keywords: Buffer, Harvesting, Non-Timber Forest Products, Forest Reserve, Sonkpa
Several methods are used in the harvesting of Non- Timber Forest Products (NTFPs). Such methods are not documented in the study area, therefore, Evaluation of NTFPs harvesting methods in the buffer zone of Sonkpa forest reserve was investigated A total of 180 semi-structured questionnaires were administered to selected communities (1-6km from the Sonkpa forest reserve) in the following order; Hyuku,30; Sohwa, 30; Gidan Idi,30;Kamberi ,30; Ndo-nya,30;Avyi, 30 with only 175 retrieved. Data generated was analysed using tables, frequencies and simple percentages. The result on compendium showed 37 NTFPs were harvested from the buffer zone of Sonkpa forest reserve. The result on contributions of NTFPs showed 30(17.1%), income and medicinal herbs; 20 (11.4%), livestock feeds and building/energy materials; 25(14.3%), dietary supplements; 9(5.1%), rope and weaving materials and 11(6.3%), sponge materials. The result on harvesting methods indicated that, 30(17.1%), felling, cutting, and lopping/Girdle; 16(9.1%), debarking; 24(13.7%), digging and uprooting; 10(5.7%) plucking and picking; 13(7.4%), traps and 12(6.9%), poisoning. The result on effect of harvesting methods indicated that, 35(20%), loss of biodiversity; 30(17.1%), destruction of animals’ habitat, trekking long distances before sighting NTFPs, Dis-appearance of large animals; 25(14.3%), erosion and late onset and early cessation of rainfall. Based on the major findings of the study, the followings are recommended; sustainable harvesting; Avoid peeling round the bark of plants; Avoid digging and uprooting; Form collectors ‘or buyers co-operative groups; Create awareness as well as In-situ conservation respectively.