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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

A R T I C L E I N F O

A B S T R A C T

Article history: Received 13 March 2008 Received in revised form 16 May 2008 Accepted 17 May 2008 Available online 2 July 2008 Keywords: Law enforcement Poaching Elephants Resource allocation Staff performance Wildlife management Habitat

Starting in 2004, a system to monitor patrol staff performance, illegal wildlife use and trends 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 decisions to aid adaptive and performance management, and to identify the most important factors contributing to wildlife conservation. The competitive management system resulted in a doubling of patrol performance. As a result, in the six savannah sites, poaching was reduced to acceptable levels by the end of 2007, but in the three forest sites, poaching remained high. To reverse poaching trends in the forest required a conventional patrol effort that was 10 times higher than that in the savannah. The relationship between the amount of illegal activity with the operational budget, senior staff performance, encounter rates with large mammals, human population densities and habitat, was investigated for 2005–2007. With three predictor variables, the model explained 63% of the variation in the encounter rates with illegal activity. Increasing human population densities gave higher levels of poaching. Increasing frequencies of camp visits 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 elephant density as an additional predictor variable. One predictor variable – that is elephant density – explained 38% of the total variation in elephant poaching. Elephant density incorporated the effects of camp visit frequencies, human densities, and habitat. Commercial trophy hunting for ivory, as opposed to subsistence hunting, was more sensitive to the density of the target species and efforts to curtail the activity. Subsistence hunting was proportional to human densities, with mainly members of nearby communities involved, while elephant poaching was not, mainly involving specialised hunters from towns further away. Ó 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1.

Introduction

In Ghana, the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission has direct management responsibility for 16 protected areas, which includes three coastal wetlands, totalling 12,585 km2 or 5.5% of the country. Legislation caters for the protection of all wildlife, both in and outside of protected areas, but resource constraints greatly limit the ability to implement conservation legislation. Prevailing ecological and above all economic

conditions (Skonhoft and Solstad, 1998) determine that voluntary compliance with conservation legislation does not occur, and that the protection of wildlife requires effective and often expensive enforcement mechanisms (Jachmann, 1998; Rowcliffe et al., 2004). For the majority of protected areas in Ghana, budgetary allocations were too low to provide adequate protection for their gradually declining wildlife populations (Jachmann, 2008). Because most of the budget is used for law-enforcement operations, it is important that law enforce-

* Tel.: +233 244143698. E-mail addresses: hjachmann@snvworld.org, hugojachmann@hotmail.com 0006-3207/$ - see front matter Ó 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2008.05.009

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ment is cost-effective. The foundation for all wildlife management decisions should include monthly assessments of staff deployment and performance, patrol effort, trends in the different types of illegal activity, and population trends of key wildlife species (Jachmann and Billiouw, 1997; Jachmann, 1998, 2001, 2002). In a few protected areas in Ghana, where donor-funded projects have been operating, GIS-based systems were used to visualise information collected on patrol to direct field operations. However, in the majority of protected areas management was on an ad hoc basis, lacking structured information to adapt field operations to changing conditions, and to evaluate whether management was still on course in achieving its main objectives. Considering the financial constraints, protected area management was in need of a cheap, sustainable, and standardised system to collect patrol information. The primary objective was to introduce performance and adaptive management, using monitoring feedback to make law enforcement more effective and cost-efficient in the short term (Jachmann, 2008). The secondary objective was to identify the most important factors contributing to the conservation of wildlife in a series of protected areas with varying conditions in terms of habitat, human pressure, wildlife abundance, resource allocation, and management.

Previous studies showed that fluctuations in the numbers of elephants and/or rhinoceros poached could be attributed predominantly to resource allocation for law enforcement, in terms of patrol effort and funding (Leader-Williams and Albon, 1988; Leader-Williams et al., 1990; Milner-Gulland and Leader-Williams, 1992; Dublin and Jachmann, 1992; Jachmann and Billiouw, 1997; Jachmann, 1998, 2002). The present study examined the incidence of all types of illegal activity combined, as well as elephants found killed illegally, in relation to key factors that may have been of influence on these, in a series of nine conservation areas. Here, illegal activity refers to all classes of serious wildlife offences, predominantly pertaining to subsistence hunting, but including some commercial meat hunting, while elephants found killed illegally mainly concerned commercial trophy hunting. In mid 2004, a simple patrol-based monitoring system (Bell, 1985; Bell et al., 1992; Jachmann, 1998) was initiated in Ankasa and Kakum Conservation Areas, and in Shai Hills and Kalakpa Resource Reserves (Fig. 1). Early 2005, the same system was established in Kogyae Strict Nature Reserve and in Digya National Park (Fig. 1). Early 2006, the system was in operation in the Bia Conservation Area (Fig. 1). Patrol data used for the GIS-based monitoring systems, initiated in Kyabobo and Mole National Parks (Fig. 1) in 2004, were standardised and

Fig. 1 – Ghana and its protected area system.

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re-analysed. In December 2005, Ankasa, Kakum, Shai Hills, Kalakpa, Kogyae, and Digya were evaluated in terms of patrol staff 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 competitive management system was created, in which each site strived for the best performance (Jachmann, 2008). The purpose of this study was twofold. First, to document the success of the competitive performance management system in terms of improved patrol effort and reduced poaching. Second, to determine key factors that influenced poaching rates in nine protected areas in Ghana, by examining the relationships between all classes of illegal activity combined, and elephants found killed illegally, with staff performance, relative wildlife densities, elephant densities, habitat type, human population densities in areas surrounding the nine study sites, and budgetary allocations. We began by examining patrol staff performance for all sites combined, followed by trends in illegal activity for the six savannah sites combined, and for the three forest sites combined. Then we continued by examining the univariate relationships between illegal activity and each of the above key factors, followed by two multivariate analyses, the first with all classes of illegal activity combined, and the second with elephants found killed illegally as the response variables and the key factors above as the predictor variables.

2.

Study areas

A Senior Wildlife Officer and one or more Assistant Wildlife Officers 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 number of camps from where patrols emanate. Wildlife Rangers may be stationed in a camp within their range, or they are posted at the protected area’s headquarters, while they make regular visits to the camps that come under their supervision. Senior officers also make regular visits to each camp, but camp-visit frequencies often depend on motivation and leadership skills. Generally, one striking force of patrol staff operates from headquarters, and several other teams operate from camps throughout the protected area. From 2003 to early 2005, using a mobile training unit and external consultants, patrol staff of all protected areas in Ghana received extensive law-enforcement training under the Wildlife Division Support

Project, 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 a high and standardised level. A detailed description of the nine study areas, including common large-mammal species, was provided in a previous paper (Jachmann, 2008). A summary of the size, elevation, annual rainfall, and vegetation types that occur in addition to Guinea savannah for the six savannah sites and moist evergreen forest for the three forest sites is provided in Table 1. Briefly, the Bia, Kakum, and Ankasa Conservation Areas consist of moist evergreen forest, with some dry semi-deciduous forest in the northern part of Bia. The other six protected areas consist predominantly of Guinea savannah, interspersed with various other vegetation types (Table 1). Five out of nine study sites contain small resident elephant populations, whereas Kyabobo shares roughly between 20 and 30 savannah elephants with the adjacent Fazao-Malfakassa National Park in Togo. Mole National Park contains the largest savannah population of at least 401 elephants ´ (Bouche, 2007), Digya National Park has anywhere between 170 (Jachmann, unpublished data) and 341 savannah elephants (Kumordzi et al., in press). The Ankasa Conservation Area contains about 38 forest elephants (Protected Areas Development Programme II, unpublished report, 2007), about 164 forest elephants reside in the Kakum Conservation Area (CITES/MIKE, unpublished report, 2004), with 115 forest elephants remaining in the Bia Conservation Area (Sam, M.K., unpublished report, IUCN/SSC AfESG, 2004). In Ghana, wildlife related illegal activity falls into two main classes; commercial hunting of elephants for ivory, and subsistence hunting. Hunting for subsistence purposes is 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 meat hunting. Although commercial hunting of elephants may be considered a serious class of illegal activity, it occurs at low intensities, mainly in Mole and Digya National Parks, and in the Bia and Kakum Conservation Areas. Outside the protected area system, small numbers of elephants have been killed each year. This particularly happens during wet-season movements of elephants from Mole to three mainly unprotected forest reserves south of the park, and in the series of forest reserves to the east of Bia, where due to extensive logging the remaining habitat has been gradually reduced and

Table 1 – Summary of study areas Protected area
Shai hills Kyabobo Bia Kalakpa Kakum Kogyae Ankasa Digya Mole

Size (km2)
48 222 306 320 360 386 509 3478 4577

Elevation (m)
50–60 300–800 145–230 60–400 150–250 120–230 90–150 90–180 120–490

Annual rainfall (mm)
900–1000 1200–1300 1500–1700 1200–1300 1500–1700 1200–1300 2000–2200 1200–1300 950–1050

Vegetation typesa
Dry forest Various forest types Semi-deciduous forest Dry forest – Transitional woodland – Transitional woodland –

a Vegetation types in addition to Guinea savannah for savannah sites and moist evergreen forest for forest sites.

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fragmented. Hunting for subsistence purposes by members of the communities surrounding the protected areas, targeting a large range of animal species, from duiker to buffalo, is the most widespread class of illegal activity throughout the country. The vast majority of wildlife offences reported by patrol staff relate to subsistence hunting.

3.
3.1.

Methods
Data collection

(# staff)). All encounters with mammals of a similar size or larger than a Maxwell’s duiker (Cephalophus maxwelli) were recorded. In terms of illegal activity, a standardised number of classes of serious offences were recorded – that is those, which directly relate to the illegal killing of wildlife. Classes of serious offences were; poachers arrested, poachers observed, firearms/cartridges/ivory/skins confiscated, gunshots heard, poachers’ camps found, animals found killed, wire snares recovered, and cartridges found.

3.2.

Comparing protected areas

All protected areas use conventional law enforcement in the form of foot patrols that frequently start from each of the camps as well as from the area’s headquarters. Standardised patrol forms were used to keep records of the numbers of staff on patrol, the exact duration, the area travelled, types, quantities and locations of illegal activity encountered, and the numbers of large-mammals encountered by species and location. Using a grid map, patrol routes were drawn, and the location of each encounter was recorded. The Wildlife Ranger in charge of a particular range used the patrol routes for spatial planning; thereby ensuring that the entire range was covered at least once a month. Because patrol movements should be unpredictable by nature, rangers were trained to randomize patrol movements as much as practically feasible, first to optimise the impact of law enforcement, and second to enable statistical inference from monitoring data. Total patrol time was made up of placement, that is time spent moving between base and the location where the patrol started or finished, preparations, that is obtaining rations, firearms and ammunition, and effective patrol time, that is time spent actively in pursuit of illegal activity. To compare encounter rates of illegal activity and large mammals in protected areas with different conditions, a standardised measure of patrolling effort was required. The most acceptable measure of effort for comparing areas with each other is effective patrol man-days, which does not include time spent on placement and preparations (Jachmann, 1998). The relationship between the numbers of staff in a patrol group and the numbers of encounters with large mammals and illegal activity follows an optimum curve (Jachmann, 1998). First, an increasing number of staff in a patrol group gives a linear increase in encounter rates up to a particular optimum patrol size, then declining, which is partly due to an increased probability of detection of the patrol group by both poachers and wildlife (Jachmann, 1998). However, a patrol group size of between three and four staff on average (range 3–7), which was the case in all nine sites for the entire study period, falls in the initial linear part of the curve. This enabled us to multiply effective patrol time by the number of staff in the patrol group to give effective patrol man-days. Because we required a measure of effort that was easy to interpret for management purposes, and closely related to the minimum standard that was set at 15 effective patrol days/staff/month for all protected areas in Ghana, the duration of an effective patrol day was set at 8 h. Thus, for each patrol, independent of its duration, the number of patrol hours was divided by 8, and multiplied by patrol size to give effective patrol man-days (effective patrol man-days = ((duration of patrol (hours)/8) · patrol size

Arresting offenders and deterrence may be the main objectives of law enforcement, but with regard to collecting information, a patrol may be compared with a sample count. Along the patrol route, the officers note all encounters with serious offences and large mammals, in a strip with unknown and variable width. Because we do not know the width of the strip searched on patrol, while law enforcement should be unpredictable by nature, we are not able to estimate absolute numbers or densities of the indicators measured. Instead, these particular sample counts yield density indices. Because we wish to compare the number of encounters during a particular period in a particular area with that in another area, we need to correct the encounters for differences in patrol effort. We used the Catch per unit Effort (C/E) index (Bell, 1985; Jachmann, 1998), where the catch refers to the total number of encounters with serious offences or with large mammals per unit area per unit time, and the effort is the total number of effective patrol man-days per unit area per unit time. Here, unit area refers to the size of each protected area (km2), while unit time refers to either one month or one year. For all protected areas in Ghana, the acceptable amount of illegal activity was arbitrarily set at 0.02 encounters with serious offences/effective patrol man-day/month. We should note that the unknown and variable width of the strip searched on patrol depends on visibility, which in turn depends on the density of the vegetation (habitat type). In December 2005, patrol staff performance and the lawenforcement programs in six protected areas were evaluated (Jachmann, 2008). Early 2006, the results were disseminated to all protected areas, as well as to other relevant stakeholders. The second evaluation involved nine study areas, and took place between March and June 2007. The results were widely circulated, and presented to all field staff in each of the sites. The objective was to improve patrol staff performance by creating a spirit of competition between protected areas. Most of the information presented in this paper was derived from patrol reports that were assumed reliable accounts of the activities of the patrol staff, both in terms of technical precision and in terms of being a true account of events. The subject of reliability of self-reporting in a competitive management system, and checks on the system at the various hierarchical levels, was discussed in detail in a previous paper (Jachmann, 2008). The patrol data for the Kakum Conservation Area for 2006 was not included in the analysis. Mainly due to changes in mid- and senior level staff in late 2005, the patrol data were considered unreliable (Jachmann, 2008). In 2007, we did not

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manage to visit the Bia Conservation Area to check on data collection, while after submission some of the data were missing. Consequently, the 2007 data for Bia was excluded from the multivariate analysis.

3.3.

Analyses

We began by examining the trend in patrol staff performance for all sites combined, from 2005 to 2007. We continued with trends of the incidence of poaching for the six savannah sites combined, and for the three forest sites combined. Combining protected areas has the advantage that C/E indices do not require correction for size, but the disadvantage of pronounced seasonal oscillations in encounter rates, mainly due to seasonal differences in visibility and accessibility. Consequently, for the multivariate analysis described below, we used totals/ km2/year for most of the variables. To examine the influence of resource allocation, senior staff performance, human population densities, relative densities of large mammals, and habitat type on the incidence of illegal activity, a stepwise multiple linear regression analysis was performed with the program STATISTICA (Statsoft Inc., Tulsa, OK). The number of encounters with serious offences/ km2/effective patrol man-day was used as the response variable. As a measure of resource allocation, we used the operational budget/km2 (US$). As a measure of the performance of senior officers, we used the average number of visits by senior officers/camp. Only camp visit frequencies verified through camp visitor books, senior officer diaries or through other trustworthy sources were used for the analysis. As a measure of human pressure, we used the human population density for the districts were the protected area is located (Ghana

Government, district demographical data). The number of encounters with large mammals/km2 was used as a measure of relative wildlife density. As an indication of habitat type and therefore vegetation density, we made a simple division between forest sites, and sites with predominantly Guinea savannah (forest = 2 and savannah = 1). First, the univariate relationships between each of the individual predictor variables and the response variable were explored. Using the nonlinear components module in program STATISTICA, the transformation that provided the best fit for the modelling procedure was used. Four different transformations were applied, i.e. logarithmic, exponential, square root, and square. Next, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were calculated amongst transformed variables, and correlations between predictor variables examined. This was followed by a stepwise forward linear multiple regression analysis, with the objective of explaining the most variation with the least number of variables. In Ghana, elephant numbers have been declining rapidly over the past few decades. To examine the factors that are of influence on an important class of illegal wildlife use – that is elephant poaching – we repeated the forward stepwise multiple linear regression, but replaced the response variable (serious offences) with elephants found killed illegally, and added elephants encountered/km2 (relative elephant density) as a predictor variable. To detect further structure in the relationships between the variables, thereby complementing the results of the regression analysis, we performed a principal components analysis (program STATISTICA). Multiple linear regression assumes linear relationships between the variables, a more or less constant variance of the

18

Performance (effective patrol days/staff/month)

16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0
ov M ay M ay M ay Se p Se p M ar M ar M ar 05 07 20 06 Se p Ju Ju N N Ju 20 20 N ov ov l l l

n

Ja

n

Month (2005 - 2007)
Fig. 2 – Patrol staff performance in average effective patrol days/staff/month for nine protected areas combined (broken line), and moving average (n = 6; Microsoft Office, Program Excel) (solid line), from January 2005 to December 2007.

Ja

Ja

n

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response variable, and a normal distribution of residuals. Violations of these assumptions were checked with normal probability plots of residuals (program STATISTICA). We used repeated measures of the same variables from three consecutive years as independent data points to enlarge the sample size. This design may include potentially confounding variables when repeated measures of the same variable are more or less the same over time. To test for associations between temporal changes in illegal activity (response variable) and those for each of the predictor variables, we performed a series of one-way repeated measures Analyses of Covariance (ANCOVA), (program STATISTICA). Predictor variables without a significant temporal association with illegal activity were omitted from the regression analyses.

4.
4.1.

Results
Patrol staff performance and poaching trends

For all study areas combined, patrol staff performance increased from about 8 effective days/staff/month on average in 2005 to about 16 by the end of 2007 (Fig. 2). As a result of the improved patrol staff performance, for the six savannah sites combined, the incidence of illegal activity dropped from an average of approximately 0.16 encounters with serious offences/effective patrol man-day/month in early 2005 to a low of about 0.02 by the end of 2007 (Fig. 3). However, for the three forest sites combined, the incidence of illegal activity remained more or less the same throughout the study period, fluctuating between 0.20 and 1.00 encounters with serious offences/effective patrol man-day/month (Fig. 4). Thus, encoun-

ter rates with serious offences – that is poaching – were between 10 and 50 times higher in the forest as compared to the savannah, while a doubling of patrol effort did not appear to have a significant effect on the incidence of illegal activity. On the contrary, in the forest, encounter rates with serious offences exponentially increased with an increasing patrol effort (Y = 93.290e0.001x; P 6 0.001). This exponential increase was mainly due to a sharp increase in wire snares recovered with an increasing patrol effort (Fig. 5). When we omitted wire snares, a polynomial relationship between the incidence of illegal activity and increasing patrol effort emerged, with encounter rates peaking between about 1200 and 1400 effective patrol man-days/month (Fig. 6). The mean size of the three forest sites is about 392 km2 (Table 1), implying that it requires at least 3–4 effective patrol man-days/km2 to reduce the incidence of poaching with firearms, dogs or other active means. In the forest, where wire snares are a common means to trap animals, any increase in patrol effort will merely result in an increase in wire snares detected. In the savannah sites, however, poaching was reduced to acceptable levels, by increasing the patrol effort from about 0.25 effective man-days/km2 in early 2005 to about 0.40 by late 2007. To reverse poaching trends in the forest, which does not include the incidence of snaring, a conventional patrol effort of at least 10 times that of the savannah is required, but much higher if poaching needs to be reduced to acceptable levels. In summary, the relationship between conventional patrol effort and poaching follows a detection/deterrence curve, peaking at much lower efforts in the savannah than in the forest, but for the incidence of snaring alone, peaking at patrol efforts that may not be sustainable.

Serious offences encountered/effective patrol man-day (savannah sites)

0.18 0.16 0.14 0.12 0.10 0.08 0.06 0.04 0.02 0.00
ov ov Ju l M ay M ay Ju l M ay M ar M ar M ar Ju l 05 06 07 Se p Se p Se p N N 20 20 20 N ov

n

n

Ja

Ja

Month (2005 - 2007)
Fig. 3 – Encounter rates with illegal activity (serious offences/effective patrol man-day/month) for six savannah sites combined, from January 2005 to December 2007. Y = À0.043 ln(x) + 0.170 (P 6 0.001).

Ja

n

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Serious offences encountered/effective patrol man-day (forest sites)

1.20

1.00

0.80

0.60

0.40

0.20

0.00
ov ov Ju l Ju l M ay M ay M ay M ar M ar M ar Ju l 05 06 07 Se p Se p Se p 20 N 20 N 20 N
1600

n

n

Ja

Ja

Month (2005 - 2007)
Fig. 4 – Encounter rates with illegal activity (serious offences/effective patrol man-day/month) for three forest sites combined, from January 2005 to December 2007.
600

500

Snares recovered/month

400

300

200

100

0 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400

Effective patrol man-days/month (forest sites)
Fig. 5 – Relationship between the numbers of wire snares recovered/month and the numbers of effective patrol man-days/ month for three forest sites combined (2005–2007). Y = 43.035e0.0015x (P 6 0.001).

4.2.

Univariate relationships

A summary of the response variable and the five predictor variables for the nine protected areas, from 2005 to 2007, is

provided in Table 2. The relationship between the average numbers of camp visits by senior officers with serious offences encountered/km2/effective patrol man-day was highly significant, with poaching sharply declining with increasing

Ja

n

ov

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180 Serious offences encountered/effective patrol man-day (snares not included)

160

140

120

100

80

60

40

20

0 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 Effective patrol man-days/month (forest sites)

Fig. 6 – Relationship between serious offences (not including wire snares) encountered/effective patrol man-day/month and effective patrol man-days/month for three forest sites combined (2005 – 2007). Y = À1EÀ07x3 + 0.0003x2 À 0.0841x + 63.3020 (P 6 0.001).

Table 2 – Summary of variables that may be of influence on the incidence of illegal activity in nine protected areas in Ghana, from 2005 to 2007 Area Year Serious offences/ km2/epmd
0.0000349 0.0005945 0.0000024 0.0000533 0.0000388 0.0000455 0.0016012 0.0008552 0.0002635 0.0001652 0.0009106 0.0008849 0.0006089 0.0001434 0.0000522 0.0004168 0.0010960 0.0002917 0.0000248 0.0000202 0.0000137 0.0000209 0.0000130 0.0000066

Predictor Variables Visits/camp
18.00 24.00 24.00 57.00 71.00 40.00 3.25 1.44 4.67 17.14 3.33 1.43 9.96 16.67 14.57 22.20 – 32.00 44.04 43.85 24.00 32.04 8.33 24.67

Human densities
74.49 76.05 77.65 39.23 40.41 41.62 81.39 54.95 56.60 58.30 99.15 103.56 65.53 66.39 67.25 84.28 86.89 89.58 10.46 10.65 10.84 10.69 11.02 11.36

Large mammals
76.25 84.00 69.54 1.03 1.07 0.78 2.69 4.72 16.48 38.90 5.37 8.95 1.60 10.35 7.89 1.08 2.88 1.96 2.79 1.87 1.63 8.66 11.95 10.08

Operational budget
43.71 58.08 134.06 140.07 9.28 173.90 5.68 10.90 13.28 24.15 11.38 35.74 8.75 9.96 25.11 7.75 3.87 6.47 3.32 2.55 4.94 14.67 1.19 83.73

Habitat
1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1

Shai hills Shai hills Shai hills Kyabobo Kyabobo Kyabobo Bia Kalakpa Kalakpa Kalakpa Kakum Kakum Kogyae Kogyae Kogyae Ankasa Ankasa Ankasa Digya Digya Digya Mole Mole Mole

2005 2006 2007 2005 2006 2007 2006 2005 2006 2007 2005 2007 2005 2006 2007 2005 2006 2007 2005 2006 2007 2005 2006 2007

Response variable: serious offences encountered/km2/effective patrol man-day. Predictor variables: average number of camp visits by senior officers; human population densities in surrounding areas (people/km2); number of large-mammals encountered/km2; operational budget in US$/km2; Habitat (forest = 2, savannah = 1).

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camp visit frequencies (Fig. 7). With increasing human densities in the districts where the nine protected areas are lo-

cated, levels of poaching increased significantly (Fig. 8). Although poaching declined exponentially with an increasing

0.0018

Serious offences/km2/effective patrol man-day

0.0016

0.0014

0.0012

0.0010

0.0008

0.0006

0.0004

0.0002

0.0000 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80

Average number of senior staff visits/camp
Fig. 7 – Relationship between the average numbers of camp visits by senior officers, and serious offences encountered/km2/ effective patrol man-day for nine protected areas, from 2005 to 2007. Y = À0.0003 ln(x) + 0.0011 (R2 = 0.554; P = 0.001).

0.0018

Serious offences/km2/effective patrol man-day

0.0016

0.0014

0.0012

0.0010

0.0008

0.0006

0.0004

0.0002

0.0000 0 20 40 60 80 100 120

Human population density (people/km2)
Fig. 8 – Relationship between human population densities in the districts where the nine protected areas are located (people/ km2), and serious offences encountered/km2/effective patrol man-day. Y = 1EÀ05e0.0437x (R2 = 0.638; P = 0.000).

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operational budget and with increasing wildlife densities, these relationships were not statistically significant.

4.3.

Correlations between transformed variables

Although none of the other predictor variables was directly correlated with elephant poaching, significant correlations existed between elephants encountered/km2 and camp visits, and between human population densities and camp visits (Table 4).

All continuous variables required a logarithmic (ln) transformation. An increasing number of camp visits by senior officers gave a significant increase in staff performance (Fig. 9). The variation in numbers of annual camp visits between protected areas was not related to the availability of financial resources, while adequate transport was available in each of the sites. The most important factors appeared to be leadership skills and motivation of senior officers. However, camp-visit frequencies explained only about 23% of the variability in patrol performance (Fig. 9). A summary of Pearson product-moment correlations and P-values is provided in Table 3. Increasing densities of elephants gave a significant increase in elephants found killed illegally (Table 4), suggesting that poaching occurs in high elephant density areas.

4.4.

The models

The results of the one-way repeated measures ANCOVAs showed that temporal changes between serious offences/ km2/effective patrol man-day (response variable) and large mammals/km2 (predictor variable) were not significant (P = 0.471). This predictor variable was omitted from the regression analyses. We performed a series of forward stepwise multiple linear regression analyses on transformed variables, with serious offences/km2/effective patrol man-day as the response variable. By replacing variables with an insignificant contribution to the equation with new ones, we arrived at a highly significant model with only three predictor variables (F = 10.68,

25

Performance (average effective patrol days/staff)

20

15

10

5

0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80

Senior staff visits/camp
Fig. 9 – Relationship between the average numbers of camp visits by senior officers, and patrol staff performance (average effective patrol days/staff) for nine protected areas, from 2005 to 2007. Y = 0.123x + 7.937 (R2 = 0.232; P 6 0.020).

Table 3 – Pearson product-moment correlations and significant P-values between transformed variables Variable
Serious offences Visits/camp Human densities Large mammals Operational budget

Serious offences
1.000 À0.625 P = 0.001 0.676 P = 0.000 À0.142 À0.038

Visits/camp
1.000 À0.483 P = 0.020 À0.237 À0.015

Human densities

Large mammals

Operational budget

1.000 0.197 0.161 1.000 0.340

1.000

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P < 0.0002) that accounted for about 63% of the total variation. The regression Eq. (1) is: ln y ¼ À 8:874 þ 0:034 ln Human densities À 0:572 ln Visits=camp À 0:214 ln Operational budget ð1Þ where y = prediction of the number of serious offences encountered/km2/effective patrol man-day. The density of the human populations in the areas surrounding the nine study sites was the most important factor influencing levels of illegal activity, with the second most important factor being the frequency of camp visits by senior officers (Table 5). The third factor, the operational budget, had the least influence on illegal activity (Table 5). Human population densities had a positive impact – that is with increasing densities, poaching also increased. Both camp visit frequencies and the operational budget had a negative impact – that is with increasing camp visit frequencies and financial resources, poaching declined (Table 5). In the areas surrounding the three forest sites, human densities were twice as high (mean = 90.81/km2) as compared to those surrounding the six savannah sites (mean = 43.53/km2; P = 0.00031). Thus, the influence of habitat on the incidence of illegal wildlife use was incorporated in the predictor variable human densities. The forward stepwise multiple linear regression analysis, with elephants found killed illegally as the response variable, resulted in a significant model with only one predictor variable (F = 7.846; P 6 0.015) that accounted for about 38% of the total variation. The regression Eq. (2) is: ln y ¼ À15:419 þ 2:349 lnðelephants encountered=km Þ
2

with camp visits, which in turn was correlated with human densities, it incorporated the effects of patrol effort, leadership skills and motivational levels of senior officers, as well as human densities and habitat type. This was confirmed by the results of the principal components analysis that yielded two factors that together accounted for 77.4% of the total variance (Table 6). In the first factor, elephants found killed illegally, elephants encountered/km2, and camp visits had the highest factor loadings (Table 6). In the second factor, human population densities and the operational budget had the highest factor loadings (Table 6). Although elephant poaching was more or less influenced by the same factors as other classes of illegal wildlife use, it mainly occurred in high elephant density areas, while as opposed to subsistence hunting, it was not proportional to human densities.

5.

Discussion

ð2Þ

where y = prediction of numbers of elephants found killed illegally/km2/effective patrol man-day. Increasing elephant densities gave higher levels of poaching (Table 5). Because this predictor variable was correlated

Performance management through annual evaluations of law-enforcement programs, followed by wide dissemination of the results, proved to be a cheap and sustainable method of improving patrol performance, applicable in most protected areas on the continent (Jachmann, 2008). In the six savannah sites, it required a patrol staff density of 0.02 staff/km2 on average, a patrol effort of about 0.40 effective patrol man-days/km2/month, and an average operational budget of US$ 51/km2/year to reduce illegal wildlife use to acceptable levels. This compares with 0.02 staff/km2, between 0.10 and 0.14 effective patrol man-days/km2/month, and between 22 and 52 US$/km2/year, that was required to reduce elephant poaching to acceptable levels (60.2% of the population) in the central Luangwa Valley between 1989 and 1995 (Jachmann 1998; Jachmann and Billiouw 1997). This, however, concerned a single key species in one large conservation area (14,000 km2), surrounded by wilderness and areas with low

Table 4 – Pearson product-moment correlations and significant P-values between transformed variables Variable
Elephants killed Visits/camp Human densities Elephants/km2 Operational budget

Elephants killed
1.000 À0.417 À0.028 0.614 P = 0.015 À0.257

Visits/camp
1.000 À0.637 P = 0.011 À0.798 P = 0.000 0.107

Human densities

Elephants/km2

Operational budget

1.000 0.234 0.119 1.000 À0.409 1.000

Table 5 – Results of the forward stepwise multiple linear regression analyses on transformed variables. SE, standard error, B, slope Variable
Intercept Human population densities Senior staff visits/camp Operational budget Intercept Elephants encountered/km2

Beta
0.566 À0.337 À0.187

SE
0.160 0.158 0.141

B
À8.874 0.034 À0.572 À0.214 À15.419 2.349

SE
1.152 0.010 0.268 0.162 1.990 0.839

t
À7.702 3.528 À2.131 À1.325 À7.747 2.801

P
0.00000 0.00211 0.04569 0.20006 0.000003 0.014999

0.614

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Table 6 – Results of the principal components analysis Variable
Elephants found killed illegally Elephants encountered/km2 Senior staff visits/camp Human population densities Operational budget Eigenvalue Variance explained (%)

Factor 1
0.680 0.928 À0.902 0.478 À0.391 2.519 50.375

Factor 2
À0.412 À0.165 À0.350 0.779 0.652 1.351 27.022

human densities. Mainly due to the larger interface with cultivation, small conservation areas such as in Ghana require substantially more patrol effort, while the operational budget for the Luangwa Valley was not corrected for inflation, which makes the average budgetary allocation for the protected areas in Ghana much lower in terms of standard dollars. For the three forest sites, patrol staff densities averaged 0.06/km2, with an average operational budget of roughly US$ 21/km2/year. This included some project support to both Ankasa and Bia Conservation Areas. In the forest, visibility is low and strips searched on patrol are narrow. To reduce poaching to acceptable levels in the forest requires substantially more conventional patrol effort, supported by operational funds, than in the savannah. Moreover, human population densities in the areas surrounding the three forest sites are on average twice as high as in those surrounding the savannah sites (Table 2). High human densities combined with poverty result in high levels of subsistence hunting. Low visibility, an inhospitable environment, and often problems of access require at least 3–4 effective man-days/km2/ month to reverse poaching trends, which does not include the incidence of snaring. The latter may prove to be extremely difficult and highly expensive to bring under control with conventional foot patrols alone. Next to a variety of community approaches, law-enforcement strategies in the forest require the use of trackers (Nellemann et al., 2007), and investigations in the main villages and towns outside the protected areas (Jachmann, 1998). For the multiple regression analysis, the predictor variable ‘large mammals/km2’ had to be omitted, because temporal changes with illegal activity were not significant. This was mainly due to minor changes in patrol coverage, which was a direct result of the sharp increase in patrol effort. In 2007, in the majority of protected areas, patrols spent proportionally more time in low wildlife density areas as compared to previous years, which resulted in declining large-mammal encounter rates. With an uneven and often shifting distribution of wildlife, encounter rates with large mammals (direct observations) are more susceptible to minor changes in patrol coverage than encounter rates with serious offences, which include many indicators (indirect observations) that remain visible for extended periods. Thus, changes in patrol coverage have a greater impact on large-mammal encounter rates than on encounter rates with illegal activity. As an important class of illegal wildlife use, commercial trophy hunting for ivory was influenced by more or less the same factors as hunting for subsistence purposes. In the Luangwa Valley, between 1989 and 1995, most of the variation

in the numbers of elephants found killed illegally could be explained by resource allocation in terms of financial input and patrol effort alone (Jachmann, 1998; Jachmann and Billiouw, 1997). This, however, concerned a single population of elephants in a single large conservation area covered by woodland savannah. In Ghana, in the six protected areas that contain elephants, as opposed to subsistence hunting, commercial trophy hunting was more sensitive to the density of the target species and efforts to curtail the activity. Moreover, subsistence hunting was proportional to human densities in the areas surrounding the parks, whereas commercial trophy hunting for ivory was not. Members of communities located near protected areas mainly carried out subsistence hunting. Specialised hunters, frequently originating from towns further away, were involved in commercial ivory hunting. In the six savannah sites, a doubling of patrol effort resulted in a sharp decline in illegal activity (Figs. 2 and 3). However, neither of our two regression models, the first one pertaining to hunting for subsistence purposes, and the second one pertaining to commercial trophy hunting, included a predictor variable for patrol effort. With our current analytical design, this was not feasible, first, because patrol effort was used to correct encounters in the field (C/E index) for widely varying patrol intensities, and second, because patrol effort, through patrol performance, was indirectly correlated with camp visits. Camp visit frequencies, however, only explained 23% of the variability in patrol performance. This implies that much of the unexplained variation in poaching rates, both for subsistence hunting and trophy hunting, can be attributed to patrol effort. Most unfortunately, our current data set is too small and some of the information too heterogeneous. With a larger data set, differentiating between forest and savannah and correcting for financial investment under project management, most of the variation in incidences of illegal wildlife use on one hand, and elephants found killed illegally on the other hand, may be explained by human density and resource allocation, and elephant density and resource allocation respectively. Here, resource allocation should include the operational budget, the capital expenditure, and patrol effort, whereby patrol effort is the product of patrol staff numbers and performance. Although competent and dedicated senior officers with adequate leadership skills are required for sound wildlife management, this is partly incorporated in patrol staff performance and therefore patrol effort.

Acknowledgments
I would like to thank Mr. M. Adu-Nsiah (Executive Director of the Wildlife Division), Mr. A. Akwoviah (Director Operations), and Mr. C. Nateg (Manager Special Services) for their continuous support. I am indebted to the senior management staff in each of the protected areas for their hospitality, patience and cooperation. SNV-Netherlands Development Organisation supported the work, under a bilateral agreement with the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission. My gratitude goes to Peter de Haan, the Country Director of SNV-Ghana, for his continued logistical and moral support. I am grateful to Christian Nellemann, and several unknown reviewers for providing useful comments on an earlier draft.

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R E F E R E N C E S

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