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Estimating the population size of the Sanje mangabey (Cercocebus sanjei) using acoustic distance sampling

Paddock, Christina Lynette, Bruford, Michael William and McCabe, Gráinne Michelle 2020. Estimating the population size of the Sanje mangabey (Cercocebus sanjei) using acoustic distance sampling. American Journal of Primatology 82 (2) , e23083. 10.1002/ajp.23083

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Abstract

The Sanje mangabey (Cercocebus sanjei) is endemic to the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania, and is classified as Endangered due to its putatively declining population size, habitat degradation and fragmentation. Previous population size estimates have ranged from 1,350 to 3,500 individuals, with the last direct survey being conducted 15 years before the present study. Previous estimates are now thought to have underestimated the population due to a limited knowledge of group and habitat size, nonsystematic approaches and the use of visual methods that are not suitable for surveying the Sanje mangabey with its semi‐terrestrial and elusive behaviors. We used an acoustic survey method with observers recording the distinctive “whoop‐gobble” vocalization produced by mangabeys and point transect distance sampling to model a detection function and estimate abundance. Twenty‐eight surveys were conducted throughout the two forests where Sanje mangabeys are found: Mwanihana forest in the Udzungwa Mountains National Park (n = 13), and the Uzungwa Scarp Nature Reserve (n = 15). Group density was found to be significantly lower in the relatively unprotected Uzungwa Scarp forest (0.15 groups/km2; 95% CI: 0.08–0.27) compared to the well‐protected Mwanihana forest (0.29 groups/km2; 95% CI: 0.19–0.43; p = .03). We estimate that there are 1,712 (95% CI: 1,141–2,567) individuals in Mwanihana and 1,455 (95% CI: 783–2,702) in the Uzungwa Scarp, resulting in a total population size of 3,167 (95% CI: 2,181–4,596) individuals. The difference in group density between sites is likely a result of the differing protection status and levels of enforcement between the forests, suggesting that protection of the Uzungwa Scarp should be increased to encourage recovery of the population, and reduce the threat of degradation and hunting. Our results contribute to the reassessment of the species' IUCN Red List status and informing management and conservation action planning.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0275-2565
Funders: NERC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 February 2020
Date of Acceptance: 30 November 2019
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2020 10:14
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/129434

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