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Thesis title: Seeking human-wildlife coexistence: primate community response to anthropogenic activities and land transformation in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa
Start year: 2016
I will use cross-disciplinary methods to study human/non-human primate coexistence capacity inside two protected areas in Guinea-Bissau: Cantanhez and Dulombi National Park’s (NP’s). Specifically, I will:
The primate species present in my study areas include the West African chimpanzee, two colobines (Temminck’s red colobus, kind colobus), at least four cercopithecines including Guinea baboons and two nocturnal primates. The landscape in Cantanhez and Dulombi NP’s consists of forest-savanna-mangrove-agricultural mosaics and include approximately 130 villages. People inhabiting the parks are from various ethnic groups including the Nalu, Balanta and Fula. Local people practice subsistence agriculture and cash cropping of cashew plantations, and utilise forests to obtain wild foods, medicinal plants and bushmeat.
For my project I will set up camera traps using a grid system covering an area of approximately 100 km2 in each NP. At each camera trap location I will collect vegetation data. In villages across the study areas, I will use interview and participatory mapping techniques with local people to gather data on land and wild resource use and interactions with wildlife. From these data I will model primate distributions and investigate people-primate spatiotemporal arrangements. I will examine levels of people-primate resource competition and patterns of wild resource use.
Considering the growing human population and increased demand for food and natural resources, the need for a greater scientific understanding of primate responses to dynamic anthropogenic habitats is urgent. I will collaborate with local community representatives and IBAP, the national institute managing protected areas in Guinea-Bissau. The data generated from my project will be used to develop biodiversity monitoring systems and locally-adapted management strategies at both NP’s that incorporate local people’s opinions and needs.
West Africa, Guinea-Bissau, primate conservation, occupancy models, camera traps, participatory mapping, GIS, primate ecology, primate adaptations to anthropogenic landscapes, chimpanzee, colobines, cercopithecines, threatened primates
Primate ecology, conservation biology, wildlife responses to anthropogenic activities, primate distribution modelling, indigenous land rights and conservation, ethnoprimatology, wildlife trade, conservation management