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2008_Jachmann_Illegal Wildlife Use and Protected Area Management in Ghana

2008_Jachmann_Illegal Wildlife Use and Protected Area Management in Ghana

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Illegal wildlife use and protected area management in Ghana
Hugo Jachmann
SNV-Ghana, Mankata Close 6, Airport Residential, P.O. Box 30284, KIA Accra, Ghana Bergstraat 77, 6174 RP Sweikhuizen, The Netherlands
Article history:
Received 13 March 2008Received in revised form16 May 2008Accepted 17 May 2008Available online 2 July 2008
Law enforcementPoaching ElephantsResource allocationStaff performanceWildlife managementHabitatA B S T R A C TStarting in 2004, a system to monitor patrol staff performance, illegal wildlife use andtrends in large-mammal populations was established in nine protected areas in Ghana.The main objectives were to use monitoring feedback as the foundation for informed deci-sions to aid adaptive and performance management, and to identify the most importantfactors contributing to wildlife conservation. The competitive management systemresulted in a doubling of patrol performance. As a result, in the six savannah sites, poach-ing was reduced to acceptable levels by the end of 2007, but in the three forest sites, poach-ing remained high. To reverse poaching trends in the forest required a conventional patroleffort that was 10 times higher than that in the savannah.The relationship between the amount of illegal activity with the operational budget, seniorstaff performance, encounter rates with large mammals, human population densities andhabitat, was investigated for 2005–2007. With three predictor variables, the modelexplained 63% of the variation in the encounter rates with illegal activity. Increasing human population densities gavehigher levels of poaching. Increasing frequencies of campvisits by senior officers and increasing operational budgets gave lower levels of poaching.In the second model, elephant poaching was used as the response variable and relative ele-phant density as an additional predictor variable. One predictor variable – that is elephantdensity – explained 38% of the total variation in elephant poaching. Elephant density incor-porated the effects of camp visit frequencies, human densities, and habitat. Commercialtrophy hunting for ivory, as opposed to subsistence hunting, was more sensitive to the den-sity of the target species and efforts to curtail the activity. Subsistence hunting was propor-tional to human densities, with mainly members of nearby communities involved, whileelephant poaching was not, mainly involving specialised hunters from towns further away.
2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
In Ghana, the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commissionhas direct management responsibility for 16 protected areas,which includes threecoastal wetlands, totalling 12,585 km
or5.5% of the country. Legislation caters for the protection of allwildlife, both in and outside of protected areas, but resourceconstraints greatly limit the ability to implement conserva-tion legislation. Prevailing ecological and above all economicconditions (Skonhoft and Solstad, 1998) determine that vol-untary compliance with conservation legislation does not oc-cur, and that the protection of wildlife requires effective andoften expensive enforcement mechanisms ( Jachmann, 1998;Rowcliffe et al., 2004). For the majority of protected areas inGhana, budgetary allocations were too low to provide ade-quate protection for their gradually declining wildlife popula-tions ( Jachmann,2008). Because mostof the budget is usedforlaw-enforcement operations, it is important that law enforce-
0006-3207/$ - see front matter
2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2008.05.009* Tel.: +233 244143698.E-mail addresses:hjachmann@snvworld.org ,hugojachmann@hotmail.com
141 (2008) 1906
available at www.sciencedirect.comjournal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/biocon
ment is cost-effective.The foundation forallwildlife manage-ment decisions should include monthly assessments of staff deployment and performance, patrol effort, trends in the dif-ferent types of illegal activity, and population trends of keywildlife species ( Jachmann and Billiouw, 1997; Jachmann,1998, 2001, 2002). In a few protected areas in Ghana, wheredonor-funded projects have been operating, GIS-based sys-tems were used to visualise information collected on patrolto direct field operations. However, in the majority of pro-tected areas management was on an
ad hoc
basis, lacking structured information to adapt field operations to changing conditions, and to evaluate whether management was stillon course in achieving its main objectives. Considering thefinancial constraints, protected area management was inneed of a cheap, sustainable, and standardised system to col-lect patrol information. The primary objective was to intro-duce performance and adaptive management, usinmonitoring feedback to make law enforcement more effectiveand cost-efficient in the short term ( Jachmann, 2008). Thesecondary objective was to identify the most important fac-tors contributing to the conservation of wildlife in a seriesof protected areaswith varying conditions in terms of habitat,human pressure, wildlife abundance, resource allocation, andmanagement.Previous studies showed that fluctuations in the numbersof elephants and/or rhinoceros poached could be attributedpredominantly to resource allocation for law enforcement,in terms of patrol effort and funding (Leader-Williams andAlbon, 1988; Leader-Williams et al., 1990; Milner-Gullandand Leader-Williams, 1992; Dublin and Jachmann, 1992; Jach-mann and Billiouw, 1997; Jachmann, 1998, 2002). The presentstudy examined the incidence of all types of illegal activitycombined, as well as elephants found killed illegally, in rela-tion to key factors that may have been of influence on these,in a series of nine conservation areas. Here, illegal activity re-fers to all classes of serious wildlife offences, predominantlypertaining to subsistence hunting, but including some com-mercial meat hunting, while elephants found killed illegallymainly concerned commercial trophy hunting.Inmid2004,asimplepatrol-basedmonitoringsystem(Bell,1985; Bell et al., 1992; Jachmann, 1998) was initiated in AnkasaandKakumConservationAreas,andin ShaiHills andKalakpaResource Reserves (Fig. 1). Early 2005, the same system wasestablished in Kogyae Strict Nature Reserve and in Digya Na-tional Park (Fig. 1). Early 2006, the system was in operationin the Bia Conservation Area (Fig. 1). Patrol data used for theGIS-based monitoring systems, initiated in Kyabobo and MoleNational Parks (Fig. 1) in 2004, were standardised and
Fig. 1 – Ghana and its protected area system.
141 (2008) 1906
re-analysed. In December 2005, Ankasa, Kakum, Shai Hills,Kalakpa, Kogyae, and Digya were evaluated in terms of patrolstaff performance, rates of illegal activity and wildlife trends( Jachmann, 2008). Early 2007, all nine sites were evaluated.By disseminating the results of the evaluations, a competitivemanagement system was created, in which each site strivedfor the best performance ( Jachmann, 2008).The purpose of this study was twofold. First, to documentthe success of the competitive performance managementsystem in terms of improved patrol effort and reduced poach-ing. Second, to determine key factors that influenced poach-ing rates in nine protected areas in Ghana, by examining the relationships between all classes of illegal activity com-bined, and elephants found killed illegally, with staff perfor-mance, relative wildlife densities, elephant densities, habitattype, human population densities in areas surrounding thenine study sites, and budgetary allocations. We began byexamining patrol staff performance for all sites combined,followed by trends in illegal activity for the six savannah sitescombined, and for the three forest sites combined. Then wecontinued by examining the univariate relationships betweenillegal activity and each of the above key factors, followed bytwo multivariate analyses, the first with all classes of illegalactivity combined, and the second with elephants foundkilled illegally as the response variables and the key factorsabove as the predictor variables.
2. Study areas
A Senior Wildlife Officer and one or more Assistant WildlifeOfficers manage protected areas in Ghana (Senior officers).Wildlife Rangers make up the hierarchical level below this.They are in charge of a particular area (range) and a numberof camps from where patrols emanate. Wildlife Rangersmay be stationed in a camp within their range, or they areposted at the protected area’s headquarters, while they makeregular visits to the camps that come under their supervision.Senior officers also make regular visits to each camp, butcamp-visit frequencies often depend on motivation and lead-ership skills. Generally, one striking force of patrol staff oper-ates from headquarters, and several other teams operatefrom campsthroughouttheprotected area. From2003 to early2005, using a mobile training unit and external consultants,patrol staff of all protected areas in Ghana received extensivelaw-enforcement training under the Wildlife Division SupportProject, funded by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Accra.As from 2006, this exercise was repeated annually, ensuring that patrol skills of all Wildlife Division staff remained at ahigh and standardised level.A detailed description of the nine study areas, including common large-mammal species, was provided in a previouspaper ( Jachmann, 2008). A summary of the size, elevation, an-nual rainfall, and vegetation types that occur in addition toGuinea savannah for the six savannah sites and moist ever-green forest for the three forest sites is provided inTable 1.Briefly, the Bia, Kakum, and Ankasa Conservation Areas con-sist of moist evergreen forest, with some dry semi-deciduousforest in the northern part of Bia. The other six protectedareas consist predominantly of Guinea savannah, inter-spersed with various other vegetation types (Table 1).Five out of nine study sitescontainsmall residentelephantpopulations, whereas Kyabobo shares roughly between 20and 30 savannah elephants with the adjacent Fazao-Malfak-assa National Park in Togo. Mole National Park contains thelargest savannah population of at least 401 elephants(Bouche´, 2007), Digya National Park has anywhere between170 (Jachmann, unpublished data) and 341 savannah ele-phants (Kumordzi et al., in press). The Ankasa ConservationArea contains about 38 forest elephants (Protected AreasDevelopment Programme II, unpublished report, 2007), about164 forest elephants reside in the Kakum Conservation Area(CITES/MIKE, unpublished report, 2004), with 115 forest ele-phants remaining in the Bia Conservation Area (Sam, M.K.,unpublished report, IUCN/SSC AfESG, 2004).In Ghana, wildlife related illegal activity falls into twomain classes; commercial hunting of elephants for ivory,and subsistence hunting. Hunting for subsistence purposesis either for private use, for selling within the community,for selling to bush meat traders, or a combination of these.Thus, subsistence hunting includes some commercial meathunting. Although commercial hunting of elephants may beconsidered a serious class of illegal activity, it occurs at lowintensities, mainly in Mole and Digya National Parks, and inthe Bia and Kakum Conservation Areas. Outside the protectedarea system, small numbers of elephants have been killedeach year. This particularly happens during wet-seasonmovements of elephants from Mole to three mainly unpro-tected forest reserves south of the park, and in the series of forest reserves to the east of Bia, where due to extensive log-ging the remaining habitat has been gradually reduced and
Table 1 – Summary of study areas
Protected area Size (km
) Elevation (m) Annual rainfall (mm) Vegetation types
Shai hills 48 5060 9001000 Dry forestKyabobo 222 300800 12001300 Various forest typesBia 306 145230 15001700 Semi-deciduous forestKalakpa 320 60400 12001300 Dry forestKakum 360 150250 15001700 Kogyae 386 120230 12001300 Transitional woodlandAnkasa 509 90150 20002200 Digya 3478 90180 12001300 Transitional woodlandMole 4577 120490 9501050 a Vegetation types in addition to Guinea savannah for savannah sites and moist evergreen forest for forest sites.
141 (2008) 1906

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