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J Environ Manage ; 260: 110068, 2020 Apr 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32090812


1. Primary objectives of national parks usually include both, the protection of natural processes and species conservation. When these objectives conflict, as occurs because of the cascading effects of large mammals (i.e., ungulates and large carnivores) on lower trophic levels, park managers have to decide upon the appropriate management while considering various local circumstances. 2. To analyse if ungulate management strategies are in accordance with the objectives defined for protected areas, we assessed the current status of ungulate management across European national parks using the naturalness concept and identified the variables that influence the management. 3. We collected data on ungulate management from 209 European national parks in 29 countries by means of a large-scale questionnaire survey. Ungulate management in the parks was compared by creating two naturalness scores. The first score reflects ungulate and large carnivore species compositions, and the second evaluates human intervention on ungulate populations. We then tested whether the two naturalness score categories are influenced by the management objectives, park size, years since establishment, percentage of government-owned land, and human impact on the environment (human influence index) using two generalized additive mixed models. 4. In 67.9% of the national parks, wildlife is regulated by culling (40.2%) or hunting (10.5%) or both (17.2%). Artificial feeding occurred in 81.3% of the national parks and only 28.5% of the national parks had a non-intervention zone covering at least 75% of the area. Furthermore, ungulate management differed greatly among the different countries, likely because of differences in hunting traditions and cultural and political backgrounds. Ungulate management was also influenced by park size, human impact on the landscape, and national park objectives, but after removing these variables from the full model the reduced models only showed a small change in the deviance explained. In areas with higher anthropogenic pressure, wildlife diversity tended to be lower and a higher number of domesticated species tended to be present. Human intervention (culling and artificial feeding) was lower in smaller national parks and when park objectives followed those set by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 5. Our study shows that many European national parks do not fulfil the aims of protected area management as set by IUCN guidelines. In contrast to the USA and Canada, Europe currently has no common ungulate management policy within national parks. This lack of a common policy together with differences in species composition, hunting traditions, and cultural or political context has led to differences in ungulate management among European countries. To fulfil the aims and objectives of national parks and to develop ungulate management strategies further, we highlight the importance of creating a more integrated European ungulate management policy to meet the aims of national parks.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 11(3): e0005450, 2017 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28282378


Bushmeat represents an important source of animal protein for humans in tropical Africa. Unsustainable bushmeat hunting is a major threat to wildlife and its consumption is associated with an increased risk of acquiring zoonotic diseases, such as Ebola virus disease (EVD). During the recent EVD outbreak in West Africa, it is likely that human dietary behavior and local attitudes toward bushmeat consumption changed in response to the crisis, and that the rate of change depended on prevailing socio-economic conditions, including wealth and education. In this study, we therefore investigated the effects of income, education, and literacy on changes in bushmeat consumption during the crisis, as well as complementary changes in daily meal frequency, food diversity and bushmeat preference. More specifically, we tested whether wealthier households with more educated household heads decreased their consumption of bushmeat during the EVD crisis, and whether their daily meal frequency and food diversity remained constant. We used Generalized Linear Mixed Models to analyze interview data from two nationwide household surveys across Liberia. We found an overall decrease in bushmeat consumption during the crisis across all income levels. However, the rate of bushmeat consumption in high-income households decreased less than in low-income households. Daily meal frequency decreased during the crisis, and the diversity of food items and preferences for bushmeat species remained constant. Our multidisciplinary approach to study the impact of EVD can be applied to assess how other disasters affect social-ecological systems and improve our understanding and the management of future crises.

Comportamento Alimentar , Doença pelo Vírus Ebola/epidemiologia , Fatores Socioeconômicos , Humanos , Entrevistas como Assunto , Libéria/epidemiologia
Am J Primatol ; 77(10): 1122-34, 2015 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26179423


Monitoring of animal populations is essential for conservation management. Various techniques are available to assess spatiotemporal patterns of species distribution and abundance. Nest surveys are often used for monitoring great apes. Quickly developing technologies, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used to complement these ground-based surveys, especially for covering large areas rapidly. Aerial surveys have been used successfully to detect the nests of orang-utans. It is unknown if such an approach is practical for African apes, which usually build their nests at lower heights, where they might be obscured by forest canopy. In this 2-month study, UAV-derived aerial imagery was used for two distinct purposes: testing the detectability of chimpanzee nests and identifying fruiting trees used by chimpanzees in Loango National Park (Gabon). Chimpanzee nest data were collected through two approaches: we located nests on the ground and then tried to detect them in UAV photos and vice versa. Ground surveys were conducted using line transects, reconnaissance trails, and opportunistic sampling during which we detected 116 individual nests in 28 nest groups. In complementary UAV images we detected 48% of the individual nests (68% of nest groups) in open coastal forests and 8% of individual nests (33% of nest groups) in closed canopy inland forests. The key factor for nest detectability in UAV imagery was canopy openness. Data on fruiting trees were collected from five line transects. In 122 UAV images 14 species of trees (N = 433) were identified, alongside 37 tree species (N = 205) in complementary ground surveys. Relative abundance of common tree species correlated between ground and UAV surveys. We conclude that UAVs have great potential as a rapid assessment tool for detecting chimpanzee presence in forest with open canopy and assessing fruit tree availability. UAVs may have limited applicability for nest detection in closed canopy forest.

Frutas , Comportamento de Nidação , Pan troglodytes/fisiologia , Tecnologia de Sensoriamento Remoto/métodos , Animais , Ecossistema , Florestas , Gabão , Árvores
PLoS One ; 3(6): e2440, 2008 Jun 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-18560519


Chimpanzees have been used extensively as a model system for laboratory research on infectious diseases. Ironically, we know next to nothing about disease dynamics in wild chimpanzee populations. Here, we analyze long-term demographic and behavioral data from two habituated chimpanzee communities in Taï National Park, Côte d'Ivoire, where previous work has shown respiratory pathogens to be an important source of infant mortality. In this paper we trace the effect of social connectivity on infant mortality dynamics. We focus on social play which, as the primary context of contact between young chimpanzees, may serve as a key venue for pathogen transmission. Infant abundance and mortality rates at Taï cycled regularly and in a way that was not well explained in terms of environmental forcing. Rather, infant mortality cycles appeared to self-organize in response to the ontogeny of social play. Each cycle started when the death of multiple infants in an outbreak synchronized the reproductive cycles of their mothers. A pulse of births predictably arrived about twelve months later, with social connectivity increasing over the following two years as the large birth cohort approached the peak of social play. The high social connectivity at this play peak then appeared to facilitate further outbreaks. Our results provide the first evidence that social play has a strong role in determining chimpanzee disease transmission risk and the first record of chimpanzee disease cycles similar to those seen in human children. They also lend more support to the view that infectious diseases are a major threat to the survival of remaining chimpanzee populations.

Pan troglodytes/fisiologia , Jogos e Brinquedos , Animais , Modelos Teóricos , Mortalidade , Estações do Ano
Ecol Appl ; 17(8): 2403-14, 2007 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-18213978


Large-mammal surveys often rely on indirect signs such as dung or nests. Sign density is usually translated into animal density using sign production and decay rates. In principle, such auxiliary variable estimates should be made in a spatially unbiased manner. However, traditional decay rate estimation methods entail following many signs from production to disappearance, which, in large study areas, requires extensive travel effort. Consequently, decay rate estimates have tended to be made instead at some convenient but unrepresentative location. In this study we evaluated how much bias might be induced by extrapolating decay rates from unrepresentative locations, how much effort would be required to implement current methods in a spatially unbiased manner, and what alternate approaches might be used to improve precision. To evaluate the extent of bias induced by unrepresentative sampling, we collected data on gorilla dung at several central African sites. Variation in gorilla dung decay rate was enormous, varying by up to an order of magnitude within and between survey zones. We then estimated what the effort-precision relationship would be for a previously suggested "retrospective" decay rate (RDR) method, if it were implemented in a spatially unbiased manner. We also evaluated precision for a marked sign count (MSC) approach that does not use a decay rate. Because they require repeat visits to remote locations, both RDR and MSC require enormous effort levels in order to gain precise density estimates. Finally, we examined an objective criterion for decay (i.e., dung height). This showed great potential for improving RDR efficiency because choosing a high threshold height for decay reduces decay time and, consequently, the number of visits that need to be made to remote areas. The ability to adjust decay time using an objective decay criterion also opens up the potential for a "prospective" decay rate (PDR) approach. Further research is necessary to evaluate whether the temporal bias inherent in such an approach is small enough to ignore, given the 10-20-fold increases in precision promised by a PDR approach.

Ecossistema , Fezes , Gorilla gorilla/fisiologia , Animais , Densidade Demográfica