Wildlife laws monitoring as an adaptive management tool in protected area management in Ghana: a case of Kakum Conservation Area

Springerplus. 2016 Aug 30;5(1):1440. doi: 10.1186/s40064-016-3129-x. eCollection 2016.


Introduction: The wildlife laws of Ghana alienated the rural communities from forests and material well-being depended upon for their livelihood and this manifests itself in the progressive conflict between the park patrol staff and poachers from the fringes of the protected areas.

Case description: The main aim of this study was to determine the impact of quantification of patrol efforts on indicators of illegal hunting activities that occur in rainforest protected areas, as a result of monitoring patrol operations and modifying the original plan. The specific objectives were to determine the optimal patrol efforts necessary to reduce illegal wildlife use to minimal; and the influence of the rainfall and seasonal activities on illegal wildlife use.

Discussion and evaluation: The results indicated that as the patrol efforts increased the encounter with illegal wildlife use also increased until a certain point that the encounter rates started decreasing. Neither rainfall nor seasonal activities influenced the illegal activities and the patrol efforts. The protection staff of rainforest protected areas would work effectively to bring down illegal wildlife off-take to the barest minimum if monitored, quantified and provide feed-back.

Conclusions: Illegal wildlife off-take can also be reduced by the protection staff if the original plans are made flexible to be adjusted. Recommendations for further studies have been made.