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Elephant invasion and escalated depletion of environmental resources in a semi arid tropical ecosystem

M Awi

Abstract


For decades, elephants’ invasion is known to be associated with severe environmental consequences leading to escalated depletion o environmental resources (plants, water, wildlife and soil). This paper examined the effects of elephants’ activity on the environmental resources inHong and Gombi Local Government areas of Adamawa State, considering the damage they usually cause. Data collection was by personal observation, oral interview and semi-structural questionnaires using 400 respondents The data collected was analysed using chi-square (x2) and descriptive statistics. Results showedthat the extentof damage was highly sgnificant (P<0.01) for all the crops namely; mango, guava and orange while the types of damage done to plants, water, wildlife and soil as identified in perceved order of importance show that reduce productivity of horticulturalcrops (96.5%), deorestaton (82.3%), water poluton (64.0%), soi erosion (60.0%), scaring of smaller wild animals (585%), enhance desertification (553%), emigration of wild animals (41.8%), blockage of water ways (35.8%) and extinction of some less resistant plant species (17.8%). Further investigation revealed that large sum of money was lost due to elephants’ activity on the horticultural crops as mango (N1,547,946.67), orange (N648,120.00) and guava (N634600.00). This paper is of the view that management techniques such as careful culling and cropping of the eephants (97.8%) use of buffer zones (95.5%), upgradng of avaiable forest/game reserves in the study area to National park (73.8%), demarcation of forest areas from farming activity sites usng walls or ditches (64%) and mounting of resettlement programmes (46.0%) can go a long way in controlling elephant menace

Keywords: Escalated, Ecosystem, Horticultural crops, Depletion, Extinction, Management




http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ari.v4i3.48690
AJOL African Journals Online