Primate population dynamics: variation in abundance over space and time
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature. The rapid disappearance of tropical forests, the potential impacts of climate change, and the increasing threats of bushmeat hunting to wildlife, makes it imperative that we understand wildlife population dynamics. With long-lived animals this requires extensive, long-term data, but such data is often lacking. Here we present longitudinal data documenting changes in primate abundance over 45 years at eight sites in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Complex patterns of change in primate abundance were dependent on site, sampling year, and species, but all species, except blue monkeys, colonized regenerating forest, indicating that park-wide populations are increasing. At two paired sites, we found that while the primate populations in the regenerating forests had increased from nothing to a substantial size, there was little evidence of a decline in the source populations in old-growth forest, with the possible exception of mangabeys at one of the paired sites. Censuses conducted in logged forest since 1970 demonstrated that for all species, except black-and-white colobus, the encounter rate was higher in the old-growth and lightly-logged forest than in heavily-logged forest. Black-and-white colobus generally showed the opposite trend and were most common in the heavily-logged forest in all but the first year of monitoring after logging, when they were most common in the lightly-logged forest. Overall, except for blue monkey populations which are declining, primate populations in Kibale National Park are growing; in fact the endangered red colobus populations have an annual growth rate of 3%. These finding present a positive conservation message and indicate that the Uganda Wildlife Authority is being effective in managing its biodiversity; however, with constant poaching pressure and changes such as the exponential growth of elephant populations that could cause forest degradation, continued monitoring and modification of conservation plans are needed.
Chapman, CA; Bortolamiol, S; Matsuda, I; Omeja, PA; Paim, FP; Reyna-Hurtado, R; Sengupta, R; Valenta, K
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