Prohibit (livestock) farmers from entering protected areas

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One before-and-after, site comparison in Rwanda found that the number of young gorillas increased after cattle were removed from a protected area, alongside other interventions.
  • A before-and-after study in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo found that a mountain gorilla population decreased over time following the removal of livestock from a number of protected areas, alongside other interventions.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A before-and-after, site comparison study in 1976-1988 in tropical forest of the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda (1) found that the number of immature mountain gorillas Gorilla beringei beringei on the Rwandan side of the park increased and snares decreased after the removal of cattle, along with other interventions. The number of immature individuals increased by 22% on the Rwandan side of the park, but had declined by 30% on the side of the park in the other two countries. However, no statistical tests were carried out to determine whether these differences were significant. Five years after cattle were removed, 30% of sampled quadrats on the Rwandan side of the park contained snares, compared to 70% of the sampled quadrats on the Ugandan and Congolese side. In 1976, all cattle were removed from the park in Rwanda. In 1979, a tourist project was initiated in the same site, which financed training, equipping and management of anti-poaching patrols. A conservation education programme was also implemented, but no further details of this programme were reported in the study. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

    Study and other actions tested
  2. A before-and-after trial in 1967-2008 in tropical forest in Volcanoes, Mgahinga and Virunga National Parks in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, respectively (2) found that despite the removal of livestock from the park, along with other interventions, the mountain gorilla Gorilla beringei beringei population decreased over time. Annual population decline was 0.7%, resulting in an overall population decrease of 29% over 31 years. However, no statistical tests were carried out to determine whether this trend was significant or due to natural population fluctuations. Any cattle found by rangers were herded out of the park, confiscated, and their owners fined. Rangers also conducted regular anti-poaching patrols and regularly removed snares. Additional interventions included local conservation education and community development projects. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Junker, J., Kühl, H.S., Orth, L., Smith, R.K., Petrovan, S.O. & Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Primate Conservation. Pages 431-482 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Primate Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Primate Conservation
Primate Conservation

Primate Conservation - Published 2017

Primate Synopsis

What Works 2021 cover

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