One of Africa’s rarest primates protected by… speedbumps — ScienceDay by day

by akoloy

A brand new research revealed {that a} drastic discount of deaths of one in every of Africa’s rarest primates, the Zanzibar purple colobus (Piliocolobus kirkii), adopted the set up of 4 speedbumps alongside a stretch of street the place the species regularly crossed.

Zanzibar purple colobus are discovered solely within the Zanzibar archipelago and labeled as Endangered by the IUCN Red List. Reliant on Unguja Island’s forests for his or her survival, round half of the species inhabitants is present in Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park.

In the research, printed in Oryx — The International Journal of Conservation, primatologists from Bangor University, in collaboration with nationwide park managers from Zanzibar and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), assessed mortality from automobile collisions — a rising menace confronted by primates residing in more and more fragmented habitats crisscrossed by roads.

They discovered that historic knowledge from the street traversing the nationwide park confirmed that one colobus was killed on common each 2-3 weeks by visitors. After speedbumps have been put in, this was diminished to 1 each six weeks.

While nice progress, this mortality charge remains to be a major menace to the species — particularly on condition that pure predation tends to focus on weaker people, but roadkill is indiscriminate, killing reproductively energetic adults in addition to the very younger and previous.

Bangor primatologist and Director of the Zanzibar Red Colobus Project, Dr. Alexander Georgiev, and senior writer of this research, mentioned: “Cars are not selective in the animals they kill. This means that while natural predators may target the very young and old more often, cars are equally likely to kill reproductively active young adults, who would contribute the most to population growth. And this may be a problem.”

Harry Olgun, now a PhD scholar on the University’s School of Natural Sciences, led this research as a part of his Masters analysis on the street ecology of the Zanzibar purple colobus. Olgun mentioned: “After the road at Jozani was surfaced but before the speedbumps were installed, a colobus was reported to have been killed every two to three weeks, resulting in perhaps about 12-17 percent annual mortality, according to one estimate. The recent data show that speedbumps have made a huge difference for the safety of the colobus. Adding more speedbumps would help reduce the risk further.”

Dr. Tim Davenport, Director of Species Conservation & Science in Africa at WCS, who led the primary countrywide census of the Zanzibar purple colobus a number of years in the past and is a coauthor of the research, mentioned: “As tourism grows in Zanzibar and habitat continues to shrink, using science to quantify and solve conservation problems has never been so important. Understanding the impact of vehicles on wildlife within a park, and implementing practical solutions is exactly what we as conservationists should be doing.”

Story Source:

Materials offered by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Content could also be edited for fashion and size.

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