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Human-great ape conflict in Africa: consequences, causes and mitigation
 

Human-great ape conflict in Africa: consequences, causes and mitigation

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Tatyana Humle of the University of Kent’s Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology outlines the consequences and causes of human-great ape conflict in Africa and explores many strategic ...

Tatyana Humle of the University of Kent’s Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology outlines the consequences and causes of human-great ape conflict in Africa and explores many strategic alternatives for preventing this conflict. She gave this presentation at the ‘Linking Great Ape Conservation with Poverty Alleviation’ workshop hosted by CIFOR in January 2012.

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  • One of the challenges facing great ape conservation is the rising level of interaction between humans and great apes, and the resulting conflicts that emerge. As human populations continue to increase and human development makes deeper incursions into forest habitats, such conflicts will become more widespread and prevalent in the habitat ranges of great apes, especially considering that the majority of great apes live outside protected areas. It is essential that we develop a comprehensive understanding of existing and potential conflict situations, and their current or future impacts on both great apes and humans. This understanding will require the integration of quantitative and qualitative data on multiple aspects of human and great ape behaviour and ecology, along with a good understanding of local people’s perceptions of the situation. Such knowledge can then be used to develop effective locally-adapted management strategies to mitigate human-great ape conflicts, whilst respecting both conservation objectives and socio-cultural-economic contexts.
  • -Mountain gorillas, Virunga National Park, DRC: The threat of human/animal conflict is real. Back in 2003, a juvenile in the Rugendo group called Bahati (whose mother Neza was subsequently killed in the unrelated 2007 attack) was stoned to death by locals in a field in Bikenge.
  • - Human misperceptions or exaggeration of conflict issues.
  • More encroachment into wildlife habitats Higher encounter rate between humans & wildlife Direct competition with wildlife over resources - Crop-raiding compromises biodiversity conservation initiatives by generating negative perceptions of wildlife, and threatens the economic and social security of rural people (Hill 2004; Madden 2008). - Records from 27 sites in 10 countries indicate that cultivar consumption by chimpanzees is widespread. A total of 51 plant parts from 36 cultivar species were recorded eaten by chimpanzees. The composition of crops eaten reflects a species-typical preference for fruit: fruits dominate the list of cultivated food items. -Most (86%) high conflict crops were fruits, compared to 13% of low conflict crops. Some widely farmed cash or staple crops were seldom or never eaten by chimpanzees and their potential suitability for conflict prevention and mitigation should be explored by wildlife managers.
  • Increase in frequency of encounters with humans and/or human waste Need for careful management of research and tourism activities and great ape habitat.
  • Sumatra, Indonesia : El Niño caused drought and fires in 1997-1998. Much forest was destroyed forcing orangutans into human agricultural landscapes and resulting in encounters between people and tigers.
  • Aimed at reducing the level of impact and lessening the problem and/or dealing with root causes of HWC
  • Aimed at reducing the level of impact and lessening the problem and/or dealing with root causes of HWC - local association called HUGO (HUmans + GOrillas), who guard the crops by pushing the gorillas back into the forest using drums. It seems the technique doesn’t work anymore - the gorillas are no longer scared of the drums - in Chimpunga sanctuary: trained dogs to manage escapees
  • Aimed at reducing the level of impact and lessening the problem and/or dealing with root causes of HWC Also - Moat/trench/Natural river or stream
  • Aimed at reducing the level of impact and lessening the problem and/or dealing with root causes of HWC
  • Aimed at reducing the level of impact and lessening the problem and/or dealing with root causes of HWC - – Are suitable areas available at all? – How big would a suitable forest area have to be? – Which other requirements should the new habitat have? – Which situation (threats, critical population size) could trigger the initiation of the translocation? – How many individuals from how many groups should be caught and translocated? – How would the gorillas be caught? – Who decides when and where which animals will be translocated? – Who coordinates the whole project?
  • Aimed at reducing the level of impact and lessening the problem and/or dealing with root causes of HWC
  • Aimed at reducing the level of impact and lessening the problem and/or dealing with root causes of HWC
  • Aimed at reducing the level of impact and lessening the problem and/or dealing with root causes of HWC - -Targeted at schools, villagers, officials…
  • Aimed at reducing the level of impact and lessening the problem and/or dealing with root causes of HWC
  • Aimed at reducing the level of impact and lessening the problem and/or dealing with root causes of HWC - Social and economic studies : Evaluation of social impact & opportunity costs and quantification of economic impact, human demographic trends, as well patterns of development.
  • Aimed at reducing the level of impact and lessening the problem and/or dealing with root causes of HWC
  • Aimed at reducing the level of impact and lessening the problem and/or dealing with root causes of HWC
  • Aimed at reducing the level of impact and lessening the problem and/or dealing with root causes of HWC

Human-great ape conflict in Africa: consequences, causes and mitigation Human-great ape conflict in Africa: consequences, causes and mitigation Presentation Transcript

  • Dr. Tatyana HUMLE DICE , University of Kent, UK [email_address]
    • What is HGAC?
    • Consequences for people and great apes
    • Causes of HGAC with case studies
    • Mitigation and prevention strategies
    • Coexistence between great apes and people not always harmonious - conflict over space, water and food
    • HGAC: ‘ any human-great ape interaction which results in negative effects on great ape social, ecological or cultural life or the conservation of great apes and their environment ’ (Hockings & Humle 2008)
    • African Great Apes are endangered or critically endangered - conservation priority
    • Geographical differences - Protected areas and NPAs
    • Challenge to balance great ape conservation, people’s livelihoods and local/national development plans
    © T. Furuichi Chimpanzees in anthropogenic landscape Mountain gorilla Bonobo
    • Economic costs : impact on crops (damage), livestock (loss), property (e.g. fences, beehives)…
    • Social costs : loss of life or injury, fear for safety, extra labor and energy (building fences, guarding…), travel restriction...
    • Cultural costs : may challenge traditional cultural or religious beliefs concerned with great ape conservation locally
    Chimpanzee passing beside village Villagers guarding crops Chimpanzee feeding on cassava
    • Risk of being killed intentionally in retaliation or to 'prevent' future conflicts or accidentally (snares…)
    • Risk of being captured
    • (fuelling the pet trade)
    • Stress and disease leading to higher mortality rate or lower reproductive success
    © C. Geenaert Chimpanzee killed by people Orphan gorillas in sanctuary © Gorilla.cd
    • Land use transformation and habitat loss
    • Human population growth/local human influx
    • Great ape habituation to humans
    • Wild resource competition
    • Abundance and distribution of wild foods
    • Climatic factors and stochastic events (e.g. fires)
    • 1. Land use transformation and habitat loss :
    • Landscape changes linked to development (increased demand for land, food production, timber, energy and raw material extraction)
    • Can marginalize and fragment great ape habitat, leading them to rely more on crop-raiding to survive and to act more aggressively towards humans (e.g. Chimpanzees: Hoima District, Uganda: McLennan 2008)
    © E.Andersen Tobacco field Chimpanzee raiding oil palm fruit Rubber harvest
    • 2. Human population growth/influx :
      • 2a. Cultivation/Plantation
      • Path encounters » aggression!
      • Crop raiding
      • e.g. Chimpanzees review: 36 cultivar sp.
      • (Hockings & McLennan in press)
    © Gorilla.cd Mountain gorilla raiding maize Chimpanzees travel along human path Chimpanzees raiding pineapple Chimpanzee raiding maize/corn
    • 2. Human population growth/influx :
      • 2b.Transport infrastructure and traffic
      • e.g. Chimpanzees at Bossou, Guinea
      • (Hockings et al. 2006)
    Chimpanzees travelling along human path leading to cultivated fields Chimpanzees crossing road Chimpanzee habitat in human dominated landscape
    • 2. Human population growth/influx :
    • 2c. Disease
    • Zoonoses: Great apes succumb to similar diseases that afflict humans, e.g. tuberculosis, polio, pneumonia, typhoid and Ebola hemorrhagic fever, endoparasites…
    Female chimpanzee carries the corpse of her dead infant Field assistant wears mask
    • 3. Wildlife habituation to humans
    • through provisioning, tourism, research
    • e.g. Chimpanzees and gorillas become less fearful of humans and therefore more likely to raid crops, approach human habitation, restrict travel on roads or even potentially attack humans if provoked (e.g. Hockings et al. 2010)… and risk of disease transmission
    Chimpanzee raiding papaya Chimpanzee exploring hut Mountain gorilla -Tourism © Martin Harvey/Corbis
    • 4. Increased competition for wild resources
    • e.g. Bossou chimpanzees and the oil palm (fruit, nut, petiole of frond, palm heart, nest making) (Humle & Matsuzawa 2004)
    e.g. Bossou chimpanzees in agricultural-forest matrix & the feral or cultivated oil palm
    • 5 . Abundance and distribution of wild foods
    • e.g. Great apes can readily expand their dietary habits to integrate crops otherwise not consumed elsewhere due to decreasing availability of natural keystone resources
    e.g. Bossou chimpanzees feeding on pith of rice stems
    • 6. Climatic factors and stochastic events
    • Climate change and impact on habitat and vegetation - impact currently difficult to assess
    • Guarding
    • Artificial and natural barriers (physical and biological)
    • Land-use changes and habitat restoration
    • Capture and translocation
    • Direct compensation schemes
    • Schemes benefiting local people
    • Conservation education and training in HGAC
    • Improve policy, regulation and management of land use and resource exploitation
    • Information gathering: role of research
    • Guarding
    • - Guard patrol/intervention teams (e.g. HUGO project,)
    • - But risk of injury and significant time commitment
    Children guarding corn/cassava/rice field
      • 2. Artificial and natural barriers (physical and biological)
      • - Labour and time intensive and requires maintenance
      • - Field/Plantation/Tree protection
      • Buffer zone with inedible crops/non-invasive plants
      • e.g. Barriers with thorny plants (need to be local)
      • -Crop protection: Chemical (Capsicum), visual, acoustic repellents
      • - problem with habituation
    Capsicum used as buffer and repellent on crops
    • 3. Land-use changes and habitat restoration
    • -Spatial distribution of crops/buffer zones- (inedible versus edible; high vs low risk)
    • -Selective clearing-preserving great ape keystone resources
    • -Distance of fields and plantations from forest edge- but great apes flexible in their travel patterns in agricultural-forest matrix
    • -Improve livestock management, e.g. goats & chickens for chimpanzees
    • -Habitat restoration and preservation of key area , e.g. riverine areas
    Bossou/Nimba, Guinea, Green Corridor: Transplantation, Improving Natural Regeneration & Agroforestry (Matsuzawa et al. 2011 )
    • 4. Great ape capture and translocation
    • -Involves capturing and moving animals from problematic zone to a new ideally protected site where HGAC not an issue now or in future
    • -Complicated logistically, risky and financially demanding
    • -Ethical and cultural implications on local human population
    • -Not a real solution to the problem; last resort!!
    • 6. Direct Compensation schemes
    • - Problem of evaluating damage and compensation level
    • - Financial compensation schemes not usually effective
    • - Not solution to the problem
    • 5. Schemes benefiting local people
    • - Direct benefit-sharing schemes : local people gain from conservation-oriented activities, e.g. employment
    • - Indirect benefit-sharing schemes : Sustainable local development projects aimed at improving human health, sanitation & hygiene (e.g. Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) Project-Uganda), access to water, protein alternatives, agricultural yields ...
    • - Local empowerment schemes : local people are given responsibility for managing habitat, resource use...
    • 7. Conservation education and HGAC training can:
    • - help develop skills in dealing with HGAC in target areas
    • - promote public understanding of:
    • -the roots of HGAC
    • -great ape behaviour and ecology
    • -how to behave when encountering great apes, esp. chimpanzee
    • -Increase human tolerance towards great apes
    • -Help find concerted solutions to HGAC problems through informal discussions with affected people
    • 8. Improve policy, regulation and management of land use & resource exploitation
    • (e.g. agriculture, timber, minerals & NTFPs)
    Photos © Jeremy Holden/FFI
    • 9. Role of research
    • - Social and economic studies : Evaluation of social impact & opportunity costs and quantification of economic impact, human influx and demographic trends, as well patterns of development.
    • 9. Role of research
    • - Anthropological studies : understanding people’s attitude and perception of problem, traditional beliefs, movement of people over time.
    • 9. Role of research (last but not least, perhaps the first step in the process!!)
    • - Ecological and behavioral studies : (in combination with modelling and GIS analysis): understanding the root causes of the problem, ecological and climatic patterns and variables, identifying sites of conflict and individual animals involved etc.
    • 9. Role of research
    • - Testing and evaluating effectiveness of preventive measures, education programs in place and developing novel strategies in concert with all local stakeholders - still remains a huge gap !!
    • Different ecological, social, cultural and economic realities
    • Different responses by different great ape species
    • Note of caution: Do not create conflict where there is none!
    • Essential to engage concerned local communities and develop short- and long-term strategies
    • Partnerships between conservation and development NGOs can help create value for great ape conservation