Understanding and Reducing Roadkill’s Resulting from Animal-Vehicle Collisions on the Highway Traversing Nyungwe National Park in South-Western Rwanda

8 Oct 2019 Kitabi, Rwanda, Africa

Kayitare Tom

Understanding the causes of animal-Vehicle collisions and establishing a monitoring program for Animal-Vehicle collisions in the Park are urgently needed in order to design appropriate strategies for addressing AVCs in the Park. Our aims are to: 1) Establish a monitoring program that will enable us document AVCs in the Park. This program has been nonexistent and 2) Building the capacity of rangers (through training) who will spearhead monitoring of AVCs in the park and 3) Conduct a questionnaire survey to ascertain the causes of AVCs and drivers perceptions, attitudes and knowledge on AVCs in the Park 4)Sensitizing and educating pubic transport drivers using the Nyungwe highway on the dangers of over speeding in the park.

Animal - Vehicle collisions are a conservation threat in Nyungwe National Park. While some studies (e.g. Polak, 2014; Kioko et al., 2015) have shown that roads are potential threat to wildlife, in NNP, wild animals continue to be killed and/ or injured by vehicles using the highway traversing the park. This particular threat that has undermined wildlife conservation in the park has received virtually no attention in terms of understanding their causes (AVCs) and bringing them to a halt.

This project will be implemented with the main objective of addressing/reducing animal-vehicle collision incidences in the park. The following activities will be conducted during the implementation of this project.

1. Conducting of a questionnaire survey among the public transport drivers who frequently use the highway to assess their knowledge, perceptions and attitudes. We shall also conduct key informant interviews with the senior managers of the park and some few rangers.

2. Training park rangers who will spearhead AVCs monitoring activities in the park. This will help us to establish a monitoring program for roadkills in the park which has been nonexistent.

3. Conducting of drivers’ awareness/sensitization campaigns on the highway traversing the park to educate them on the importance of driving responsibly and exercising due care for wildlife in the park.

4. Educating and raising awareness for public transport drivers and leaders of transport companies in bus parks located in the Western and Southern side of the park.

5. Engaging other stakeholders in a bid to finding a sustainable solution for addressing animal-vehicle collisions in the park.

The main outcomes of this project will be the initiation of a roadkill monitoring program in Nyungwe National Park and generating information on the causes of wildlife vehicle collisions. This information has been lacking and has limited the park management to design effective measures that could be used to mitigate Animal-Vehicle collision incidences in the park. Furthermore, following the end of the project, we highly believe that AVCs will reduce in the park since the educated/sensitized drivers will drive responsibly and exercise maximum care for wildlife while traversing through the park.

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