Ménard, N. and Rantier, Y. and Foulquier, A. and Qarro, M. and Chillasse, L. and Vallet, D. and Pierre, J.-S. and Butet, A. (2014) Impact of human pressure and forest fragmentation on the Endangered Barbary macaque Macaca sylvanus in the Middle Atlas of Morocco. ORYX, 48 (2). pp. 276-284.

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Abstract

Overexploitation of forests by humans can lead to highly fragmented populations of forest-dependent species that have poor dispersal abilities. We tested the influence of habitat quality, landscape structure and human pressure on densities of the Barbary macaque Macaca sylvanus in the largest wild population, in the Middle Atlas of Morocco. We surveyed 14 forest fragments of 5-142 km2 that are separated from each other by an inhospitable matrix. We estimated the habitat quality of these forest patches by analysing the vegetation structure and the intensity of human pressure. We studied the distribution of forest patches and estimated macaque densities by combining line-transect sampling and complete group counts. We estimated mean density of individuals to be 9 km-2 (range 0.2-23 km-2). Differentiation of forest patches by a principal component analysis did not show any significant relationship between vegetation type and macaque density. A linear regression model showed that human pressure had a negative impact on density and that density responded positively to patch size. Patch shape, connectivity and altitude did not explain variation in population density. The size of this population is estimated to be c. 5,000 individuals. The survival of several small subpopulations is seriously threatened. As the Middle Atlas is the stronghold of this Endangered species, we recommend modifying forestry practices, reducing overgrazing by livestock within forests, and halting clear-cutting of holm oaks. © Fauna & Flora International 2013.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: anthropogenic effect; endangered species; habitat fragmentation; habitat quality; landscape structure; overgrazing; patch size; population density; primate; specialist; clearcutting; dispersal; wild population, Atlas Mountains; Middle Atlas; Morocco, Macaca sylvanus; Primates
Subjects: Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Divisions: SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTION > Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrateur Eprints Administrateur Eprints
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2020 15:44
URI: http://eprints.umi.ac.ma/id/eprint/1362

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