Table of Contents
Advances in Ecology
Volume 2016, Article ID 8038524, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/8038524
Research Article

Spatial Distribution of Elephants versus Human and Ecological Variables in Western Ghana

Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

Received 28 June 2016; Accepted 17 November 2016

Academic Editor: Daniel I. Rubenstein

Copyright © 2016 Emmanuel Danquah. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

An elephant survey was conducted in the Bia-Goaso Forest Block in western Ghana during the wet season month of November 2012 to determine the distribution of elephants and assess the human and ecological variables that affect them. One hundred and thirty 1-kilometre transects were systematically distributed in three strata (high, medium, and low density) based on elephant dung pile density recorded in an initial reconnaissance. Elephant activity was concentrated in southern and mid-Bia Conservation Area, the southern tip of Bia North Forest Reserve, and eastern Mpameso Forest Reserve towards the adjoining Bia Shelter belt, indicating a clumped distribution. Secondary forest, water availability, poaching activity, and proximity to roads and settlements explained a high proportion of variance in elephant distribution. Given that the Bia-Goaso Forest Block forms an important biogeographic corridor between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, more effort should be directed at mitigating the problems such as poaching activity, vehicular traffic, and impacts of settlements that hinder seasonal movements of forest elephants between western Ghana and eastern Cote d’Ivoire.