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Macaques can contribute to greener practices in oil palm plantations when used as biological pest control.

Holzner, A, Ruppert, N, Swat, F, Schmidt, M, Weiß, BM, Villa, G, Mansor, A, Mohd Sah, SA, Engelhardt, A, Kühl, H and Widdig, A (2019) Macaques can contribute to greener practices in oil palm plantations when used as biological pest control. Current Biology, 29 (20). R1066-R1067. ISSN 1879-0445

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Abstract

Conversion of tropical forests into oil palm plantations reduces the habitats of many species, including primates, and frequently leads to human-wildlife conflicts. Contrary to the widespread belief that macaques foraging in the forest-oil palm matrix are detrimental crop pests, we show that the impact of macaques on oil palm yield is minor. More importantly, our data suggest that wild macaques have the potential to act as biological pest control by feeding on plantation rats, the major pest for oil palm crops, with each macaque group estimated to reduce rat populations by about 3,000 individuals per year (mitigating annual losses of 112 USD per hectare). If used for rodent control in place of the conventional method of poison, macaques could provide an important ecosystem service and enhance palm oil sustainability.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences, 11 Medical and Health Sciences, 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Elsevier
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2020 12:00
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2020 12:00
DOI or Identification number: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.09.011
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11865

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