The research project has however also had strongly positive effects. Longitudinal surveys showed that the presence of researchers had suppressed poaching activities in the surrounding area. Consequently, chimpanzee densities at both the research study site and a nearby chimpanzee tourism site were much higher than would be expected given their accessibility to poachers. "Researcher presence is confirmed to have a major positive impact on the protection of an area," says co-author Christophe Boesch of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) in Leipzig, who directs the research project at Taï. "However, it comes with some hygienic problems which need to be addressed".
"The study confirms that multidisciplinary research is needed to investigate different issues involved in ape conservation", said Paul N'Goran, a researcher at the Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Cote d'Ivoire. "Our study shows the critical role that scientific research can play in monitoring the impact and effectiveness of conservation strategies".
|Contact: Sandra Jacob|