Human impact on wildlife populations within a protected Central African forest

A. Blom, I.M.A. Heitkönig, H.H.T. Prins, R. van Zalinge, E. Mbea

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44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper addresses the effect of human activities on the density of large mammals in the Dzanga-Ndoki National Park and the adjacent Dzanga-Sangha Reserve in the Central African Republic. Between six and eight 20 km long permanent transects were walked on a monthly basis from January 1997 to August 1999 to assess large mammal populations as well as human intrusion. There were no obvious seasonal or monthly trends in elephant, gorilla or non-human primate densities. Overall, it appears that human activities negatively influence the distribution of most of the large forest animals in Dzanga-Sangha. Elephants in particular were significantly less common in areas used by humans, but also other species such as non-human primates showed lower densities closer to the main road and the town of Bayanga. This study confirms the findings of previous studies that roads have a negative impact on wildlife populations. Results of this study stress the need for conservation of large uninterrupted forest blocks to maintain wildlife populations at normal levels. Simply creating roads, even within a protected Central African forest, is likely to have negative impacts on wildlife populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-31
JournalAfrican Journal of Ecology
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • gorilla-gorilla-gorilla
  • loxodonta-africana
  • northeastern gabon
  • national-park
  • lope-reserve
  • dung counts
  • rain-forest
  • elephants
  • density
  • census

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