Post Inundation Effects of Bui Hydro Electric Dam on the Large Mammals in the Bui National Park in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana

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Assessment of the post inundation effects of Bui Hydro Electric Dam on the large mammals of the Bui National Park was carried out from October, 2014 to September, 2015. The construction of the Bui Hydro-Electric Dam at the Bui gorge was expected to inundate about 21% of the core zone of the Bui National Park. The loss of habitat, led to displacement of wildlife within this zone. Descriptive research design involving qualitative, quantitative and observational methods was used for this study. This was based on two sources of data, primary and secondary. Questionnaires were administered and the total number of respondents was 398, which comprised 350 local community members and 48 staff of Bui National Park. Line transects were walked in the Bui National Park and the large mammals sighted were identified at the species level and counted. There was no change in species diversity from the pre-through to the post inundation, as the diversity of 18 species remained the same. However, inundation caused a drop in abundance. The inundation decimated populations of some large species, besides causing a major habitat loss but those that survived moved to safe areas. The study however recorded significant recovery in large mammal abundance notably the Hippopotamus, which had recovered (from 69 during inundation to 327p after inundation) almost to the year 2010 (335 the highest) abundance level pre-inundation. High number of distressed animals were rescued and relocated to similar but safer habitats within the park by the Bui National Park rescue team. The inundation significantly affected the large mammals within the Bui National Park (P < 0.05). It is recommended that the large mammals be monitored to give updates of abundance trends to inform the management of the Park. The Bui National Park should be expanded to accommodate and ease mobility of displaced mammals as a leverage to increase the abundance and diversity of the mammals.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements of Master of Science degree in Environmental Science,