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Capacity for recovery in Bornean orangutan populations when limiting offtake and retaining forest

Capacity for recovery in Bornean orangutan populations when limiting offtake and retaining forest

Seaman, Dave, Voigt, Maria, Ancrenaz, Marc, Bocedi, Greta, Meijaard, Erik, Oram, Felicity, Palmer, Stephen, Santika, Truly ORCID: 0000-0002-3125-9467 , Sherman, Julie, Travis, Justin MJ, Wich, Serge, Humle, Tatyana, Supriatna, Jatna and Struebig, Matthew J (2024) Capacity for recovery in Bornean orangutan populations when limiting offtake and retaining forest. Diversity and Distributions:e13852. pp. 1-16. ISSN 1366-9516 (Print), 1472-4642 (Online) (doi:

47307_SANTIKA_Capacity_for_recovery_in_Bornean_orangutan_populations_when_limiting_offtake_and_retaining_forest_VoR.pdf - Published Version
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Aim. We aim to assess the potential long-term viability of orangutan populations across Borneo, considering the effects of habitat loss, fragmentation, and various forms of population reduction, including hunting, retaliatory killings, and capture and translocation.
Location. Our study focused on the island of Borneo, a region that has experienced substantial deforestation over the past four decades, resulting in the degradation and fragmentation of its lowland forests, thereby threatening the island's unique biodiversity, including orangutan populations.
Methods. To evaluate the long-term viability of orangutan populations, we employed a spatially-explicit individual-based model. This model allowed us to simulate various scenarios, including the impact of removing habitat fragments and of individuals.
Results. Our findings revealed that small forest fragments were found to facilitate orangutan movement, thereby increasing the number of individuals settling in non-natal patches. However more crucially, orangutan populations proved highly vulnerable to even small levels of offtake. Annual removal rates exceeding 2% diminish the positive role of small forest patches in sustaining population connectivity, their long-term viability and population recovery.
Main Conclusions. Our results suggest that orangutan populations in Borneo could potentially recover from recent declines, if removal of orangutans by hunting, retaliatory killings, capture and translocation is reduced, and habitat connectivity is maintained within human-modified landscapes. These findings emphasize the urgent need for conservation strategies that prioritize preservation of habitat and fragments as stepping stones, and mitigate negative human-wildlife interactions. Measures could include promoting coexistence with local communities and translocating orangutans only in rare cases where no suitable alternative exists, to ensure the long-term survival of orangutan populations in Borneo.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: connectivity; human-modified landscapes; individual-based model; landscape ecology; meta-population; RangeShifter 2.0
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
S Agriculture > SD Forestry
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Last Modified: 31 May 2024 11:09

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