Torres J, Brito JC , Vasconcelos MJ, Catarino L, Gonçalves J, Honrado J
Pan troglodytes verus is considered one of the most endangered primates in the world due to habitat loss or degradation, and it is considered extinct in several regions of West-Africa. This study aims at developing a model that predicts habitat suitability for chimpanzee under different land cover scenarios and supports a multi-temporal analysis of the recent habitat evolution in southern Guinea-Bissau. The model, built using a maximum entropy framework, is spatially explicit, uses eco-geographic variables derived from landscape compositional, structural and functional attributes, and is based on nest location data collected in the field. The results show that the developed model has good levels of reliability and the map produced through its application reveals a current extension of 752 km2 of adequate habitat in a 2723 km2 study area. Forest related EGVs (ecogeographical variables) had the higher importance for the model production. Habitat suitability maps produced for three dates in the last three decades show that there has been a marked decrease in habitat extension and in connectivity to neighbouring regions. We analyse the implications of these results in possible strategies for the conservation of chimpanzees in Guinea-Bissau.
Journal: Biological Conservation