Primate Populations and Their Interactions with Changing Habitats
Isabirye-Basuta, Gilbert M.
Lwanga, Jeremiah S.
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Given that 90% of nonhuman primates depend on tropical forests, the most effective way to conserve them must emphasize the conservation of tropical forest habitats. To achieve this effectively, we need to address root causes of forest disturbance in developing nations: poverty, high population growth rates, crippling foreign debts, and the overdependence on tree and land resources. Moreover, it is now generally accepted that most primate populations will in future live in modified forest habitats. Studies of how primate populations respond to forest habitat modifications are therefore critical to future primate conservation. Currently most studies of primate responses to forest habitat alterations are difficult to interpret owing to differences in research methods and lack of information on the past histories of the modified forests. We review potential factors that may have to be considered while evaluating primate responses to forest habitat changes such as degradation and fragmentation.