Assessing the impact of crop raiding by African elephants (Loxadonta Africana) in Kibale National Park, Uganda
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The major purpose of the sturdy was to assess the impact of crop raiding by African elephants around Kibale national park. The specific objective of the study was: to identify the types of crops most affected by African elephants, the under lying causes of crop raiding by African elephants and the effect of crop raiding by African raiding around Kibale national park. The study employed qualitative approach provided ways of diseering, examining, comparing and contrasting, and interpreting meaningful patterns or themes. Qualitative approach involved examining the assembled relevant data to determine how research questions were answered. Food shortages and loss of income caused by African elephants were not the only factors affecting people’s lively hoods other factors like high population growth, over dependence on subsistence farming among others. Livelihood was associated with food security, income of the household, leisure time of individuals and poor social relationship among neighbors. Farmers lose a lot of income per season due to raiding by African elephants around Kibale national park. So the study observed and concluded that crop raiding is the main cause of poverty among the people in Kabarore district. The study recommends that farms should be encouraged to concentrate on crops which are not prone (non palatable) to African elephants such as, onions, red appear, bee keeping, cotton, tea, tobacco and pastures as buffer crops and not affected by trampling. However these crops are mainly cash crops, which can create food insecurity and this, should be done carefully. In areas which are heavily infested with African elephants the farmers should be encouraged to practice cattle ranching, mixed farming and crop production as one moves away from forest edge or protected area . This will boost crop production as the ranches will buffer the intensity of crop raiding.