Focusing Conservation Efforts for the Critically Endangered Brown-headed Spider Monkey (Ateles fusciceps) Using Remote Sensing, Modeling, and Playback Survey Methods

Peck, Mika, Thorne, James, Mariscal, Ana, Baird, Abigail, Tirira, Diego and Kniveton, Dominic (2011) Focusing Conservation Efforts for the Critically Endangered Brown-headed Spider Monkey (Ateles fusciceps) Using Remote Sensing, Modeling, and Playback Survey Methods. International Journal of Primatology, 32 (1). pp. 134-148. ISSN 0164-0291

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Abstract

Brown-headed spider monkeys (Ateles fusciceps), endemic to the Choco-Darien forests and lower Andean forests of NW Ecuador, are considered critically endangered. Unfortunately, scientific data regarding the actual status of populations is lacking. We combined satellite image analysis, species-specific habitat assessment, and a field survey technique using playback to focus conservation efforts for this species. First, we identified remaining forest via a LANDSAT mosaic and then applied species-specific criteria to delineate remaining forest with potential to hold populations. By combining this with the historical distribution from ecological niche modeling and predicted hunting intensity we generated a species-specific landscape map. Within our study area, forest capable of sustaining Ateles fusciceps covers 5872 km2, of which 2172 km2 (40%) is protected. Unprotected forest considered suitable for Ateles fusciceps extends to 3700 km2 but within this only 989 km2 (23%) is under low hunting pressure and likely to maintain healthy populations of Ateles fusciceps. To overcome problems of sampling at low primate density and in difficult mountain terrain we developed a field survey technique to determine presence and estimate abundance using acoustic sampling. For sites under low hunting pressure density of primates varied with altitude. Densities decreased from 7.49 individuals/km2 at 332 masl to 0.9 individuals/km2 at 1570 masl. Based on combining data sets in a gap analysis, we recommend conservation action focus on unprotected lowland forest to the south and west of the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve where hunting pressure is low and population densities of Ateles fusciceps are greatest.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General) > G0001 Geography (General)
Q Science
Depositing User: Mika Peck
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:24
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2013 10:13
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/31148
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