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Notes on the conservation threats to the western lesser spot-nosed monkey (Cercopithecus petaurista buettikoferi) in the Bijagós Archipelago (Guinea-Bissau, West Africa)

Colmonero Costeira, Ivo, Sá, R. M., Djaló, M. L., Cunha, N., Cunha, J., Minhós, T., Russo, I.-R.M ORCID:, Bruford, M. ORCID:, Costa, S. and Ferreira Da Silva, M.J. 2023. Notes on the conservation threats to the western lesser spot-nosed monkey (Cercopithecus petaurista buettikoferi) in the Bijagós Archipelago (Guinea-Bissau, West Africa). Primates 64 , pp. 581-587. 10.1007/s10329-023-01090-9

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The lesser spot-nosed monkey (Cercopithecus petaurista) is a widely distributed West African guenon, which is generally considered less vulnerable to local extinctions than many sympatric primate species. Guinea-Bissau harbours the westernmost populations of the species, which is thought to be very rare or even extinct on the mainland, but to have putative populations on some islands of the Bijagós Archipelago. However, due to a lack of regional studies, baseline information on these insular populations is missing. We collected baseline data on the anthropogenic activities that possibly threaten the long-term conservation of this primate by using non-systematic ethnographic methodologies. The species was reported to be decreasing in number or rare by locals on two of the islands, and we identified two main conservation threats to it: generalised habitat loss/degradation, and hunting. While subsistence hunting has been recorded before in these areas, we report, to the best of our knowledge for the first time for these islands, the presence of a semi-organised commercial wild meat trade. The carcasses of western lesser spot-nosed monkeys were observed being stored and shipped from seaports to be sold at urban hubs (Bissau and Bubaque Island). The effect of commercial trade on the species could be severe, considering the small, naturally occurring, carrying capacities typical of insular ecosystems. The results of this study highlight the importance of understanding the leading social drivers of wild meat hunting of lesser spot-nosed monkeys on the Bijagós Archipelago, and the need to conduct baseline research on these insular populations, for which qualitative and quantitative methods could be combined.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0032-8332
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 September 2023
Date of Acceptance: 7 August 2023
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2024 02:46

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