Abstract # 73:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2011 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 14 (Salon G (Sixth Floor)) Poster Presentation


THE EFFECTS OF HUMAN DISTURBANCE ON CHIMPANZEE (PAN TROGLODYTES VERUS) NESTING IN THE MINING ZONE OF SENEGAL PRIOR TO IRON MINE CONSTRUCTION

K. M. Boyer and J. D. Pruetz
Iowa State University, Department of Anthropology, 324 Curtiss Hall, Ames, IA 50011, USA
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As metal mining increases in Africa, little is known about the effects on ape populations. In Senegal, much of the metal mining is located in the southeastern region, where the effects of mining compound existing conservation problems faced by savanna chimpanzees. As mining and subsequent human populations increase in Senegal, we expect to find chimpanzee populations displaced from areas of suitable habitat. In this study, data was collected in June-August 2010 and again in January 2011 around the villages of Kharakhena and Bofeto. These two study areas have been identified by steel company ArcelorMittal as future locations for iron ore mining. Both areas were surveyed for chimpanzee nesting sites using reconnaissance and line transect surveys with a total of 151 nests observed in 256 km2 around Kharakhena and 153 nests in 64 km2 around Bofeto. Human disturbances prior to mine construction including villages, cultivated areas, mining activities, and tree cutting by herders, were recorded and correlated to nesting sites using GIS. Results show that although chimpanzees around Kharakhena appear to avoid areas of human disturbance, nesting around Bofeto occurs in close proximity to disturbed areas. Further efforts are needed to understand the balance between shared land occupation of chimpanzees and humans, as well as reasons for displacement, as mining activities and human populations increase.