Distribution of a Community of Mammals in Relation to Roads and Other Human Disturbances in Gabon, Central Africa
We present the first community‐level study of the associations of both roads and other human disturbances with the distribution of mammals in Gabon (central Africa). Our study site was in an oil concession within a littoral mosaic landscape. We conducted surveys along 199 line transects and installed camera traps on 99 of these transects to document mammal presence and abundance. We used generalized linear mixed‐effect models to document associations between variables related to the ecosystem (land cover, topography, and hydrology), roads (coating, width of rights of way, condition, type of vehicle used on the road, traffic level, affiliation of users, and general type of road), and other human disturbances (urbanization, agriculture, hunting, logging, gathering, and industrial activities) and the abundance or presence of 17 species or groups of mammals including elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), buffalo (Syncerus caffer), sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekei), red river hog (Potamochoerus porcus), smaller ungulates, gorilla (Gorilla gorilla), chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), side‐striped jackal (Canis adustus), carnivores, monkeys, and large rodents. Some types of roads and other human disturbances were negatively associated with the abundance or presence of elephants, buffalos, gorillas, sitatungas, some monkeys, and duikers. The pattern of associations of mammals with roads and other human disturbances was diverse and included positive associations with road presence (red river hog, some monkeys, and duikers), agriculture (sitatunga, small carnivores, and large rodents) and industrial activities (sitatunga, red river hog, red duikers, and side‐striped jackal). Our results suggest that the community of mammals we studied was mostly affected by hunting, agriculture, and urbanization, which are facilitated by road presence. We recommend increased regulation of agriculture, hunting, and road building in the area.
Distribución de una Comunidad de Mamíferos en Relación a Carreteras y Otras Perturbaciones Humanas en Gabón, Africa Central
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 2013