Bouché et al._Conserving wildlife amongst the cotton fields_Environ Monit Assess

Bouché P., Lejeune P., Bailly V., Muyle M., Zinque M.H., Mercier A., Cornélis D., Lungren C., Portier B., Marchal A., Renault F., Yaméogo D., Kafando P., Sawadogo P., Vermeulen C.

[2016] Conserving wildlife amongst the cotton fields. A third of a century of experience at the Nazinga Game Ranch, Burkina Faso. Environ Monit Assess 188:437.
DOI 10.1007/s10661-016-5388-y

Established in the early 1970 as a participatory wildlife production area, the Nazinga Game Ranch turned into an island of conservation surrounded by cultivation.We asked ourselves how long-term ungulate trends are affected in a context of continuous human pressure. To find out, we compiled and analysed the data of yearly line-transect counts of mammals carried out since 1985. Results showed that large species such as the elephant (Loxodonta africana) and large antelopes increased or showed stable populations. In contrast, medium and small ungulates showed continuously decreasing trends. During the same period, rainfall, water availability from artificial water points and the crop encroaching outside Nazinga Game Ranch increased. After an initial significant reduction, illegal human signs increased. However, we showed that human signs were positively correlated with the abundance of large ungulates but negatively correlated with the abundance of medium and small ones. In conclusion, this study showed that some isolated mammal populations could be restored and maintained in the long term, in spite of being surrounded by highly cultivated areas.

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