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Meijaard E.,People and Nature Consulting International | Meijaard E.,University of Queensland | Meijaard E.,Australian National University | Buchori D.,The Nature Conservancy Indonesia Forest Program | And 33 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Human-orangutan conflict and hunting are thought to pose a serious threat to orangutan existence in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo. No data existed prior to the present study to substantiate these threats. We investigated the rates, spatial distribution and causes of conflict and hunting through an interview-based survey in the orangutan's range in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Between April 2008 and September 2009, we interviewed 6983 respondents in 687 villages to obtain socio-economic information, assess knowledge of local wildlife in general and orangutan encounters specifically, and to query respondents about their knowledge on orangutan conflicts and killing, and relevant laws. This survey revealed estimated killing rates of between 750 and 1800 animals killed in the last year, and between 1950 and 3100 animals killed per year on average within the lifetime of the survey respondents. These killing rates are higher than previously thought and are high enough to pose a serious threat to the continued existence of orangutans in Kalimantan. Importantly, the study contributes to our understanding of the spatial variation in threats, and the underlying causes of those threats, which can be used to facilitate the development of targeted conservation management. © 2011 Meijaard et al. Source


Meijaard E.,People and Nature Consulting International | Meijaard E.,Australian National University | Mengersen K.,Queensland University of Technology | Buchori D.,The Nature Conservancy Indonesia Program | And 13 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Species conservation is difficult. Threats to species are typically high and immediate. Effective solutions for counteracting these threats, however, require synthesis of high quality evidence, appropriately targeted activities, typically costly implementation, and rapid re-evaluation and adaptation. Conservation management can be ineffective if there is insufficient understanding of the complex ecological, political, socio-cultural, and economic factors that underlie conservation threats. When information about these factors is incomplete, conservation managers may be unaware of the most urgent threats or unable to envision all consequences of potential management strategies. Conservation research aims to address the gap between what is known and what knowledge is needed for effective conservation. Such research, however, generally addresses a subset of the factors that underlie conservation threats, producing a limited, simplistic, and often biased view of complex, real world situations. A combination of approaches is required to provide the complete picture necessary to engage in effective conservation. Orangutan conservation (Pongo spp.) offers an example: standard conservation assessments employ survey methods that focus on ecological variables, but do not usually address the socio-cultural factors that underlie threats. Here, we evaluate a complementary survey method based on interviews of nearly 7,000 people in 687 villages in Kalimantan, Indonesia. We address areas of potential methodological weakness in such surveys, including sampling and questionnaire design, respondent biases, statistical analyses, and sensitivity of resultant inferences. We show that interview-based surveys can provide cost-effective and statistically robust methods to better understand poorly known populations of species that are relatively easily identified by local people. Such surveys provide reasonably reliable estimates of relative presence and relative encounter rates of such species, as well as quantifying the main factors that threaten them. We recommend more extensive use of carefully designed and implemented interview surveys, in conjunction with more traditional field methods. © 2011 Meijaard et al. Source


Meijaard E.,People and Nature Consulting International | Meijaard E.,Australian National University | Wich S.,Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program PanEco YEL | Wich S.,University of Zurich | And 2 more authors.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences | Year: 2012

Orangutan survival is threatened by habitat loss and illegal killing. Most wild populations will disappear over the next few decades unless threats are abated. Saving orangutans is ultimately in the hands of the governments and people of Indonesia and Malaysia, which need to ensure that habitats of viable orangutan populations are protected from deforestation and well managed to ensure no hunting takes place. Companies working in orangutan habitat also have to play a much bigger role in habitat management. Although the major problems and the direct actions required to solve them-reducing forest loss and hunting-have been known for decades, orangutan populations continue to decline. Orangutan populations in Sumatra and Borneo have declined by between 2,280 and 5,250 orangutans annually over the past 25 years. As the total current population for the two species is some 60,000 animals in an area of about 90,000 km 2, there is not much time left to make conservation efforts truly effective. Our review discusses what has and has not worked in conservation to guide future conservation efforts. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences. Source


Matsuda I.,Kyoto University | Ancrenaz M.,Kinabatangan Orang utan Conservation Project | Akiyama Y.,Japan National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management | Majalap N.,Sabah Forest Research Center | Bernard H.,Universiti Malaysia Sabah
Ecological Research | Year: 2014

Although the importance of natural licks for terrestrial mammals is widely acknowledged, we report here for the first time its importance for large terrestrial mammals in a degraded riverine forest in Borneo. Our results clearly demonstrated that various mammals, including bearded pig, sambar deer, and endangered orang-utans, were using the natural lick, though large arboreal/avian herbivore/omnivore animals were not attracted to the natural lick. In addition, the diversity of mammal species recorded in this study was lower than those recorded in the dry lowland forest. Possible reasons for this difference between the different forest types are discussed. © 2014, The Ecological Society of Japan. Source


Bruford M.W.,University of Cardiff | Ancrenaz M.,Kinabatangan Orang utan Conservation Project | Chikhi L.,CNRS Biological Evolution and Diversity Laboratory | Lackman-Ancrenaz I.,Kinabatangan Orang utan Conservation Project | Goossens B.,University of Cardiff
Endangered Species Research | Year: 2010

Genetic management of fragmented populations poses logistical and theoretical challenges to conservation managers. Simulating changes in genetic diversity and differentiation within and among fragmented population units under different management scenarios has until now rarely used molecular marker data collected from present-day populations. Here we examine the genetic implications of management options for the highly fragmented yet globally significant orang-utan population in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sabah, Malaysia. We simulated the effects of non-intervention, translocation, corridor establishment and a mixture of the latter 2 approaches on future genetic diversity in this population using the stochastic simulation software VORTEX and a well-described molecular dataset for 200 individuals from within the Sanctuary. We found that nonintervention resulted in high extinction risks for a number of subpopulations over short demographic timescales (<5 generations). Furthermore, the exclusive use of either translocation or corridor establishment as a management tool was insufficient to prevent substantial levels of inbreeding using demographically and logistically feasible translocation rates and was insufficient to prevent inbreeding and extinction in the most isolated subpopulations using conservative corridor establishment rates. Instead, a combination of modest translocation rates (1 ind. every 20 yr) and corridor establishment enabled even the most isolated subpopulations to retain demographic stability and constrain localised inbreeding to levels below a threshold of 0.1. Our simulations suggest that this mixed management approach is both a pragmatic and potentially successful course of action and that this combination may be useful in other species and fragmented populations in the future. The use of present-day molecular data in stochastic simulations requires further development, but here we show that it can aid predictive modelling. © Inter-Research 2010. Source

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