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ITFC Theses

An impressive number of MSc and PhD student projects has been carried out and supervised from ITFC since 1988. Many of the graduates have gone on to occupy important positions in conservation and education throughout the country. Find here a chronological overview;  hard copies of (most ) these are available in ITFC's library.
Wildlife Conservation in the Long Term – Uganda as a Case Study - 1995

This study considers the economic value of conservation to Uganda as a nation, on the basis that if too few benefits flow to the nation, and too many flow to the planet at large, conservation will represent a national dis-benefit and therefore be under permanent threat. The main potential cost to Uganda is seen as the agriculture foregone by setting land aside for National Parks and Game Reserves. Looking ahead 30 years (to 2025), it assumes a largely rural population, 2.6 time larger than at time of writing, when empty tracts of land, set aside for conservation, will potentially be a massive, underutilised resource.

The Impact of Elephants on Agricultural Productivity - 2001

African elephants  can have huge impacts on agricultural productivity when they cross paths with human settlements. Such problems are common in Wakyato Sub-county, Luwero District, Uganda. Literature, direct measurements and household interviews were used to evaluate crop damage by elephants, assess the methods used by farmers to deter elephant raids, learn about attitudes to wildlife, and lastly, to examine the potential benefits that the local communities have with respect to the presence of elephants and other wildlife.

The Diversity and Distribution of Trees and Vascular Epiphytes in Forests in Western Uganda - 2004

Tropical rainforests (TRFs) are generally characterised by high species diversity and endemism compared with most other ecosystems. In Africa, TRFs are concentrated along the equatorial belt, a region corresponding with high precipitation. Over 50% of the world’s biodiversity is believed to live in the tropics, and while the destruction of flora is a worldwide problem, it is most prevalent in the tropics. Vascular epiphytes are a group of vascular plants that are relatively understudied in Uganda. About 24,000 of all vascular plant species are epiphytic and they constitute about 50% of the vascular plants in very wet tropical forests, making their research and conservation vital.

The Chemical Ecology of Mountain Gorillas, with Special Reference to Antimicrobial Constituents in the Diet - 1998

Mountain gorillas are strict herbivores and their diverse diet is apparently determined to a great extent by nutritional and non-nutritional chemistry. This PhD examined the phytochemical aspects of the diet of mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable and Magahinga National Parks in Uganda, with a view to establish the role of the chemical constituents of plants in their feeding ecology. It proposes a role for antimicrobial constituents of the food plants of gorillas in the perpetuation of stable enteric microflora, helping to maintain health.

The Availability and Distribution of Fruit and Non-Fruit Plant Resources in Bwindi - 2003

Gorillas are the largest extant apes, whose 2 species and 4 subspecies are all highly endangered. Relatively little is know about the mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP), which are thought to be distinct from the Virunga populations. This study, focussing on the Kyagurilo research group, sought to investigate the diet and food resources of Bwindi’s gorillas, to better understand the relationship between gorillas and their habitat. Specifically, it aimed to document their diet, determine spatial and temporal availability of plant resources within their home range, measure and map home range size, measure daily journey length and analyse how spatial and temporal variation in diet influenced gorilla ranging patterns, habitat use and food choice, then compare these with other gorilla populations at different ecological sites.