Unpublished conference/Abstract (Scientific congresses and symposiums)
Impacts of selective logging on forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) in two timber concessions of central Africa
Scalbert, Morgane; Tossens, Sarah; Vermeulen, Cédric et al.
202258th Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC)
 

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Abstract :
[en] Facing increasing human pressure, forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) populations have been seriously declining for many years. As they are key actors in shaping ecosystems, their decline will have severe ecological consequences. Covering 30 percent of the central African rainforest, timber concessions constitute areas with a great stake in the conservation of this emblematic and critically endangered species. Although several studies have documented a high presence of forest elephants in some logged forests, many uncertainties remain about the impacts of logging on forest elephants. Using camera traps, acoustic recorders and dung counts, we explored the short-term consequences of logging on forest elephants’ abundance in two certified timber concessions, one in Cameroon and one in Gabon. In Cameroon, 24 camera traps and 12 acoustic recorders were set up for two months in two nearby areas: one that had just been logged and one where the last logging operation was conducted over 17 years ago. In Gabon, dung counts along 73 km of line transects were conducted in one annual allowable cut, eight months before and nine months after logging. The camera trap study in Cameroon showed no significantly different forest elephant detection rates between the recently and the formerly logged areas. A similar result was obtained with the acoustic data. In Gabon, the post-logging survey recorded more than twice as many forest elephant dung as the pre-logging survey. These results support the suggestion that selective logging, when carried out under controlled and sustainable management (ie., closure of old logging roads, law enforcement, low impact logging, etc.), is compatible with the conservation of the forest elephant. Nevertheless, additional studies are needed, especially to assess long-term and behavioral impacts. Ongoing studies on the use of skidding trails and logging roads by large mammals, forest elephant-mediated seed dispersal and herbivory damage in timber concessions, will provide new insights on the coexistence of forest elephants and selective logging.
Disciplines :
Environmental sciences & ecology
Author, co-author :
Scalbert, Morgane ;  Université de Liège - Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech > Forest is life > Terra Teaching and Research Centre
Tossens, Sarah ;  Université de Liège – Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech > Forest is life > Terra Teaching and Research Centre
Vermeulen, Cédric ;  Université de Liège – Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech > Forest is life > Terra Teaching and Research Centre
Doucet, Jean-Louis ;  Université de Liège – Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech > Forest is life > Terra Teaching and Research Centre
Language :
English
Title :
Impacts of selective logging on forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) in two timber concessions of central Africa
Publication date :
14 July 2022
Event name :
58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC)
Event organizer :
Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation
Event place :
Cartagena, Colombia
Event date :
du 10 juillet 2022 au 14 juillet 2022
Audience :
International
Available on ORBi :
since 06 September 2022

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