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Small room for compromise between oil palm cultivation and primate conservation in Africa

Strona, G, Stringer, S, Vieilledent, G, Szantoi, Z, Garcia-Ulloa, J and Wich, SA (2018) Small room for compromise between oil palm cultivation and primate conservation in Africa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. ISSN 1091-6490

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Abstract

Despite growing awareness about its detrimental effects on tropical biodiversity, land conversion to oil palm continues to increase rapidly as a consequence of global demand, profitability, and the income opportunity it offers to producing countries. Although most industrial oil palm plantations are located in Southeast Asia, it is argued that much of their future expansion will occur in Africa. We assessed how this could affect the continent’s primates by combining information on oil palm suitability and current land use with primate distribution, diversity, and vulnerability. We also quantified the potential impact of large-scale oil palm cultivation on primates in terms of range loss under different expansion scenarios taking into account future demand, oil palm suitability, human accessibility, carbon stock, and primate vulnerability. We found a high overlap between areas of high oil palm suitability and areas of high conservation priority for primates. Overall, we found only a few small areas where oil palm could be cultivated in Africa with a low impact on primates (3.3 Mha, including all areas suitable for oil palm). These results warn that, consistent with the dramatic effects of palm oil cultivation on biodiversity in Southeast Asia, reconciling a large-scale development of oil palm in Africa with primate conservation will be a great challenge.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: MD Multidisciplinary
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2018 08:35
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2018 05:30
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9094

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