Effect of land use dynamics on habitat of two sympatric primates in Boabeng- Fiema monkey sanctuary, Ghana
Competition between growing human population and burgeoning number of primates were investigated at the Boabeng-Fiema monkey sanctuary (BFMS) in Ghana, to determine the effect of habitat change on primates. Remote sensing data, primarily Landsat imagery, were used to analyse the land use cover changes that have occurred over a period of 21 years (1986-2006). The data were supported by field investigations that included the administration of a questionnaire. The analysis of the satellite imagery revealed that the sanctuary was 31.3 per cent forest, 47.8 per cent savanna and agricultural fields, and 20.9 per cent build-up or degraded surfaces. By 2007, forest cover had reduced to 22.4 per cent, whislt savanna and agricultural fields, and build-up/degraded surfaces had expanded to 54.5 per cent and 23.1 per cent, respectively. Most of the respondents (93 per cent) agreed that their activities had degraded the forest, whilst seven per cent stated otherwise. The results also indicated that both the human and primate populations had increased over the years although no definite figure was obtained for the primate population, which was estimated to be approximately 4,500. The increase in the primate population was enabled by adaptation to human food coupled with traditional beliefs forbidding humans from harming primates. Cultural belief is, therefore, recognised as an integral part of environmental sustainability in the community.
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