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Improving the conservation status of the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania? The effect of joint forest management on bushmeat hunting in the Kilombero nature reserve

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Author(s): Nielsen Martin

Journal: Conservation & Society
ISSN 0972-4923

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 106;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: joint forest management | bushmeat hunting | compliance | displacement | governance | Udzungwa | Kilombero | Tanzania

ABSTRACT
This study examines the effect of Joint Forest Management (JFM) in a component of the Kilombero Nature Reserve recently gazetted to improve the conservation status of high biodiversity forests in the Udzungwa Mountains of the Eastern Afromontane biodiversity hotspot. The evaluation is based on a temporal comparison spanning seven years of JFM and establishment of a Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) ranger station, using bushmeat hunting as an indicator. Results reveal that the number of active hunters had declined, primarily due to TANAPA′s patrolling. But hunting effort had been displaced from hunting with firearms in the grassland to hunting with traps and dogs in the forests, thus increasing the threat to endemic species. Hunters perceived few benefits from JFM, and the new opportunities were largely unused, inaccessible and communal in nature. Suspicions of embezzlement of JFM funds, and high village development contributions were important drivers of continuing hunting. Dissatisfied with JFM, most inactive hunters actually preferred that TANAPA manage the forest instead. Considerable attention to correcting these problems is required before this model of JFM should be scaled up and implemented in the remaining villages surrounding the Kilombero Nature Reserve.
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