Event Title

Determining Illegal Activity Hotspots to Better Manage Conservation Strategies

Faculty Mentor

Jessica Hartel

Proposal Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

3-11-2018 2:10 PM

End Date

3-11-2018 3:10 PM

Location

Nesbitt 2211

Abstract

Taylor Kirby, tckirb1098@ung.edu

Jessica Hartel, jessica.hartel@ung.edu

Kibale National Park in Uganda is home to the largest range of eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii). Sadly, over one-third of them suffer from snare injuries, which is an unintentional byproduct of poaching for smaller mammals by the locals. As the conservation arm of the Kibale Chimpanzee Project, the Kibale Snare Removal Program aims to decrease the number and frequency of snare injuries in the park by regularly patrolling for snares and other illegal activities (e.g. timber removal) while collecting location data. Using long-term project data from 2010 to 2016, we hypothesized that illegal activities were located closer to the border of the park and landmarks. Hot spot maps were created to determine high densities of snare and other illegal activities within the park. These maps indicated that most of the illegal activities occur near the boundary of the park with most snares occurring within 1km of the boundary. Data points of several different illegal activities were used to measure distances to certain landmarks like rivers, roads, and wildlife authority ranger outposts. The results showed that more poaching activities occur near landmarks like rivers and roads, which increases poachers’ accessibility to wildlife. The hotspot maps we created will be used by Kibale park rangers to better inform their patrols. Specifically, future patrol efforts will more heavily concentrate on areas of high snare density. The maps will also inform and improve the project’s conservation management strategies within and around the park. In the future, we also plan to analyze the distance between all illegal activities and landmarks to better understand their relationship and draw more definitive conclusions.

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Nov 3rd, 2:10 PM Nov 3rd, 3:10 PM

Determining Illegal Activity Hotspots to Better Manage Conservation Strategies

Nesbitt 2211

Taylor Kirby, tckirb1098@ung.edu

Jessica Hartel, jessica.hartel@ung.edu

Kibale National Park in Uganda is home to the largest range of eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii). Sadly, over one-third of them suffer from snare injuries, which is an unintentional byproduct of poaching for smaller mammals by the locals. As the conservation arm of the Kibale Chimpanzee Project, the Kibale Snare Removal Program aims to decrease the number and frequency of snare injuries in the park by regularly patrolling for snares and other illegal activities (e.g. timber removal) while collecting location data. Using long-term project data from 2010 to 2016, we hypothesized that illegal activities were located closer to the border of the park and landmarks. Hot spot maps were created to determine high densities of snare and other illegal activities within the park. These maps indicated that most of the illegal activities occur near the boundary of the park with most snares occurring within 1km of the boundary. Data points of several different illegal activities were used to measure distances to certain landmarks like rivers, roads, and wildlife authority ranger outposts. The results showed that more poaching activities occur near landmarks like rivers and roads, which increases poachers’ accessibility to wildlife. The hotspot maps we created will be used by Kibale park rangers to better inform their patrols. Specifically, future patrol efforts will more heavily concentrate on areas of high snare density. The maps will also inform and improve the project’s conservation management strategies within and around the park. In the future, we also plan to analyze the distance between all illegal activities and landmarks to better understand their relationship and draw more definitive conclusions.