Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Law enforcement vital for great ape survival

09.12.2011
A recent study shows that, over the last two decades, areas with the greatest decrease in African great ape populations are those with no active protection from poaching by forest guards.

Recent studies show that the populations of African great apes are rapidly decreasing. Many areas where apes occur are scarcely managed and weakly protected. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have carried out an international collaborative project together with field researchers and park managers.

The project aim was to evaluate how the lack of conservation effort influences the extinction risk of African great apes. Records were collected over the last 20 years from 109 resource management areas. The researchers found that the long-term presence of local and international non-governmental organization support and of law enforcement guards are the most crucial factors affecting ape survival, and that they have a clear measurable impact. Conversely, national development, often cited as a driver of conservation success, and high human population density had a negative impact on the likelihood of ape survival.

For the protection of natural resources, and in particular to fight wildlife population decline, it is fundamental to implement measures that are truly effective. How well a particular conservation activity reduces extinction risk of a species has rarely been quantified in comparison to other types of conservation efforts over a long-term and large spatial scale. Such a quantitative comparison is important in helping to direct conservation strategies that will mitigate and reverse the recent decline in many African great ape populations.

This study provides a continent-wide assessment of the relative significance of four different types of conservation efforts: law enforcement guards, tourism, research and non-governmental organizations support. Their effects have been assessed in 109 African resource management areas for the survival of chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas over twenty years (1990-2009), located in 16 countries in East, West and Central Africa. Along with these data, environmental and anthropogenic variables were included and as well recent records of ape status.

The study confirmed unequivocally that prolonged conservation efforts lead to a measurable decrease of the probability of apes going extinct, and the longer they last, the lower the probability. “The results confirm and prove quantitatively that the most influential risk for ape disappearance is the lack of law enforcement guards, rather than the absence of tourism and research, which nevertheless remain activities with a measurable positive impact”, says researcher Sandra Tranquilli of the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology. “Futhermore, ape persistence is positively influenced by the presence of non-governmental organization support”.

“Remaining wilderness areas are disappearing at a rate which is unimaginable for most people. If we want to preserve some of these places for the future, we need many more studies of this type” says conservation group leader Hjalmar Kuehl of the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology. “These studies help to better understand which conservation measures are more efficient and into which conservation activities the limited available resources should best be invested. This information will help to increase the effectiveness of conservation measures by maximizing the return on invested resources”.

"This is an excellent example of evidence-based conservation research, where conservation activities and strategies are evaluated quantitatively,” says researcher Fiona Maisels of the Wildlife Conservation Society. “Our findings will ensure the best use of the limited human and financial resources available, particularly in terms of effective law enforcement on the ground”.

“The survival of African Greats Apes depends on law enforcement”, says DR Congolese researcher Fidèle Amsini of Frankfurt Zoological Society, “These efforts also depend on the availability of funds from donors and the support of country agencies”.

This study measures for the first time on a continental scale the relative impact of conservation efforts and shows how crucial their long-term presence is for African great ape existence. In addition to the application of an evidence-based approach, the authors recommend a continuous monitoring program of population trends and threats to ensure the long-term persistence of ape populations.

This work was supported by Arcus Foundation, the Max Planck Society and US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the data was housed in the IUCN official A.P.E.S. database. It was conducted in collaboration with members of the following NGOs, universities and national parks: AGRECO, African Wildlife Foundation, Fauna and Flora International, Federal University of Technology (Akure, Nigeria), Garamba National Park (Democratic Republic of Congo), Ghana PADP II-LTS International, Ghana Wildlife Society, Great Ape Trust, Institut National pour l'Environment et la Conservation de la Nature (Burundi), IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, Kalinzu Forest Project, Support for Conservation of Bonobos, Tshuapa-Lomami-Lualaba Project, University of Amsterdam (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), University of California (Davis, USA), University College London (London, UK), University of Ghana (Legon, Ghana), University of Stirling (Stirling, UK), University of Kyoto (Kyoto, Japan), University of Melbourne (Melbourne, Australia), West African Primate Conservation Action, West Chester University (Pennsylvania, USA), Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society, World Wide Fund for Nature, Zoological Society of London.

Contact
Sandra Tranquilli
Department of Primatology
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
Phone: +49 341 3550-205
Email: sandra_tranquilli@eva.mpg.de
Sandra Jacob
Press and Public Relations
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
Phone: +49 341 3550-122
Fax: +49 341 3550-119
Email: jacob@eva.mpg.de
Stephen Sautner
Press and Public Relations
Wildlife Conservation Society
Phone: +1 718 220-3682
Email: ssautner@wcs.org
Publication
Tranquilli S., Abedi-Lartey M., Amsini F., Arranz L., Asamoah A., Babafemi O., Barakabuye N., Campbell G., Chancellor R., Davenport T.R.B., Dunn A., Dupain J., Ellis C., Etoga G., Furuichi T., Gatti S., Ghiurghi A., Greengrass E., Hashimoto C., Hart J., Herbinger I., Hicks C.T., Holbech L.H., Huijbregts B., Imong I., Kumpel N., Maisels F., Marshall P., Nixon S., Normand E., Nziguyimpa L., Nzooh-Dogmo Z., Okon D., Plumptre A., Rundus A., Sunderland-Groves J., Todd A., Warren Y., Mundry R., Boesch C. & Kuehl H.
Lack of conservation effort rapidly increases African great ape extinction risk
Conservation Letters, December 8, 2011; doi: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00211.x

Sandra Jacob | Max-Planck-Institute
Further information:
http://www.mpg.de/4686566/great_ape_survival

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>