, walks, etc. for tourists.


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