Journal of East African Natural History

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Human activities threatening the biodiversity of the Uzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve, Tanzania

I Zilihona, C Shangali, CK Mabula, C Hamisy


Studies of human activities in the Uzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve, Udzungwa Mountains, were conducted in March-April and September 1997, in the western and southern parts of the forest. Different human activities, such as timber and pole cutting and withies harvesting, as well as the collection of non-timber forest products were recorded. Footpaths in the forest interior, past settlements and encroached areas were identified, as well as evidence of poaching. Due to the human activities, some timber species, for example Ocotea usambarensis, Milicia excelsa and Afzelia quanzensis are almost exhausted. It was established that the main cause of the pressure in the reserve is the lack of alternative sources of forest products and other income generating activities. It is suggested that the people living around the reserve should be allowed traditional forest product uses under agreed regulations. Agroforestry involving planting of some desirable indigenous trees and the domestication of wild fruit tree species is also recommended. Other income generating activities should be encouraged. This is likely to reduce the pressure on the natural forest, thus contributing to biodiversity conservation.

Journal of East African Natural History Vol. 87 (1&2) 1998: pp. 319-326[319:HATTBO]2.0.CO;2
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