Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First-ever landscape-wide study of elephants and great apes

Date:
May 8, 2010
Source:
Wildlife Conservation Society
Summary:
The Wildlife Conservation Society announced the results of the first-ever evaluation of a large, "landscape-wide" conservation approach to protect globally important populations of elephants and great apes.

The Wildlife Conservation Society announced the results of the first-ever evaluation of a large, "landscape-wide" conservation approach to protect globally important populations of elephants and great apes.

The study looked at wildlife populations in northern Republic of Congo over a mosaic of land-use types, including a national park, a community-managed reserve, and various logging concessions. It found that core protected areas -- coupled with strong anti-poaching efforts -- are critical for maintaining populations of forest elephants, western lowland gorillas, and chimpanzees.

The region, known as the Ndoki-Likouala Conservation Landscape, is considered one of the most important sites in Central Africa for all three species. The Wildlife Conservation Society has been working in the landscape since 1991 and helped establish Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in 1993.

The study appears in the April 23rd edition of the journal PLoS ONE. Authors include Wildlife Conservation Society researchers Emma Stokes, Samantha Strindberg, Parfait Bakabana, Paul Elkan, Fortuné Iyenguet, Bola Madzoke, Guy Aíme Malanda, Franck Ouakabadio and Hugo Rainey; Brice Mowawa of the Ministre de l'Economie Forestičre, Republic of Congo; and Calixte Makoumbou, formerly with WCS Congo Program.

The authors found that protected areas remain a key component of the landscape for all three species. Chimpanzees and elephants are particularly sensitive to human disturbance outside the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park, and the park plays a major role in their distribution. In fact Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park may be one of the most important sites for chimpanzees in the Congo Basin with some of the highest densities recorded in Central Africa.

The study also found that logging concessions that have wildlife management in place, including protection of key habitats and anti-poaching patrols, can support important populations of elephants and gorillas. However, the authors warn that logging concessions are only of conservation value if there are strict anti-poaching measures in place, and if they are close to protected areas free of human disturbance. As evidence, the study showed the results of surveys in a logging concession without any anti-poaching measures or wildlife management where abundance of all three species was very low.

"Protected areas free of human disturbance, logging, or roads remain key to the protection of great apes and elephants," said WCS researcher Emma Stokes, the study's lead author. "Landscape conservation should focus on protected areas surrounded by other land-use types that also have wildlife management in place."

The forests of the Congo Basin are one of the last remaining tropical wildernesses and a top priority for biodiversity conservation.

Commercial logging is prevalent throughout much of the Congo Basin, with over 30 percent of native forest allocated to logging concessions compared to only 12 percent under protection. More than 50 percent of the current range of western gorillas and chimpanzees is estimated to lie in active logging concessions.

"This study shows that landscape-wide conservation can work in Central Africa -- provided there are the resources and political will to save wildlife over large areas," said James Deutsch, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Africa programs. "Conservation on this scale is difficult and expensive, but absolutely necessary if we hope to save viable populations of elephants and great apes. At the same time, the government's capacity to follow up and take legal action against poachers should be strengthened and is a key to maintaining the protection of the forests and their wildlife."

The authors estimated elephant and great ape density using distance sampling surveys of elephant dung piles and great ape nests.

The surveys presented in this paper were made possible through generous funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Great Ape Conservation Fund.

Currently, WCS advocates the speedy passage of HR 4416, the Great Ape Conservation Reauthorization Act, which would continue government support for the Great Ape Conservation Fund, and applauds Rep. George Miller (D-CA) for leading the effort. In January, Dr. Deutsch testified before a Congressional panel on behalf of WCS in support of the legislation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Emma J. Stokes, Samantha Strindberg, Parfait C. Bakabana, Paul W. Elkan, Fortuné C. Iyenguet, Bola Madzoké, Guy Aimé F. Malanda, Brice S. Mowawa, Calixte Moukoumbou, Franck K. Ouakabadio, Hugo J. Rainey, Wayne M. Getz. Monitoring Great Ape and Elephant Abundance at Large Spatial Scales: Measuring Effectiveness of a Conservation Landscape. PLoS ONE, 2010; 5 (4): e10294 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010294

Cite This Page:

Wildlife Conservation Society. "First-ever landscape-wide study of elephants and great apes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100506131644.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (2010, May 8). First-ever landscape-wide study of elephants and great apes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100506131644.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "First-ever landscape-wide study of elephants and great apes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100506131644.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) — Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) — Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) — Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins