The Challenges of Wild Game on Forest Plantations Management Objectives In Forest Ecosystems In Kenya

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 12:41

Forests in Africa and Asia host various wildlife populations that cause varying levels of damages to forest resources. The economic damage is more severe in forest plantations meant for timber production that require huge financial outlays. Like many countries most forest ecosystems in Kenya contain many forest plantations
and wild game conservation units. Despite the heavy losses to plantation crops by wild game, the extent of theloss as well as existence of a balance between wild game conservation and plantation forestry remains unknown.
The study therefore attempts to deepen the knowledge on the impacts of game damage on forest ecosystems in particular plantations and also provide some option to forest managers to counter minimize damage levels. To minimize wild game damages in Key ecosystems of Mt. Kenya and Aberdares in Kenya game moats were constructed. Recently, electric fences were introduced into parts of the Aberdares to keep away wild animals from plantations and farms. The use of physical structures has been successful in reducing damage from large game such as elephants and buffaloes but controlling smaller game mostly monkeys, porcupines, and moles remain a challenge. This paper focuses on the benefits and challenges of restricting wild game movement in forest plantations management as well as the ecological and economic impacts in Mt Kenya and Aberdare
ecosystems. The study was carried out through assessments of the damage intensity of foliage, tree limb breakages and bark damages of major plantation species in the age cohorts 5-10, 11-20 and > 20 years old.

Responsible party
South Eastern University College (SEUCO)
Funding bodies
World Bank