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Zoological Research
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 2095-8137
Vol. 42, No. 2, 2021, pp. 207-211
Bioline Code: zr21024
Full paper language: English
Document type: Letter to the Editor
Document available free of charge

Zoological Research, Vol. 42, No. 2, 2021, pp. 207-211

 en Long-term trends in a forest ungulate community: park establishment increases numbers, but poaching is a constant threat
Hou, Rong; Reyna-Hurtado, Rafael; Omeja, Patrick; Tumwesigye, Charles; Sarkar, Dipto; Gogarten, Jan F. & Chapman, Colin A.


Deforestation represents one of the greatest threats to tropical forest mammals, and the situation is greatly exacerbated by bushmeat hunting. To construct informed conservation plans, information must be gathered about responses to habitat degradation, regeneration, and hunting over a sufficiently long period to allow demographic responses. We quantified changes in the abundance of three commonly occurring ungulate species (i.e., bushbuck, Tragelaphus scriptus check for this species in other resources ; red duiker, Cephalophus sp.; blue duiker, Cephalophus monticola check for this species in other resources ) at eight sites in Kibale National Park, Uganda (old growth=3; logged=3; regenerating=2) for 23 years. Changes in abundance (363 surveys totaling 1 450 km) were considered in regard to the park’s management strategy, regional economic indicators, and estimates of illegal hunting. Bushbuck abundance increased in old-growth and logged forests from 1996 to 2009, and then oscillated around this level or declined. Duiker abundance demonstrated a similar pattern, but abundance in the old-growth forests showed a general increase from 1996 to present day. Duiker abundance in the logged forests exhibited an early increase, but subsequent oscillation. Poaching signs per patrol have remained stable over the last decade, despite increases in the size of the surrounding population, cost of living, and cost of schooling, thus reflecting successful efforts in conservation education and enforcement. Our study highlights the positive impact of park establishment, patrol, and conservation efforts on ungulate populations and shows the adaptability of forest mammal populations to different management schemes.

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