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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 216-228

Does population increase equate to conservation success? Forest fragmentation and conservation of the black howler monkey


1 School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; Current affiliation: Department of Environment and Society, Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA
2 School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
3 Department of Geography, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
4 Community Conservation, Inc., Gays Mills, WI, USA

Correspondence Address:
Miriam S Wyman
School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; Current affiliation: Department of Environment and Society, Utah State University, Logan, UT
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.86992

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The Community Baboon Sanctuary (CBS) in Belize is a community reserve for the endangered black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra). This study assessed the performance of the CBS as an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Category IV protected area through deforestation and forest fragmentation of the CBS and 500 m river buffer, and impacts on black howler monkey habitat over 15 years (1989-2004). Using satellite imagery remote sensing and landscape metrics, this study helps fill the gap in our understanding of forest fragmentation processes and habitat provision, using the black howler monkey as a specific example. Increased fragmentation resulted in decreased forest cover by 33% within both the CBS and river buffer. However, connectivity between habitat patches has remained high, indicating that dispersal and colonising potential between most forest patches has not been jeopardised. We conclude that conservation within the CBS may be more complex than simply equating forest conservation with black howler monkey conservation. One could say the CBS has been successful at black howler monkey conservation, as documented by population increases over the past 20 years. However, if the conservation objective is forest preservation, one could conclude conservation failure and may signal that the CBS should not be managed for a single outcome as assigned by an IUCN Category IV designation.


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