African apes coexisting with logging: Comparing chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) and gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) resource needs and responses to forestry activities.

David Morgan, Roger Mundry, Crickette Sanz, Crepin Eyana Ayina, Samantha Strindberg, Eric Lonsdorf, Hjalmar S. Kühl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The extraction of timber often conflicts with the well-being and conservation of wildlife. In particular, there is a need to better understand the impact of tree removal under selective logging regimes on local ecological communities. We conducted ape nest counts along line transects before, during, and after logging to assess the impact of timber harvesting and associated activities on sympatric chimpanzees and gorillas in a forestry concession in northern Republic of Congo. We used generalized linear models to relate ape nest counts to a set of predictor variables, representing the impact of logging and controlled for variation in environmental conditions including food availability, habitat and rainfall. Commercial forest inventory data were used to assess the baseline influence of food availability and forest structure on ape distribution. Higher numbers of chimpanzees were found in proximity to their preferred tree foods, whereas gorillas were associated with more heterogeneous habitats. Chimpanzee nest encounter rates decreased with increasing intensity of human impacts. Gorillas also avoided areas with active timber exploitation and roads, but were attracted to recently logged areas with abundant terrestrial herbaceous vegetation. Species-specific responses were consistent with theoretical predictions of niche partitioning and cumulative human influence. Based on these findings, we provide recommendations to improve existing guidelines and forest certification standards aimed at safeguarding ape populations.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-286
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume218
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

Keywords

  • APES
  • LOGGING
  • WILDLIFE conservation
  • TIMBER
  • CHIMPANZEES
  • Apes
  • Congo Basin
  • Conservation
  • Forestry
  • Logging

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'African apes coexisting with logging: Comparing chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) and gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) resource needs and responses to forestry activities.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this