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Long-term field data and climate-habitat models show that orangutan persistence depends on effective forest management and greenhouse gas mitigation

Gregory, S. D., Brook, B. W., Goossens, Benoit, Ancrenaz, M., Alfred, R., Ambu, L. N. and Fordham, D. A. 2012. Long-term field data and climate-habitat models show that orangutan persistence depends on effective forest management and greenhouse gas mitigation. PLOS ONE 7 (9) , e43846. 10.1371/journal.pone.0043846

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Abstract

Background: Southeast Asian deforestation rates are among the world’s highest and threaten to drive many forest-dependent species to extinction. Climate change is expected to interact with deforestation to amplify this risk. Here we examine whether regional incentives for sustainable forest management will be effective in improving threatened mammal conservation, in isolation and when combined with global climate change mitigation. Methodology/Principal Findings: Using a long time-series of orangutan nest counts for Sabah (2000–10), Malaysian Borneo, we evaluated the effect of sustainable forest management and climate change scenarios, and their interaction, on orangutan spatial abundance patterns. By linking dynamic land-cover and downscaled global climate model projections, we determine the relative influence of these factors on orangutan spatial abundance and use the resulting statistical models to identify habitat crucial for their long-term conservation. We show that land-cover change the degradation of primary forest had the greatest influence on orangutan population size. Anticipated climate change was predicted to cause reductions in abundance in currently occupied populations due to decreased habitat suitability, but also to promote population growth in western Sabah by increasing the suitability of presently unoccupied regions. Conclusions/Significance: We find strong quantitative support for the Sabah government’s proposal to implement sustainable forest management in all its forest reserves during the current decade; failure to do so could result in a 40 to 80 per cent regional decline in orangutan abundance by 2100. The Sabah orangutan is just one (albeit iconic) example of a forest-dependent species that stands to benefit from sustainable forest management, which promotes conservation of existing forests.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:37
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/41776

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Cited 8 times in Web of Science. View in Web of Science.

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