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Type: Journal article
Title: Will oil palm's homecoming spell doom for Africa's great apes?
Author: Wich, S.
Garcia-Ulloa, J.
Kühl, H.
Humle, T.
Lee, J.
Koh, L.
Citation: Current Biology, 2014; 24(14):1659-1663
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 0960-9822
Statement of
Serge A. Wich, John Garcia-Ulloa, Hjalmar S. Ku, hl, Tatanya Humle, Janice S.H. Lee, and Lian Pin Koh
Abstract: Expansion of oil palm plantations has led to extensive wildlife habitat conversion in Southeast Asia [1]. This expansion is driven by a global demand for palm oil for products ranging from foods to detergents [2], and more recently for biofuels [3]. The negative impacts of oil palm development on biodiversity [1, 4, 5], and on orangutans (Pongo spp.) in particular, have been well documented [6, 7] and publicized [8, 9]. Although the oil palm is of African origin, Africa's production historically lags behind that of Southeast Asia. Recently, significant investments have been made that will likely drive the expansion of Africa's oil palm industry [10]. There is concern that this will lead to biodiversity losses similar to those in Southeast Asia. Here, we analyze the potential impact of oil palm development on Africa's great apes. Current great ape distribution in Africa substantially overlaps with current oil palm concessions (by 58.7%) and areas suitable for oil palm production (by 42.3%). More importantly, 39.9% of the distribution of great ape species on unprotected lands overlaps with suitable oil palm areas. There is an urgent need to develop guidelines for the expansion of oil palm in Africa to minimize the negative effects on apes and other wildlife. There is also a need for research to support land use decisions to reconcile economic development, great ape conservation, and avoiding carbon emissions.
Keywords: Animals; Pan paniscus; Pan troglodytes; Plant Oils; Environment; Conservation of Natural Resources; Africa
Description: Report; Open Archive
Rights: © 2014 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved
RMID: 0030012916
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.05.077
Appears in Collections:Ecology, Evolution and Landscape Science publications

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