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    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Neuenschwander, Peter Bown, Deni Hèdégbètan, Georges C. and Adomou, Aristide 2015. Long-term conservation and rehabilitation of threatened rain forest patches under different human population pressures in West Africa. Nature Conservation, Vol. 13, Issue. , p. 21.

    Struhsaker, Thomas T. Chapman, Colin A. Pope, Theresa R. and Marcus, Jeffrey R. 2011. Healthy baboon with no upper jaw or nose: an extreme case of adaptability in the Kibale National Park, Uganda. Primates, Vol. 52, Issue. 1, p. 15.

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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: July 2010

1 - Why the link between long-term research and conservation is a case worth making

Summary

In 1871 Charles Darwin feared for the future of great apes. “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries,” he wrote, “the anthropomorphous apes … will no doubt be exterminated” (Darwin, 1871, p. 891). While Darwin's prognostication might seem gloomy, to those concerned with the conservation of great apes Darwin seems optimistic to have anticipated extinction in centuries rather than decades. The contemporary threats to tropical forests are so numerous and intense that most conservationists would be delighted if they could be assured that orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus), chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), bonobos (Pan paniscus), and gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) would all still survive in the wild in 2100. Unfortunately, however, even such a modest hope may be unrealistic. The three most threatened species, orangutans, bonobos, and gorillas, are widely considered as candidates for global extinction within the next 100 years (Beck et al., 2001; Miles, 2005). If they go, so will large numbers of other animals and plants.

The problem would be bad enough if the scale of the threats to which tropical forests are currently exposed were to continue unchanged in the near future. All indications are, however, that the challenges of maintaining forests are going to grow enormously. This means that, if the tidal wave of forest destruction is ever to be turned back, a critical question is how much will be lost before then. What we do now will substantially affect the answer.

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Science and Conservation in African Forests
  • Online ISBN: 9780511754920
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511754920
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REFERENCES
Beck, B. B., Stoinski, T. S., Hutchins, M.et al. (2001). Great Apes and Humans: The Ethics of Co-Existence. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institute.
Darwin, C. 1871 (2006). The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. New York: W. W. Norton.
Miles, L. (2005). World Atlas of Great Apes and Their Conservation. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Morgan, B.J. and Abwe, E. E. (2006). Chimpanzees use stone hammers in Cameroon. Current Biology, 16, R632–R633.
Plumptre, A. and Williamson, E. A. (2001). Conservation-oriented research in the Virunga Region. In Mountain Gorillas: Three Decades of Research at Karisoke, ed. Robbins, M. M., Sicotte, P., and Stewart, K. J.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 361–389.
Plumptre, A. J., Arnold, M., and Nkuutu, D. (2003). Conservation action plan for Uganda's chimpanzees. Workshop report, Wildlife Conservation Society and Jane Goodall Institute, 2003–2008.
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Stoinski, T. S., Steklis, H. D., and Mehlman, P. T. (2008). Conservation in the 21st Century: Gorillas as a Case Study. New York: Springer.
Waller, J. C. and Reynolds, V. (2001). Limb injuries resulting from snares and traps in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) of the Budongo Forest, Uganda. Primates, 42, 135–139.
Wallis, J. J., Munn, J., and Reynolds, V. (2002). Snare injuries in chimpanzees: collateral damage of the bushmeat trade. American Journal of Primatology: Program and Abstracts of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Meeting of the American Society of Primatologists, 1–4 June 2002, 57.
Wrangham, R. W. and Mugume, S. (2000). Snare Removal program in Kibale National Park: a preliminary report. Pan Africa News, 7, 18–20.