Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A park under pressure: The impacts of human disturbance in Murchison Falls Conservation Area, Uganda
by Fuda, Rebecca K., M.S., State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 2015, 101; 1596133
Abstract (Summary)

The extent of human disturbance is increasing, even in protected areas. I evaluated human disturbance impacts in Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA), Uganda, a park in the Albertine Rift biodiversity hotspot, using two approaches. First, I quantified vegetation patterns and edge effects using remote sensing data in the MFCA interior, a boundary zone, and exterior zone. I observed abrupt changes in productivity between the park and adjacent unprotected areas, indicating a "hard edge", and found evidence of edge effects that extended 4-6 km into MFCA. Second, I evaluated the impact of restored oil pads, roads, the park boundary, and anthropogenic noise on mammal distribution using camera traps and occupancy modeling. Few species avoided, and some were attracted to, more disturbed sites, where restoration may have provided food resources. As human populations continue growing around MFCA and oil production begins, evaluating human disturbance impacts on the landscape will be increasingly important.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ryan, Sadie J., Frair, Jacqueline L.
Commitee: Cohen, Jonathan B., Hartter, Joel
School: State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Department: Environmental & Forest Biology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 55/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Management, Conservation
Keywords: Camera trap, Edge effects, Human disturbance, Normalized difference vegetation index, Occupancy modelling, Protected area
Publication Number: 1596133
ISBN: 978-1-321-96005-1
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