Mitigation Of Primate Crop Raiding In Gishwati Forest Reserve, Rwanda
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SubjectCrop-raiding; Chimpanzees--Rwanda; Gishwati (Rwanda)--Conservation; Forest reserves--Rwanda--Gishwati; Human-Wildlife conflict
Conservation efforts are sometimes undermined by human-animal conflicts near protected areas, such as wildlife raiding crops from local farms. Since 2007, crop raiding conflict has been observed between humans and non-human primates, including a small population of chimpanzees, near the Gishwati reserve in the Kivu region of western Rwanda. The purpose of this study is to address the problem crop raiding poses to protected areas and human-utilized space along forest boundaries so that a healthy relationship can be maintained with local farmers. Our hypothesis is that crop raiding will only occur as far out from the forest edge as the animals can see. Primary data was collected every 10m along an approximately 1 km stretch of the boundary of the forest where crop raiding had been observed. A sightline map was created using three coordinated sighting methods with GPS point mapping, integrated through the use of GIS. We have predicted that chimpanzees will not raid crops growing in areas where they cannot see back to the forest boundary. Data collection is ongoing and will be complete at the end of the current growing season in late March, and will be presented.
Keith Summerville (Mentor) ; Michael Renner (Mentor)