Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study looks at gorillas, elephants and logging in Congo

10.05.2010
The Wildlife Conservation Society announced the results of the first-ever evaluation of a large, "landscape-wide" conservation approach to protect globally important populations of elephants and great apes.

The study looked at wildlife populations in northern Republic of Congo over a mosaic of land-use types, including a national park, a community-managed reserve, and various logging concessions. It found that core protected areas – coupled with strong anti-poaching efforts – are critical for maintaining populations of forest elephants, western lowland gorillas, and chimpanzees.

The region, known as the Ndoki-Likouala Conservation Landscape, is considered one of the most important sites in Central Africa for all three species. The Wildlife Conservation Society has been working in the landscape since 1991 and helped establish Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in 1993.

The study appears in the April 23rd edition of the journal PLoS One. Authors include Wildlife Conservation Society researchers Emma Stokes, Samantha Strindberg, Parfait Bakabana, Paul Elkan, Fortuné Iyenguet, Bola Madzoke, Guy Aíme Malanda, Franck Ouakabadio and Hugo Rainey; Brice Mowawa of the Ministre de l'Economie Forestière, Republic of Congo; and Calixte Makoumbou, formerly with WCS Congo Program.

The authors found that protected areas remain a key component of the landscape for all three species. Chimpanzees and elephants are particularly sensitive to human disturbance outside the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park, and the park plays a major role in their distribution. In fact Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park may be one of the most important sites for chimpanzees in the Congo Basin with some of the highest densities recorded in Central Africa.

The study also found that logging concessions that have wildlife management in place, including protection of key habitats and anti-poaching patrols, can support important populations of elephants and gorillas. However, the authors warn that logging concessions are only of conservation value if there are strict anti-poaching measures in place, and if they are close to protected areas free of human disturbance. As evidence, the study showed the results of surveys in a logging concession without any anti-poaching measures or wildlife management where abundance of all three species was very low.

"Protected areas free of human disturbance, logging, or roads remain key to the protection of great apes and elephants," said WCS researcher Emma Stokes, the study's lead author. "Landscape conservation should focus on protected areas surrounded by other land-use types that also have wildlife management in place."

The forests of the Congo Basin are one of the last remaining tropical wildernesses and a top priority for biodiversity conservation.

Commercial logging is prevalent throughout much of the Congo Basin, with over 30 percent of native forest allocated to logging concessions compared to only 12 percent under protection. More than 50 percent of the current range of western gorillas and chimpanzees is estimated to lie in active logging concessions.

"This study shows that landscape-wide conservation can work in Central Africa – provided there are the resources and political will to save wildlife over large areas," said James Deutsch, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Africa programs. "Conservation on this scale is difficult and expensive, but absolutely necessary if we hope to save viable populations of elephants and great apes. At the same time, the government's capacity to follow up and take legal action against poachers should be strengthened and is a key to maintaining the protection of the forests and their wildlife."

The authors estimated elephant and great ape density using distance sampling surveys of elephant dung piles and great ape nests.

The surveys presented in this paper were made possible through generous funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Great Ape Conservation Fund.

Currently, WCS advocates the speedy passage of HR 4416, the Great Ape Conservation Reauthorization Act, which would continue government support for the Great Ape Conservation Fund, and applauds Rep. George Miller (D-CA) for leading the effort. In January, Dr. Deutsch testified before a Congressional panel on behalf of WCS in support of the legislation.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes toward nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. Visit: www.wcs.org

Special Note to the Media: If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to: www.wcs.org/donation

Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

nachricht World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung

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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars

22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>