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Researchers: Study of West Africa's biggest PA complex shows poaching not necessarily biggest issue

Protected lands in the tropics are often managed to curtail poaching, creating a refuge for vulnerable wildlife that face risks of extinction.  However, a new study in West Africa’s largest protected land complex offers a snapshot of human and wildlife activities within three national parks — and poaching played a smaller role than other ways humans used the land.

In the first camera survey in Burkina Faso and Niger, researchers analyzed more than one million images from motion-detecting cameras placed throughout the W-Arly-Pendjari (WAP) complex, spanning about 6,800 square kilometers (2,600 square miles). Their findings, published recently in Conservation Letters, suggest that a sole focus on poaching creates blind spots in management.

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