Abundance, distribution, and threats of mammals and trees within the Lingadzi Namilomba Forest Reserve within Lilongwe, Malawi, and a conservation action plan for the protection of the Reserve

Long, C 2020, Abundance, distribution, and threats of mammals and trees within the Lingadzi Namilomba Forest Reserve within Lilongwe, Malawi, and a conservation action plan for the protection of the Reserve , MSc by research thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

Lingadzi Namilomba Forest Reserve is one of the last remaining wildlife reserves situated within Malawi’s capital city Lilongwe. The purpose of this study was to conduct the first systematic assessment of mammal and forest cover within the reserve. Abundance and distribution data was collected, and direct threats were assessed, using Miradi adaptive management software, to create a conservation action plan. This was to provide a baseline study that can be used by local authorities to monitor and manage the park rationally. A systematic line transect census was used to survey the mammals within the reserve, whilst belt transects and 10x10 quadrats were used to carry out a botanical inventory. DISTANCE software was used to assess the abundance and distribution of the mammals and trees, whilst Miradi was used to evaluate the threats damaging the biodiversity using viability assessments and threat ratings. A major finding was that the invasive Gmelina arborea was a significant threat that comprised over 50% of the forest cover, causing fragmentation, reducing the native tree population, thus diminishing natural resources. The distribution results displayed that the mammals preferring the native tree areas, were isolated into smaller fragmented sections of the forest. This drives human-wildlife conflict, which is escalating, as mammals such as the vervet monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) raid neighbouring farms to survive, due to a lack of natural food sources. The main threat identified was habitat fragmentation and degradation through factors such as infrastructure, agriculture, invasive trees, and illegal logging. The conservation status of the reserve is critical with the threat of local extinction. The main aim is to build a relationship with the surrounding communities, implement a habitat management plan, remove the invasive species and provide education and research on wildlife and how to preserve and protect it together.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc by research)
Contributors: Boubli, JP (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Depositing User: Charlotte Long
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2020 11:14
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:46
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/58733

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