A new hotspot for Temminck’s Red Colobus (Piliocolobus badius temminckii) in The Gambia: the feasibility of a community approach to conservation

Mayhew, Michael, Danzy-Cramer, Jennifer, Dittrich, Alex, Armstrong, Roy and Fenton, Lisa (2020) A new hotspot for Temminck’s Red Colobus (Piliocolobus badius temminckii) in The Gambia: the feasibility of a community approach to conservation. Primate Conservation, 34 .

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Abstract

The geographic range and abundance of Temminck’s red colobus, Piliocolobus badius temminckii, in The Gambia is not well documented. In March 2019, line transect surveys were conducted at a number of data deficient forests in The Gambia to establish species presence or absence, contribute to a greater understanding of the species at a national scale and identify prior- ity sites for conservation. One area around Sambel Kunda in the Central River Region was found to be exceptionally productive with an observed Temminck’s red colobus population of 587 individuals, a maximum group size of 60, and connectivity to robust populations along a riparian corridor to the east. Surveys were supported by the collation of community perceptions using prin- ciples of Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) methodology to evaluate the feasibility of an integrated community development and primate conservation project. The results of interviews and meetings in the Sambel Kunda area revealed an absence of hunting and increasing population trends for all primate species, including red colobus. Excepting the Central River Region, Temminck’s red colobus populations were otherwise in decline or locally extinct, predominantly as a result of indiscriminate hunting to protect agricultural crops. Meetings with the Village Development Committees confirmed that the greatest proximal threat to red colobus in the study area was the rapid escalation in forest clearance to produce charcoal for local markets and timber for export to offset climate-change-induced declines in agricultural revenues. Local Gambians are aware that they urgently need to adopt sustainable forestry practices to mitigate climate change impacts and protect timber and non-timber resources but are currently unsure how they would develop and implement such a model. Given the uncertainty and complex nature of the range-wide threats facing the red colobus populations, we suggest prioritizing the Sambel Kunda area as a site of international importance for the protection and recovery of this Critically Endangered species. A community approach to the conservation of red colobus in the Sambel Kunda area should be implemented without delay through site designation, capacity building for biodiversity monitoring, sustainable for- estry practices, community engagement and education and by growing awareness of Temminck’s red colobus as a flagship species.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Primate Conservation
Publisher: Global Wildlife Conservation and Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation
Related URL(s):
Departments: Pre June 2020 Academic Departments and Services > Academic Departments > Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies (SNROS) > STEM
Additional Information: Since the research trip in March 2019 which formed the basis of this paper, Dr Mic Mayhew has developed the Communities for Red Colobus (C4RC) project at the study site in the Sambel Kunda area of the Central River Region, The Gambia. @C4RCproject
Depositing User: Michael Mayhew
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2020 08:47
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2020 08:00
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/5562

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