Overview of Human-wildlife Conflict in the Campo-Ma’an Technical Operational Unit, Southern Cameroon

Abstract

Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) is increasing in the Campo-Ma’an Conservation Area located in the southern region of Cameroon, thus threatening human livelihoods and wildlife; yet the sources and consequences of HWC in this region remain poorly understood. 127 households from three subdivisions were interviewed to investigate the extent of wildlife crop damage and identify humans’ impact on wildlife. Most surveyed households (98%) reported wildlife crop damage, mainly by eighteen species. The severity level’s distribution differed among subdivisions. Out of 23 plant species grown, 14 suffered damage, five being stapled foods; suggesting that HWC can threaten food security. Elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) were the second most cited crop raiders, after cane rats (Thryonomys swinderianus), causing the greatest economic loss. None of the mitigation measures implemented effectively reduced crop raiding. The main human effects on wildlife were poaching and habitat loss, threatening biodiversity. Crop damage and illegal activities must be monitored and mitigations established, to reduce human-wildlife interferences. This requires setting up adaptive land-use systems and modifying and empowering wildlife legislation.

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