Monday, 18 November 2013

Can we make space for the Kipunji?

Posted by Claire Bracebridge and Stuart Marsden

Just published on-line at International Journal of Primatology:

The recently described kipunji Rungwecebus kipunji is endemic to two mountains in Tanzania. The species has a tiny extent of occurrence (42 sq km) and an estimated population of just over 1,000 individuals. Previous research in Rungwe (Bracebridge et al. 2011) found  that there is limited room for expansion of the range of kipunji within the forest – mainly because the areas of forest currently unoccupied are at higher altitudes which are unsuitable for the species. More suitable would be areas at lower altitude but these have unfortunately already been deforested to make way for agriculture. This paper examined Kipunji’s use of areas outside the forest and how such areas might be used in future conservation efforts. 
The recently discovered Kipunji is one of the World's Critically Endangered primates.

Land outside protected forest is dominated by subsistence agriculture with tiny patches of forest covering around 2% of the land within 10 km of the forest boundary. Kipunji rarely venture outside the forest block but do occasionally crop-raid people’s maize and, of course, people react to crop losses. The Bujingijila corridor (2.1 sq km) is a priority site for reforestation, particularly in the context of ongoing ‘Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+)’ activities. Reforesting Bujingijila could provide habitat for an additional 88 kipunji (an 8% increase in the population). Bujingijila has the additional benefit of reconnecting the Mt. Rungwe and Livingstone kipunji subpopulations.


Bracebridge, C.E., Davenport, T.R.B. & Marsden, S.J. (2011) Can we extend the area of occupancy of the kipunji, a critically endangered African primate? Animal Conservation 14: 687-696


Claire’s PhD was funded by Wildlife Conservation Society – Tanzania  


No comments:

Post a Comment