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West African chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 152510653

Seeking people-primate coexistence: Endangered primate responses to anthropogenic activities and land transformation in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 152510653) - West African chimpanzee - Awarded $12,000 on June 10, 2015

This project will take place in two human-dominated protected areas in southern Guinea-Bissau: Cantanhez and Dulombi National Parks. These sites comprise a mosaic of forest fragments, savannah-woodland, mangroves, gallery forest and agricultural land. At least nine species of primates, including the West African chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus, Endangered) and Temminck’s red colobus (Procolobus badius temminckii, Endangered) are present. Currently, the main threats for chimpanzees in Guinea-Bissau are forest destruction/fragmentation and rising human-chimpanzee conflict.

The main aim of this project is to ensure the long-term survival of unstudied and endangered primates (focussing on chimpanzee and red colobus) in Guinea-Bissau, through:

1) assessing the cumulative effects of anthropogenic activities and land alteration on the distribution of primates;
2) identifying low conflict and sustainable anthropogenic land uses;
3) mapping and measuring forest resource extraction by humans.

We will conduct camera trap surveys and employ occupancy models in forest-savanna-mangrove-agricultural mosaics, using environmental and anthropogenic covariates as potential factors affecting primate distributions. We will investigate primate behaviour in agricultural landscapes and conduct interviews with local people to examine people’s use of land and forest resources.
From these data we will be able to understand primate landscape use and distribution patterns in highly heterogeneous and continually changing environments. In collaboration with IBAP, the national institute managing Guinea-Bissau’s PAs, we will develop management guidelines to enhance primate resilience to anthropogenic landscape changes and alleviate human/non-human primate conflict, ensuring the long-term viability of primate populations in this region.

About this organisation:
Human Interactions with and Constructions of the Environment is a research group established under the umbrella organisation ACCEND (Anthropological Centre for Conservation, the Environment and Development ) at Oxford Brookes University, UK. The research group’s mission is to promote the conservation of threatened primates through interdisciplinary research into people-wildlife interactions and conservation, changing land use and impacts on livelihood strategies, and human-induced disturbances on wildlife populations. The group has a long history of providing the much-needed scientific knowledge to inform conservation management strategies throughout the world. The group works closely with international NGOs, environmental authorities and other academic institutions to ensure the achievement of conservation goals.

Project 152510653 location - Guinea-Bissau, Africa