Characterization of a population of medium and large mammals in the Reserve Dja Wildlife: Potential and threats
In order to contribute to the process of the management plan revision of Dja Biosphere Reserve, a diurnal mammal census has been carried out by the dja rangers under the supervision of IUCN from the 15th march to 6th June 2015. The main focus of this census concerned forest elephants, lowland western gorillas and chimpanzees.
An indirect survey based on a combined recce and line transect method has been used. Also for analysis, some bio statistical and GIS software have been put into contribution.
As main results of the study, roughly 17 mammal species have been identified. The artiodactyls constitute the main representative group. The densities of elephants, low land gorillas and chimpanzees have been estimated to 0,002, 0,030 and 0,029 giving a total number of 820, 15994 and 15100 individuals for the above species.
The main treats are the results of human activities essentially led by poaching. Less proportion of timber exploitation activities indexes have been noticed in the eastern part of the reserve. Human pressures are highly noted in eastern, south and north-western sectors of the reserve. Animal activities have their high indexes from south-western to north-eastern sectors of Dja fauna reserve.
To reduce the impact of these treats, two recommendations have been formulated as follows:
- Intensify anti-poaching patrols within the Dja fauna reserve with the creation of 04 in forest permanent based camps inside the protected area;
- Develop an approach of sensitization of local population that will enhance their engagement for an active participation in the fight against poaching and notably ivory black market traffic. This approach has to promote the appropriation of bush meat alternatives projects and income generating activities by local populations for their well being.
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