Thursday, July 18, 2013

[Conservation / Primate • 2013] Priority Primate Areas in Tanzania | Monkey Nation: Study Shows Mainland Africa's Most Important Nation for Primates


The third most vulnerable is the 'endangered' Sanje mangabey, threatened by direct hunting and habitat destruction, especially in unmanaged forests
Photo: Tim Davenport/WCS 

Abstract
Priority Primate Areas are identified in Tanzania, mainland Africa's most important country for conservation of primates, on the basis of occupancy by globally rare, Red-Listed and range-restricted primate species and subspecies. We provide a comprehensive list and regional assessment of Tanzania's primate taxa, using IUCN Red List criteria, as well as the first national inventory of primates for 62 sites. The Priority Primate Areas, encompassing 102,513 km2, include nine national parks, one conservation area, seven game reserves, six nature reserves, 34 forest reserves and five areas with no official protection status. Primate species were evaluated and ranked on the basis of irreplaceability and vulnerability, using a combination of established and original criteria, resulting in a primate Taxon Conservation Score. Sites were ranked on the basis of summed primate scores. The majority (71%) of Priority Primate Areas are also Important Bird Areas (IBAs), or part of an IBA. Critical subsets of sites were derived through complementarity analyses. Adequate protection of just nine sites, including six national parks (Kilimanjaro, Kitulo, Mahale, Saadani, Udzungwa and Jozani-Chwaka Bay), one nature reserve (Kilombero) and two forest reserves (Minziro and Mgambo), totalling 8,679 km2, would protect all 27 of Tanzania's primate species. The addition of three forest reserves (Rondo, Kilulu Hill and Ngezi) and two game reserves (Grumeti and Biharamulo), results in a list of 14 Priority Primate Areas covering 10,561 km2 (1.1% of Tanzania's total land area), whose conservation would ensure the protection of all 43 of Tanzania's species and subspecies of primates.

Keywords: Conservation status; primates; priority sites; protected areas; Tanzania


Monkey Nation: Study Shows Mainland Africa's Most Important Nation for Primates
New plan would create “Priority Primate Areas” to protect all 27 of Tanzania’s primate species and key habitats
The study combines Tanzania's first-ever inventory of all primate species and their habitats with IUCN Red List criteria and other factors such as threats and rarity, ranking all 27 species from most vulnerable to least vulnerable. The authors then identify a network of "Priority Primate Areas" for conservation.

The paper appears in the July 17 issue of the journal Oryx. Authors are Tim Davenport of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Katarzyna Nowak of the Udzungwa Elephant Project, and Andrew Perkin of the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group.

A third of Tanzania's primate species are found nowhere else on earth. The study found that the most vulnerable was the kipunji, first discovered by WCS in 2003 on Mt Rungwe and described by WCS as an entirely new genus in 2006. Another extremely vulnerable species is the Zanzibar red colobus, a species whose population is currently being counted by WCS. More common species include the baboons, black and white colobus monkeys and vervets.

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Tim R.B. Davenport, Katarzyna Nowak and Andrew Perkin. 2013. Priority Primate Areas in Tanzania. Oryx.  DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0030605312001676

Monkey Nation: Study Shows Mainland Africa's Most Important Nation for Primates
New plan would create “Priority Primate Areas” to protect all 27 of Tanzania’s primate species and key habitats

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