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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/153

Title: ELEPHANT AND ANTHROPOGENIC IMPACTS ON WOODY PLANT SPECIES IN BABILE ELEPHANT SANCTUARY, EASTERN ETHIOPIA
Authors: ZELALEM, WODU
Keywords: African elephant
anthropogenic impact
human-elephant conflict
woody species
Date Added: 25-Sep-2007
Abstract: Results from this study present an assessment for the possible elephant (Loxodonta africana) and anthropogenic impacts on woody plant species to evaluate natural resource management scheme. Research was carried out for seven months, from September to December 2006, and from March to May 2007 in Babile Elephant Sanctuary, eastern Ethiopia. Stratified sampling method was used and a total of 52 woody plant species were recorded. Of these, elephant impacts were observed on 28 (53%) species belonging to 12 families. Furthermore, 13 (45.8%) of these species were trees and 15 (54.2%) shrubs. The total density of these woody under the impacts of elephant was found to be 11,169.3 individuals/ha while the mean density is 399 ± 156. Elephant-induced damage to trees and shrubs that dominated the vegetation biomass suggested that elephants had a random impact on the vegetation throughout the riverine and woodland vegetations. There was size variation in the proportion of woody plants damaged by elephants. In riverine vegetation, saplings, small trees and medium-sized trees showed higher-than-average impact levels. In woodland vegetation, large, medium and small trees showed impact levels above the overall mean across all stems. The most common damage from the elephants was branch and stem breaking, felling and uprooting of the whole trees or shrubs. The least frequent damage class recorded in this study was bark stripping. The riverine vegetation show relatively more felled woody species (22.61%) than the woodland (18.19%) although woodland areas have a higher proportion uprooted (10.44%) species than riverine (5.26%). Tree and shrub species were utilized by the local community (anthropogenic) for four main purposes: medicinal, fencing, firewood, and shelter. These uses were mainly confined to four key species: Acacia mellifera, Acacia senegal, Acacia tortilis and Balanites glabra. Human-elephant conflict was manifested in the decline in tree and shrub cover due to charcoal burning, land use changes particularly agricultural expansion and fencing. Even though tree and plant resources were still available, it is important to monitor their use to avert potential over exploitation.
Description: A THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE SCHOOL OF GRADUATES STUDIES OF ADDIS ABABA UNIVERSITY IN PARTIAL FULLFILMEMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN DRYLAND BIODIVERSITY
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/153
Appears in:Thesis - Biology

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