Akomian Fortuné Azihou
Protected areas are currently the cornerstones for biodiversity conservation. However, numerous protected areas are under significant threats from anthropogenic activities which lead deeply to loss of biodiversity. This study analyzed the spatio-temporal trends of anthropogenic activities in W Biosphere Reserve of Benin in order to provide guidance for planning the patrol system. We used ranger-collected data on anthropogenic activities in the reserve from 2012 to 2015. Illegal grazing is the most common anthropogenic activity observed in the reserve (1,137 incidents), followed by poaching (469 incidents), agricultural encroachment (285 incidents) and logging (69 incidents). The distribution of these activities in the reserve is highly dependent on zones and also varies between seasons. Generally, incidents of anthropogenic activities were more frequent during the non-hunting season than the hunting season because of flooding, impassability of tracks and closing of plant cover which limit patrol activities during the non-hunting season. From these findings, managers of the W National Park can identify high human pressure zones where ranger patrol efforts should be enhanced. However, because spatial and temporal changes in anthropogenic activities occurred, regular patrols throughout the protected area, even in zones of low occurrence, are also required. We propose the use of emerging technologies such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to better monitor high pressure zones, especially during the non-hunting season when the reserve is practically inaccessible for rangers.
No datasets are available for this submission.