1Corresponding author; current address: Department of Biology, Augsburg College, 2211 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55454, U.S.A.; e-mail: email@example.com
The Long-term Impact of Timber Harvesting on the Resource Base of Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park, Uganda
Article first published online: 20 JUL 2010
© 2010 The Author(s). Journal compilation © 2010 by The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation
Volume 43, Issue 2, pages 256–264, March 2011
How to Cite
Potts, K. B. (2011), The Long-term Impact of Timber Harvesting on the Resource Base of Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Biotropica, 43: 256–264. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7429.2010.00671.x
- Issue published online: 1 MAR 2011
- Article first published online: 20 JUL 2010
- Received 9 June 2009; revision accepted 1 May 2010.
- Pan troglodytes;
- subsistence resources
Commercial timber harvesting results in the loss of critical habitat for tropical forest fauna, and large-bodied frugivores (including chimpanzees and most other apes) may experience particularly detrimental effects. Few quantitative data, however, are available to evaluate the long-term impact of harvesting on chimpanzees and other apes. In particular, few data are available to compare population demographics and/or forest composition before and after timber harvesting at the same site. Utilizing detailed forestry department records of logging operations conducted in the late 1960s, present-day botanical surveys, and long-term data on the feeding ecology of chimpanzees in Kibale National Park (KNP), Uganda, I examined the impact that logging has had on KNP chimpanzee communities of known size and demography. Although some important chimpanzee food resources were harvested in high abundance during commercial logging operations, the overall impact on the most predominant dietary items (those making up roughly 75% of the chimpanzees' diet) and on presumably critical subsistence resources was limited. Furthermore, the low density of chimpanzees inhabiting the logged region of KNP is apparently not attributable to the impact of logging at the site: comparisons of resource densities at this ‘low-chimpanzee-density’ site with that of an unlogged and ‘high-chimpanzee-density’ KNP site did not differ when logging concessions at the low-chimpanzee-density site were excluded from the analysis. This study suggests that low-intensity logging can be compatible with the conservation of large-bodied frugivores, provided that dietary data are taken into account in forest management planning.