Important Woody Plant Species, Their Management and Conservation Status in Balawoli Sub-county, Uganda
AbstractWoody plant species are threatened in Uganda. To conserve these species there is need to generate information that may be used to design management plans. This study was conducted in Balawoli Sub-county, Kamuli District, Uganda between July 2009 and January 2010. We addressed four questions: (1) which woody species are most preferred? (2) what is the conservation status of these species and for which species have changes in local availability been observed? (3) what management practices exist for woody species? and (4) what tenure rights exist for woody plants? Data were generated through guided questionnaire interviews. Seventeen species are valued most within the community. These species are multipurpose and altogether have 25 different uses for the community. The most frequently harvested products are edible fruits, firewood and timber. The value of these species as a source of income is low. Milicia excelsa (Welw.) C.C. Berg, Albizia coriaria Welw. ex Oliv., Combretum molle R. Br. ex G. Don, Terminalia glaucescens Planch. ex Benth., Coffea spp., Combretum collinum Fresen. and Citrus spp. are becoming scarce. However, Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam., Mangifera indica L., Ficus natalensis Hochst., Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck, Acacia sp., Senna siamea (Lam.) H.S. Irwin & Barneby, Eucalyptus spp., Pinus spp., Carica papaya L. and Lantana camara L. are increasing in abundance. The main factors leading to the scarcity of some species include over-harvesting, destructive harvesting, pests, poor planting of trees by farmers, and droughts. The key factors contributing to some species’ success are that the species are: planted, drought resistant, regenerate naturally, easy to manage, mature fast, available as seedlings. Farmers maintain 51 woody species that they plant or retain when found growing naturally on their land. Some farmers are constrained in planting trees by lack of seedlings, pest infestations, drought and lack of land. Species are managed in crop fields, the courtyard and home garden. Men own trees in the homestead, are more involved in tree management and selling of tree products, than women.
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