Abstract # 1827 Event # 2:

Scheduled for Monday, June 26, 2006 11:00 AM-12:00 AM: (Queen Elizabeth Theater) Plenary


Plenary talk:Primate Populations and their interactions with changing habitats

G. Isabirye-Basuta and J. Lwanga
Makerere Biological Field Station, P.O. Box 409, Fort Portal, Uganda
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     Habitat change has been happening for millions of years causing primates to adapt and cope with the changes and those that fail to go extinct. To some extent, the present distributions of some primates can be attributed to past habitat changes. Nonetheless, current habitat changes are of great concern because they are occurring so fast that primates may not have time to adapt. Secondly, populations of many primate species are already too small, rendering them vulnerable to habitat change. Habitat change can either be natural and positive e.g. increase in forest cover and forest maturation, or human-induced and usually negative. Examples of human induced habitat change include deforestation, forest degradation, forest fragmentation, and introduced plant species. Factors such as reduction in frequency of burning, loss of large herbivores, and armed conflict may allow forest expansion thus, creating more habitats for primates. On the other hand, replacement of natural forest with human dominated landscapes, logging, and collection of non-timber forest products can affect primate populations negatively. The influence of these factors on primate conservation will be discussed.