Differential impact of bushmeat hunting on monkey species and implications for primate conservation in Korup National Park, Cameroon

Linder, J.M. and Oates, J.F. (2011) Differential impact of bushmeat hunting on monkey species and implications for primate conservation in Korup National Park, Cameroon. Biological Conservation, 144 (2). pp. 738-745.

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Bushmeat hunting is one of the primary threats to many large-bodied vertebrate species in African forests. However, species vary in their degree of vulnerability to hunting. We investigated the impact of hunting on monkey species in Cameroon’s Korup National Park (KNP) and examined how vulnerability to hunting varies among species. Data on primate abundance and hunting intensity were collected along 10 line transects, distributed across three survey areas in KNP. We assessed how the relative abundance of seven monkey species spatially varied between heavily and lightly hunted areas and evaluated temporal changes in the relative abundance and proportional representation of these species at a single hunted forest site and in bushmeat harvests. The putty-nosed and mona monkeys are most tolerant to heavy hunting pressure whereas the crowned monkey, drill, and red colobus are among the most vulnerable. At our heavily hunted survey site, the overall relative density of monkey groups increased through time but primate species richness declined. The proportional representation of Cercopithecus species, especially putty-nosed monkeys, increased through time, possibly due to competitive release. We also observed an increase in the proportional representation of the putty-nosed and mona monkeys and a reduced percent contribution of the red colobus and drill in hunter harvests. We conclude that hunting is driving some of Africa’s most threatened primate species (e.g., Preuss’s red colobus and the drill) to local extinction in KNP. We discuss intrinsic factors of species that might influence their degree of vulnerability and strategies to improve protection efforts in KNP.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This project was funded by the Wildlife Conservation Society Research Fellowship Program, Center for Tropical Forest Science of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Conservation International Primate Action Fund, Primate Conservation, Inc., American Society of Primatologists, The Gorilla Foundation’s Wildlife Protectors Fund, and the New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology. We thank our field personnel in Cameroon, especially David Okon. We also thank those people who contributed data to this study and Dr. Richard Lawler for assistance with statistical analyses and helpful suggestions. All research was approved by the Government of Cameroon, the Institutional Animal Use and Care Committee of Hunter College, and the Institutional Review Board of CUNY for human participants.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bushmeat hunting, Differential vulnerability, Competitive release, Korup National Park
Author Affiliation: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, USA Department of Anthropology, Hunter College, USA Department of Anthropology and Geography, Oxford Brookes University,United Kingdom
Subjects: Animal Husbandary
Social Sciences
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Arbind Seth
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2013 10:11
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2013 10:11
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2010.10.023
URI: http://eprints.icrisat.ac.in/id/eprint/10305

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