Wildlife crop depredation represents a serious human-wildlife conflict around protected areas globally. It undermines farming livelihoods and local support for long-term conservation. Though studies have focused on different aspects such as the economics, spatiotemporal and vulnerability of farms to crop depredation, little attention has been given to the farmers’ evaluation of the effectiveness of the strategies used to manage crop depredation. This paper aimed to examine the strategies used to manage wildlife by smallholding farmers who are among those closest to national parks, and how they evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies around Bui National Park in Ghana. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, involving 17 farmers from Makala community living close to the park. The results indicated that farmers apply a single strategy and/or a multiple strategies, to manage crop depredation. The single strategy is generally ineffective in the long-term, but short-term and temporary successes were observed. However, farmers sought effective results by using strategies in different combinations depending on the major crop cultivated, the wildlife diversity involved, and the frequent experience of farm damage. Understanding the effectiveness of the strategies provides knowledge about how the strategies could be made effective against crop depredation to protect farms and facilitate local support for wildlife conservation.
Key words: Crop depredation, wildlife species, effectiveness, human-wildlife conflict, strategies, protected areas.
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