Human Wildlife Conflicts: The Case of the Olive Baboon (Papio anubis) in the Mbam and Djerem National Park and the Implications for Conservation Attention

Njikam Aboubacar Sidik Lacatus *

Applied Biology and Ecology Research Unit (URBEA), Department of Animal Biology, Faculty of Sciences, The University of Dschang, P.O. Box 67 Dschang, West Region, Cameroon.

Seino Richard Akwanjoh

Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, The University of Bamenda, P.O. Box 39 Bambili, North West Region of Cameroon.

Taku Awa II

Applied Biology and Ecology Research Unit (URBEA), Department of Animal Biology, Faculty of Sciences, The University of Dschang, P.O. Box 67 Dschang, West Region, Cameroon.

Itoe Constantine Nfor Ngwayi

Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, Department of Wildlife, Yaounde, Cameroon.

Sylvie Nguedem Fonkwo

Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, The University of Bamenda, P.O. Box 39 Bambili, North West Region of Cameroon.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

In Cameroon, studies on adverse conflicts between humans and wildlife have focused mainly on elephants and great apes. The lack of information on monkey conflicts motivated the present study in the periphery of the Mbam Djerem National Park (MDNP) where human-olive baboon conflicts exist (Papio anubis) due to the extension of agricultural land around the park. This study was carried out in two phases: questionnaire survey administered to the population bordering the protected area to determine the crop consumed by olive baboons in the fields and field visits to measure the total area of the field and the devastated areas using a GPS to assess losses per farmer and to determine the control strategies to fight crop raiding. From July 2021 to August 2022, we administered a questionnaire to 171 people, 74 of whom were farmers around the MDNP to examine the human-olive baboon conflicts. Results obtained indicated that human-olive baboons conflicts exist, we have: crop raiding, hunting of olive baboons, bullying, disturbances caused by olive baboons, and domestic animals predation by baboons. Although ecotourism and leisure were cited as other interactions. The crop raided by olive baboons is the origin of the conflicts with Human. Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is the crop most frequently raided by olive baboons in the dry season, followed by maize (Zea mays) and groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) in the rainy season.  Despite the use of control strategies such as field patrols, the installation of scarecrows, the use of traps and guns, the guarding of straw huts, and the guarding of dogs. 83% of the respondents lost approximately 25% of their crop annually due to olive baboons, and 5% of the respondents lost 25 to 50% of their crop annually, 4% of the respondents lost approximately 75% of their crop and 8% lost almost nothing. Economic losses were estimated on average at 150.647 ± 21.695 FCFA with a maximum loss of 1.058.000 FCFA [1.765 USD] and a minimum loss of 16.000 FCFA [about 27 USD]. The surface areas damaged annually by olive baboons ranged from 0.2 ha to 2.3 ha. These results showed that the crop raided by olive baboons created a conflict between humans and nature that had a negative impact on the conservation of this monkey and the survival of the local population in this region. To mitigate these conflicts, we suggest sensitizing local population on the use of the gun in the inspection of crop fields and strengthening of day and night field inspection during the crop maturity period.

Keywords: Mbam and Djerem national park, conservation, crop raiding, human-olive baboon conflicts, olive baboons


How to Cite

Lacatus, Njikam Aboubacar Sidik, Seino Richard Akwanjoh, Taku Awa II, Itoe Constantine Nfor Ngwayi, and Sylvie Nguedem Fonkwo. 2024. “Human Wildlife Conflicts: The Case of the Olive Baboon (Papio Anubis) in the Mbam and Djerem National Park and the Implications for Conservation Attention”. Asian Journal of Environment & Ecology 23 (7):64-78. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajee/2024/v23i7564.

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