Abstract # 128:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 04:15 PM-04:25 PM: Session 13 (Del Mar Room) Oral Presentation


PRIMATE CONSERVATION IN CENTRAL AFRICAN FORESTS: COMBINED ETHNOGRAPHIC AND ECOLOGICAL APPROACHES

L. L. Daspit, C. A. Jost and M. J. Remis
Purdue University, Department of Anthropology, 700 West State Street, Suite 219, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
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Hunting is the largest threat to primates in Central Africa. The future sustainability of primate communities is integrally related to increased off-take of duikers. Our research integrates ethnographic interviews [n= 200] and market surveys [n=121] with ecological data from transect surveys [n>400 km] to understand impacts of increased pressures on wildlife in the Dzanga Sangha Reserve (RDS), Central African Republic. Our work shows changes in hunting practices 1993-2008; guns now predominate at RDS [Guns vs Snares Χ2=66.48, p<=0.001]. In addition, market availability of wildlife has increased dramatically in the same timeframe [units/day: 1993=3.10; 2008=11.58]. Encounters with primates and duikers on transects have increased over time 1997-2005, related to better management and post-logging succession. By 2008 duiker sign on transects declined while availability increased at the market. Primates have continued to increase on transects and are still relatively rare in the market in 2008, their encounter rates are now lower in areas with higher hunting pressure [t test; park vs. reserve, p<0.049]. We demonstrate how quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-species data can be combined to improve our understanding of the effects of increased gun hunting on primates in RDS. This research contributes to the elaboration of an integrative environmental anthropology; furthering the development of more grounded approaches to biodiversity conservation by combining ecological and socio-cultural information to improve policy recommendations.