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Abram N.K.,University of Kent | Meijaard E.,Borneo Futures initiative | Meijaard E.,University of Queensland | Meijaard E.,Center for International Forestry Research | And 6 more authors.
Ecosystem Services | Year: 2014

Spatially explicit information on local perceptions of ecosystem services is needed to inform land use planning within rapidly changing landscapes. In this paper we spatially modelled local people's use and perceptions of benefits from forest ecosystem services in Borneo, from interviews of 1837 people in 185 villages. Questions related to provisioning, cultural/spiritual, regulating and supporting ecosystem services derived from forest, and attitudes towards forest conversion. We used boosted regression trees (BRTs) to combine interview data with social and environmental predictors to understand spatial variation of perceptions across Borneo. Our results show that people use a variety of products from intact and highly degraded forests. Perceptions of benefits from forests were strongest: in human-altered forest landscapes for cultural and spiritual benefits; in human-altered and intact forests landscapes for health benefits; intact forest for direct health benefits, such as medicinal plants; and in regions with little forest and extensive plantations, for environmental benefits, such as climatic impacts from deforestation. Forest clearing for small scale agriculture was predicted to be widely supported yet less so for large-scale agriculture. Understanding perceptions of rural communities in dynamic, multi-use landscapes is important where people are often directly affected by the decline in ecosystem services. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Ancrenaz M.,Hutan Kinabatangan Orang utan Conservation Programme | Oram F.,Hutan Kinabatangan Orang utan Conservation Programme | Lackman I.,Hutan Kinabatangan Orang utan Conservation Programme | Ahmad E.,Hutan Kinabatangan Orang utan Conservation Programme | And 6 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2015

The oil palm industry is blamed for the demise of iconic species such as the orang-utan Pongo pygmaeus in Borneo but production of, and demand for, this commodity continue to expand. Therefore, a better understanding of how the orang-utan is adapting to human-transformed environments is crucial for conserving the species. Results from a combination of repeated ground transects, aerial presence/absence surveys, and interviews of workers in mature plantations of the lower Kinabatangan River floodplain (eastern Sabah) provide an overall picture of the current status of orang-utans in an established agro-industrial oil palm landscape. Our results show that orang-utans disperse into mature plantations, use oil palm trees for nesting, and feed on mature fruits. Most oil palm workers report orang-utans of all age-sex classes within the estates but fail to report any negative effect of the animals on productivity of mature palms ≥5 years. Our surveys also show that orang-utan presence in the mature oil palm landscape is correlated with proximity to natural forest patches. These results suggest that forest patches, even when small, fragmented and degraded, are required to sustain the species in human-transformed landscapes. Homogenous oil palm plantations are incompatible with viable populations of orang-utans. The cessation of further forest conversion to agriculture and the enforcement of better management practices are needed to reduce the threat of oil palm development to orang-utan survival. © 2014 Fauna & Flora International.


Gregory S.D.,University of Adelaide | Brook B.W.,University of Adelaide | Goossens B.,University of Cardiff | Goossens B.,Danau Girang Field Center | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: Southeast Asian deforestation rates are among the world's highest and threaten to drive many forest-dependent species to extinction. Climate change is expected to interact with deforestation to amplify this risk. Here we examine whether regional incentives for sustainable forest management will be effective in improving threatened mammal conservation, in isolation and when combined with global climate change mitigation. Methodology/Principal Findings: Using a long time-series of orangutan nest counts for Sabah (2000-10), Malaysian Borneo, we evaluated the effect of sustainable forest management and climate change scenarios, and their interaction, on orangutan spatial abundance patterns. By linking dynamic land-cover and downscaled global climate model projections, we determine the relative influence of these factors on orangutan spatial abundance and use the resulting statistical models to identify habitat crucial for their long-term conservation. We show that land-cover change the degradation of primary forest had the greatest influence on orangutan population size. Anticipated climate change was predicted to cause reductions in abundance in currently occupied populations due to decreased habitat suitability, but also to promote population growth in western Sabah by increasing the suitability of presently unoccupied regions. Conclusions/Significance: We find strong quantitative support for the Sabah government's proposal to implement sustainable forest management in all its forest reserves during the current decade; failure to do so could result in a 40 to 80 per cent regional decline in orangutan abundance by 2100. The Sabah orangutan is just one (albeit iconic) example of a forest-dependent species that stands to benefit from sustainable forest management, which promotes conservation of existing forests. © 2012 Gregory et al.


Davis J.T.,Queensland University of Technology | Mengersen K.,Queensland University of Technology | Abram N.K.,University of Kent | Ancrenaz M.,Hutan Kinabatangan Orang utan Conservation Programme | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

We investigated why orangutans are being killed in Kalimantan, Indonesia, and the role of conflict in these killings. Based on an analysis of interview data from over 5,000 respondents in over 450 villages, we also assessed the socio-ecological factors associated with conflict and non-conflict killings. Most respondents never kill orangutans. Those who reported having personally killed an orangutan primarily did so for non-conflict reasons; for example, 56% of these respondents said that the reason they had killed an orangutan was to eat it. Of the conflict-related reasons for killing, the most common reasons orangutans were killed was fear of orangutans or in self-defence. A similar pattern was evident among reports of orangutan killing by other people in the villages. Regression analyses indicated that religion and the percentage of intact forest around villages were the strongest socio-ecological predictors of whether orangutans were killed for conflict or non-conflict related reasons. Our data indicate that between 44,170 and 66,570 orangutans were killed in Kalimantan within the respondents' active hunting lifetimes: between 12,690 and 29,024 for conflict reasons (95%CI) and between 26,361 and 41,688 for non-conflict reasons (95% CI). These findings confirm that habitat protection alone will not ensure the survival of orangutans in Indonesian Borneo, and that effective reduction of orangutan killings is urgently needed. © 2013 Davis et al.


Abram N.K.,Living Landscape Alliance | Abram N.K.,University of Queensland | Abram N.K.,University of Kent | Meijaard E.,Living Landscape Alliance | And 13 more authors.
Diversity and Distributions | Year: 2015

Aim: We demonstrate a robust approach for predicting and mapping threats and population trends of wildlife species, invaluable for understanding where to target conservation resources. We used the endangered Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) as our case study to facilitate and strengthen conservation efforts by the Indonesian government to stabilize populations by 2017. Location: Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. Methods: Local knowledge of threats to orangutan populations was gathered through questionnaire interviews in 531 villages (512 in Kalimantan) within known orangutan range. These data were integrated with 39 environmental/socio-economic spatial variables using boosted regression tree modelling to predict threat levels and population trends across Kalimantan and to identify key combinations of threats and trends that can help to direct appropriate conservation actions. Results: Nineteen percentage of villages surveyed in Kalimantan reported human-orangutan conflicts. High-predicted conflict likelihood was extensive, strongly associated with road density (very low or high) and temperature seasonality. Recent orangutan killings were reported in 23% of villages. High killing risk was highly associated with greater surrounding orangutan habitat and for villages more than 60 km from oil palm plantations. Killings by respondents were reported in 20% of villages with higher likelihoods associated with greater range in rainfall and temperature, and higher proportion of Christian believers. Orangutan populations were predicted to decline/become locally extinct across the majority of their range in Kalimantan over the next decade, with few regions predicted to support stable populations. Main conclusions: Human-orangutan conflicts and killings occur extensively in Kalimantan, with many populations at risk of decline or localized extinctions. Effective conservation actions are therefore urgently needed. Our approach better informs conservation managers in understanding the extent, spatial patterns and drivers of threats to endangered species such as the orangutan. This is essential to better design management strategies that can minimize or avert the species' decline. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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