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Title: Modelling approaches to orangutan and chimpanzee conservation
Author: Carne, Charlotte Veryan
ISNI:       0000 0004 6346 3969
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2014
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The future survival of the orangutan is extremely uncertain; as hunting and deforestation continue to exert pressure on surviving populations, new threats such as climate change and potential disease transmission are emerging that may exacerbate an already critical situation. The potential impacts of these threats were investigated in this thesis using modelling approaches, to provide insights that will be valuable for planning effective conservation strategies. Anthropogenic factors were identified as important determinants of the current range of the orangutan, while resting time also appeared to be a key constraint on orangutan distribution patterns. This may be related to a greater reliance on fallback foods in degraded habitats, leading to increased digestion times and hence excessively high resting time demands. In the future, anthropogenic effects were predicted to continue to have an important influence on orangutans, particularly as they were found to be extremely sensitive to habitat degradation across the whole of their current range. In contrast, climate change was not predicted to be a major threat to the orangutan, although large increases in rainfall could lead to considerable range reductions. Abstract ii Modelling disease spread revealed that although potential superspreaders were identified in the orangutan population, the orangutan social system was extremely robust against disease transmission, irrespective of the model or disease parameters used. As such, vaccinations were not predicted to be useful. However, modelling disease transmission within a chimpanzee community suggested that orangutans living in a more gregarious manner, for example, in rehabilitation centres, may be highly susceptible to disease spread. Overall, although climate change and disease transmission were not predicted to be strong pressures, the extreme vulnerability of the orangutan to further habitat degradation across its range suggests that the development of even relatively minor threats could have important ramifications for the survival of the species.
Supervisor: Semple, Stuart ; Lehmann, Julia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available