In a study that compared three sites within the Dja Conservation Complex in Cameroon, Africa, investigators found that the presence of a conservation research project acts as a deterrent to chimpanzee and gorilla poachers, and community awareness and involvement in research lead to an increased value of apes and intact forests to local people, thus limiting hunting practices.
The results provide evidence that the mere existence of research programs exerts a positive impact on the conservation of wildlife in their natural habitats.
"It's important to recognize the effectiveness of such small-scale conservation efforts, and in today's world, it's particularly relevant to protect wild great ape populations living in human-dominated landscapes, as so much of their ranges are under pressure by people," said Dr. Nikki Tagg, lead author of the Animal Conservation study.
"With the right management, coexistence can be possible, and this may help secure a future for these species."
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