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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The ecology and history of Uganda's Budongo Forest
Author:Paterson, J.D.
Periodical:Forest & Conservation History
Geographic term:Uganda
Abstract:This paper examines the ecological interaction of the Budongo Forest of Bunyoro, Uganda, with the human population of the area over the past century. The vegetation of the Budongo reserve consists of a rich mixture of rainforest communities and a broad intermixture of ecotone with the surrounding tree savannas and grasslands. The precolonial restraints on the forest's expansion were fire, human-controlled animal herds, and elephants. These conditions prevailed until the extension of the British protectorate to include Bunyoro in 1901. At the beginning of this century a variety of causes, both political and natural, removed these restraints, and the forest began to expand. During the next seventy years, European management began to modify the forest makeup substantially and directly. Fire prevention (with the subsequent spread of the tsetse fly and epidemic cattle diseases), elephant control, and management of the forest for timber have changed the forest's composition and increased its rate of expansion. In the short term, the Budongo Forest may continue to expand. However, if the pattern in Uganda follows what is happening elsewhere in the tropical world, in the long term the natural forest faces severe pressures for economic development. The future Budong Forest may become a plantation of preferred tree species, virtually devoid of wildlife. Notes, ref.