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Ting N.,University of Oregon | Astaras C.,University of Oxford | Hearn G.,Drexel University | Honarvar S.,Drexel University | And 8 more authors.
Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2012

It is difficult to predict howcurrent climate changewill affectwildlife species adapted to a tropical rainforest environment. Understanding how population dynamics fluctuated in such species throughout periods of past climatic change can provide insight into this issue. The drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus) is a large-bodied rainforest adapted mammal found in West Central Africa. In the middle of this endangered monkey's geographic range is Lake Barombi Mbo, which has a well-documented palynological record of environmental change that dates to the Late Pleistocene. We used a Bayesian coalescent-based framework to analyze 2,076 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA across wild drill populations to infer past changes in female effective population size since the Late Pleistocene. Our results suggest that the drill underwent a nearly 15-fold demographic collapse in female effective population size that was most prominent during the Mid Holocene (approximately 3-5 Ka). This time period coincides with a period of increased dryness and seasonality across Africa and a dramatic reduction in forest coverage at Lake Barombi Mbo.We believe that these changes in climate and forest coverage were the driving forces behind the drill population decline. Furthermore, the warmtemperatures and increased aridity of the Mid Holocene are potentially analogous to current and future conditions faced by many tropical rainforest communities. In order to prevent future declines in population size in rainforest-adapted species such as the drill, large tracts of forest should be protected to both preserve habitat and prevent forest loss through aridification. © 2012 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Mayor P.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Perez-Pena P.,Yavari Conservacion y Uso Sostenible YAVACUS | Bowler M.,San Diego Zoo Global Institute for Conservation Research | Puertas P.E.,FundAmazonia | And 4 more authors.
Ecology and Society | Year: 2015

We examined the effects of selective timber logging carried out by local indigenous people in remote areas within indigenous territories on the mammal populations of the Yavari-Mirin River basin on the Peru-Brazil border. Recent findings show that habitat change in the study area is minimal, and any effect of logging activities on large mammal populations is highly likely to be the result of hunting associated with logging operations. We used hunting registers to estimate the monthly and yearly biomass extracted during timber operations and to calculate the catch per unit effort (CPUE) in subsistence hunting in the community of Esperanza 2 to 5 years before logging activities started and 4 to 7 years after logging began. We also used line transects and the distance method to estimate animal densities before and after logging. We found that 1389 hunted animals and 27,459 kg of mammal biomass were extracted per year from logging concessions. CPUE for ungulates declined; however, it increased for other mammal orders, such as rodents and primates, indicating a shift to alternative prey items. Although collared peccaries (Pecari tajacu) and tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) may also have declined in numbers, this shift may have been caused by a possibly natural population crash in white-lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari) that coincided with the logging periods. We found no evidence that populations of primates were reduced by the logging activities. Because primates are sensitive to hunting, and their populations were of principal concern as logging commenced, this indicates that these forests remain of high conservation value. The unusual socioeconomic situation of these remote territories may mean that they are compatible with wildlife conservation in the Yavari-Mirin basin. © 2015 by the author(s). Published here under license by the Resilience Alliance.

Linklater W.L.,Victoria University of Wellington | Linklater W.L.,Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University | Gedir J.V.,Victoria University of Wellington | Law P.R.,PRLDB Modeling | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Species translocations are remarkable experiments in evolutionary ecology, and increasingly critical to biodiversity conservation. Elaborate socio-ecological hypotheses for translocation success, based on theoretical fitness relationships, are untested and lead to complex uncertainty rather than parsimonious solutions. We used an extraordinary 89 reintroduction and 102 restocking events releasing 682 black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) to 81 reserves in southern Africa (1981-2005) to test the influence of interacting socio-ecological and individual characters on post-release survival. We predicted that the socio-ecological context should feature more prominently after restocking than reintroduction because released rhinoceros interact with resident conspecifics. Instead, an interaction between release cohort size and habitat quality explained reintroduction success but only individuals' ages explained restocking outcomes. Achieving translocation success for many species may not be as complicated as theory suggests. Black rhino, and similarly asocial generalist herbivores without substantial predators, are likely to be resilient to ecological challenges and robust candidates for crisis management in a changing world. © 2012 Linklater et al.

Mayor P.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Bowler M.,YAVACUS | Bowler M.,San Diego Zoo Global Institute for Conservation Research | Bowler M.,University of St. Andrews | Lopez-Plana C.,Autonomous University of Barcelona
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2013

Functional morphology may provide important information that could improve methodologies for the diagnosis of the reproductive phase of females, and develop assisted breeding techniques for wildlife. This study examined features of genital organs in 19 Peruvian red uakari monkey (Cacajao calvus ucayalii) females in different reproductive stages, collected from wild animals hunted for food by rural communities in the North-eastern Peruvian Amazon, in order to provide knowledge on the reproductive physiology of this species. The observed mean ovulation rate was 1.4 follicles, and the observed maximal follicle diameter was 0.8cm. After ovulation, the matured follicle luteinizes resulting in functional CL. In case of oocyte fertilization, the pregnancy CL grows to a maximum of 1.2cm in diameter, and luteal volume per female decreases related to the advance of pregnancy. Pregnant females also present follicular activity until late pregnancy, but non-ovulated follicles do not undergo atretic processes and apparently transform to accessory CL, resulting in a contribution of 30% of the total luteal volume. All pregnant females delivered a single fetus at term, resulting in a rate of reproductive wastage of 20% of oocytes or embryos. The endometrium and the endometrial glands in non-pregnant females in the follicular phase show a significant increase related to the follicular growth, reaching a high proliferation in non-pregnant females in the luteal phase. The red uakari monkey showed different vaginal epithelium features in accordance with the reproductive state of the female, suggesting that vaginal cytology could be a successful methodology with which to characterize the estrous cycle of this species. The present reproductive evaluation of the Peruvian red uakari monkey provides important information that could improve the development of assisted reproductive techniques in non-human primates. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Junker J.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Blake S.,Max Planck Institute for Ornithology (Radolfzell) | Boesch C.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Campbell G.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | And 48 more authors.
Diversity and Distributions | Year: 2012

Aim: To predict the distribution of suitable environmental conditions (SEC) for eight African great ape taxa for a first time period, the 1990s and then project it to a second time period, the 2000s; to assess the relative importance of factors influencing SEC distribution and to estimate rates of SEC loss, isolation and fragmentation over the last two decades. Location: Twenty-two African great ape range countries. Methods: We extracted 15,051 presence localities collected between 1995 and 2010 from 68 different areas surveyed across the African ape range. We combined a maximum entropy algorithm and logistic regression to relate ape presence information to environmental and human impact variables from the 1990s with a resolution of 5 × 5 km across the entire ape range. We then made SEC projections for the 2000s using updated human impact variables. Results: Total SEC area was approximately 2,015,480 and 1,807,653 km 2 in the 1990s and 2000s, respectively. Loss of predicted SEC appeared highest for Cross River gorillas (-59%), followed by eastern gorillas (-52%), western gorillas (-32%), bonobos (-29%), central chimpanzees (-17%) and western chimpanzees (-11%). SEC for Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees and eastern chimpanzees was not greatly reduced. Except for Cross River and eastern gorillas, the number of SEC patches did not change significantly, suggesting that SEC loss was caused mainly by patch size reduction. Main conclusions: The first continent-wide perspective of African ape SEC distribution shows dramatic declines in recent years. The model has clear limitations for use at small geographic scales, given the quality of available data and the coarse resolution of predictions. However, at the large scale it has potential for informing international policymaking, mitigation of resource extraction and infrastructure development, as well as for spatial prioritization of conservation effort and evaluating conservation effectiveness. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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