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Hunting of Sumatran orang-utans and its importance in determining distribution and density


Wich, S A; Fredriksson, G M; Usher, G; Peters, H H; Priatna, D; Basalamah, F; Susanto, W; Kühl, H (2012). Hunting of Sumatran orang-utans and its importance in determining distribution and density. Biological Conservation, 146(1):163-169.

Abstract

To conserve species it is essential to understand which factors determine their distribution and density. Here we focus on the critically endangered Sumatran orang-utan and examine factors that influence the distribution and density in the Batang Toru area, the southernmost area where wild orang-utans occur on Sumatra. We contrast a scenario in which orang-utan distribution is mainly determined by ecological, and topographic variables with a model that includes hunting and human impact. We show that orang-utan distribution and density are best explained by hunting pressure and elevation. These results indicate that an assessment of anthropogenic factors that might influence density such as hunting needs to be included in surveys that aim to predict orang-utan distribution and density. As anthropogenic impact becomes higher with increasing human population density and increased forest access in most areas where orang-utans occur the consequence is that orang-utan conservation will have to be achieved in an environment modified by humans. In such areas the potential for a range of conflicts such as hunting that lead to human-caused mortality for orang-utans will remain a constant threat and need to be mitigated.

Abstract

To conserve species it is essential to understand which factors determine their distribution and density. Here we focus on the critically endangered Sumatran orang-utan and examine factors that influence the distribution and density in the Batang Toru area, the southernmost area where wild orang-utans occur on Sumatra. We contrast a scenario in which orang-utan distribution is mainly determined by ecological, and topographic variables with a model that includes hunting and human impact. We show that orang-utan distribution and density are best explained by hunting pressure and elevation. These results indicate that an assessment of anthropogenic factors that might influence density such as hunting needs to be included in surveys that aim to predict orang-utan distribution and density. As anthropogenic impact becomes higher with increasing human population density and increased forest access in most areas where orang-utans occur the consequence is that orang-utan conservation will have to be achieved in an environment modified by humans. In such areas the potential for a range of conflicts such as hunting that lead to human-caused mortality for orang-utans will remain a constant threat and need to be mitigated.

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11 citations in Web of Science®
11 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Anthropology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:01 Mar 2012 12:10
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:29
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0006-3207
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2011.12.006

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