African Journal of Ecology and Ecosystems ISSN: 9428-167X Vol. 5 (1), pp. 001-011, January, 2018. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Income sources and their relation to wildlife poaching in Ugalla ecosystem, Western Tanzania

Paulo Wilfred1,2* and Andrew D. C. MacColl2

1Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science, Technology and Environmental Studies, Open University of Tanzania, P. O. Box 23409, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

2School of Biology, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK.

Accepted 19 October, 2017

Abstract

In the Ugalla ecosystem, wildlife conservation is constantly and pervasively challenged by the local communities looking for ways to improve their livelihoods. The need to curb poaching of wildlife continues to spark debate amongst conservation stakeholders in the area. Assessing the livelihood contributions of different sources of income in light of wildlife poaching is vital to conservation effort. The heads of households in villages bordering Ugalla Game Reserve (an integral component of Ugalla ecosystem) were interviewed to obtain data on poaching and income sources. Income from crops (especially tobacco, maize and groundnut) and livestock (cattle), had a remarkable positive effect on not only improving household income, but also decreasing poaching frequency. Other economically important crops were rice, sesame and sunflower, although these did not significantly influence wildlife poaching. Household income from other sources, namely, wildlife, forests, small businesses, formal employment and remittances, were not significantly associated with wildlife poaching. Although generally, the study villages with relatively low mean income had high poaching frequency, the ones close to Ugalla Game Reserve tended to have higher poaching frequency than the ones far from it. However, improving agricultural production would help to lessen pressure on wildlife resources in Ugalla.

Key words: Western Tanzania, Ugalla, wildlife poaching, income sources, income determinants.