Local community perceptions and contributions to primates conservation around wildlife reserve areas in Uganda: A case study of Kibale National Park, Kabarole District
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Local community perceptions and contributions continue to influence primates’ survival in Uganda. The study was carried out in Kibale National Park to; determine the land use activities around the park, determine the record of primates’ interactions with the local community, assess the extent of public participation in the primates’ conservation, and evaluate the success and failures regarding the community involvement in primates’ conservation. Qualitative data was collected from 102 respondents who were businessmen and farmers using questionnaires, focus group discussions and was analyzed using the statistical tools for example frequencies and percentages using Microsoft Excel. In the study 53% were female and 47% were male, from the study the major land use activity is Agriculture (45%), settlement (25%0, brick making (12%) tree planting (7%), transportation (7%), charcoal burning (4%), tea planting (2%) and birding (1%). From the study, the major problem faced by the people around Kibale National Park is crop raiding (42%), diseases (17%), reduced land for agriculture(12%), noise(12%), reduced land for settlement (8%), primates blocking ways for children (3%), human wildlife conflicts (3%) and poor roads (3%).The study found out that the conservation activities have been successful through reduced deforestation (25%), reduced hunting (8%), use of planted trees for cooking (10%), tourists increase in the area (2%), no way (21%) and some people don’t know (31%). The study found out that the activities have failed by unmaintained trenches (27%), poaching (22%), primates attack communities (15%), few people attending the conservation meetings (14%) and 20% don’t know. The study concluded that local community perceptions and contributions continue to influence primates’ survival if they continue being protected in Kibale National Park and most people understand and have positive perceptions for conservation. The study recommended that the UWA should compensate the communities for the damages and losses by wildlife, increase awareness to major roads drivers on stop overs for provision of yellow bananas and cooked food to primates, further research should be conducted for further wildlife ecological studies and the Ugandan government should increase more funds to the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry.