The disappearing genetic resources: biodiversity conservation: The study of flora and fauna of Ajenjua Bepo Forest Reserve.

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In terms of biological diversity, the destruction of primary moist tropical forest could cause the extinction of vast numbers of animal and plant species. The conservational status of Ajenjua Bepo Forest Reserve may be tenuous due to factors such as slash-and-burn, nomadic agriculture, lumbering and quite recently exploration for surface mining. The present study was carried out to quantify and compare the relative abundance of plant and animal species in the natural forests, secondary forests and the degraded forest areas of Ajenjua Bepo Forest Reserve. The aim of the study was to provide baseline data for management, longterm monitoring and project impact assessment. The flora and fauna populations were quantified in a randomly distributing quadrats in the study areas. Butterflies were trapped using the baited trap technique. Visual survey technique was used for determining the populations of amphibians and reptiles. Small mammal populations were determined using the method described by Hutterer and Happold (1983). Questionnaire survey was used to assess the conservational status of tree species in the study areas. The results of the study demonstrated that slash-and-burn agriculture could significantly affect the floristic composition of semi-deciduous tropical forest such as Ajenjua forest Reserve. Animal life could be equally affected. Farmers should be educated to approach the natural forest with a gentle hand, attempting to do no more than thin the canopy to introduce a tree of their choice to replace the original forest. Such farms will endure and the soils will remain unchanged.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Materials Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.