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Long-Term Effects of Logging on African Primate Communities: a 28-Year Comparison From Kibale National Park, Uganda

Authors

  • Colin A. Chapman,

    1. Department of Zoology , University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, U.S.A.
    2. Wildlife Conservation Society , 185th Street and Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10460, U.S.A.
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  • Sophia R. Balcomb,

    1. Department of Zoology , University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, U.S.A.
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  • Thomas R. Gillespie,

    1. Department of Zoology , University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, U.S.A.
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  • Joseph P. Skorupa,

    1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service , Division of Environmental Contaminants, 3310 El Camino Avenue, Suite 130, Sacramento, CA 95821–6340, U.S.A.
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  • Thomas T. Struhsaker

    1. Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy , P.O. Box 90383, Duke University,
      Durham, NC 27708, U.S.A.
      Order of authorship determined alphabetically after the first author.
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Abstract

Abstract: If logging is to be compatible with primate conservation, primate populations must be expected to recover from the disturbance and eventually return to their former densities. Surveys conducted over 28 years were used to quantify the long-term effects of both low- and high-intensity selective logging on the density of the five common primates in Kibale National Park, Uganda. The most dramatic exception to the expectation that primate populations will recover following logging was that group densities of Cercopithecus mitis and C. ascanius in the heavily logged area continued to decline decades after logging. Procolobus tephrosceles populations were recovering in the heavily logged areas, but the rate of increase appeared to be slow (0.005 groups/km2 per year). Colobus guereza appeared to do well in some disturbed habitats and were found at higher group densities in the logged areas than in the unlogged area. There was no evidence of an increase in Lophocebus albigena group density in the heavily logged area since the time of logging, and there was a tendency for its population to be lower in heavily logged areas than in lightly logged areas. In contrast to the findings from the heavily logged area, none of the species were found at a lower group density in the lightly logged area than in the unlogged area, and group densities in this area were not changing at a statistically significant rate. The results of our study suggest that, in this region, low-intensity selective logging could be one component of conservation plans for primates; high-intensity logging, however, which is typical of most logging operations throughout Africa, is incompatible with primate conservation.

Abstract

Resumen: Si se espera que la tala sea compatible con la conservación de primates, se deberá esperar que las poblaciones de primates se recuperen de las perturbaciones y que eventualmente retornen a sus densidades previas. Utilizamos estimaciones llevadas a cabo a lo largo de 28 años para cuantificar los efectos a largo plazo de la tala selectiva tanto de baja como de alta intensidad en la densidad de los cinco primates comunes presentes en el Parque Nacional Kibale, Uganda. La mas dramática excepción a las expectativas de que las poblaciones de primates se recuperarían posteriormente a la tala fue el hecho de que las densidades de grupos de Cercopithecus mitis y C. ascanius en un área fuertemente talada continúan disminuyendo aún décadas después fuertemente taladas; sin embargo, la tasa de incremento parece ser lenta (0.005 grupos/km2 por año). Colobus guereza aparenta estar bien en ciertos hábitats perturbados y fuéron encontrados en mas altas densidades de grupo en las áreas taladas que en las áreas no taladas. No hubo evidencia de un incremento en densidades de grupo de Lophocebus albigena en las áreas altamente taladas a partir del tiempo de tala y se observó una tendencia en la densidad de sus poblaciones a ser más baja en áreas fuertemente taladas que en las áreas ligeramente taladas. En contraste con los resultados de las áreas altamente taladas, ninguna de las especies presentó densidades de grupo más bajas en las zonas ligeramente taladas que en las zonas sin tala, y las densidades de grupo en esta área no cambiaron a una tasa estadísticamente significativa. Los resultados de este estudio sugieren que en esta región la tala selectiva de baja intensidad podría ser un componente de los planes de conservación para primates; sin embargo, la tala de alta intensidad, que es típica en la mayoría de las operaciones de tala a lo largo de Africa, es incompatible con la conservación de primates.

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