Project Update: March 2016



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Project Update: March 2016
From May to July 2015, survey questionnaires were used to update knowledge on plant species that provide food for primates in Ketou Distict. Plant species that local communities know as being very useful for non-human primates within Dogo Forest, Ketou Forest and Ewe-Adaklamey Remant Forest (EARF) were listed.
Questionnaire session

Fifty nine peoples including 32 farmers, 11 students, nine hunters, five healers and two public servants were interviewed about the primate food, the hunting of primates, theirs uses, their views during the last 20 years and on the presence of primates currently around the community area. The hunters group of the Ewè village's with whom we have been working for the first RSG project, know where to find foraging non-human primate species in time and space. This initial information was used by our team to identify and describe specimens. But farmers are a majority in this community and are an important group to involve in any measures or community based activities aimed at sustaining primate populations or their habitat restoration. That's why more than half (54%) of questionnaires were addressed to local farmers.


All informants recognise that primates are living in the three forests (Dogo, Ketou and Ewe-Adaklamey) but with an important decrease of population during the last 20 years. People are generally aware that habitat loss because of land cultivation and fragmentation due to illegal deforestation are the main threats for non-human primate population decrease. However, 57 people (96%) of informants believe that primate hunting/ poaching is a permanent danger for the monkey’s population’s stability. Nine (15 %) of them are hunters who still kill primates for a popular bushmeat. The five healers (8% of informants) cited some traditional recipes in which the skull, skin, fingers and tail of primates are used.
Based on the interviewees, two monkey categories emerge. Domesticated monkeys and non-human primates that are mainly in the forested zone. The non-human primates are causing some havoc on crops. For instance, at the outskirt of the EARF two species of primates were indicated by farmers as being the monkey which eats farm crops like maize (Zea mays). But we have not yet correctly identified these two species in the wild because of their ability to detect human presence. The primates abscond quickly and disappear with the density of the vegetation.
Food resources of primates in Kétou District

One hundred per cent of respondents agree that primates generally eat fruits. According to 77% of the respondents, a part of hunters and some farmers, monkeys fit easily to human diet. Primarily primates are viewed as frugivorous, sometimes vegetarians. Plant species listed by the respondents are essentially the common crops and exotic fruit. Solely hunters and few farmers (representing 23% of respondents) were able to list and identify the native fruit tree species harboured by forests of Dogo, Ketou and Ewè and Adapklame village in Ketou District.


According to the investigations, there are many native fruit trees species that are eaten by non-human primates of Ketou. These species are growing naturally in the tree forests of study area. We could identify twenty seven species that provide food for primates. We used hunter's local knowledge on the native plant species to perform herbaria on field (Fig.1) and pictures capture.



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Fig 1: Outskirt of EARF (Top left), Dung of Doe in EARF (Top right) Adansonia digitata in maize field on the edge of Ketou forest (Middle left), A hunter in EARF (Middle right), Herbaria of (Bottom right) E. oblanceolatum and T. scleroxylon (E)

The table below gives a list of these identified plant species including native tree, common fruit trees often known as non-native species and target species which are already global conservation concerns. The citation frequency of the target species with a star is greater than 25%. These native trees should be planted and can provide food for non-human primates living in the wild. This choice has also been done with local communities and hunters especially in the aim to stop looting of farms while ensuring the well being of primates in their natural environment by the restoration of their habitat.




Plant species

(Target species = *)



Family

Common names

Frequency citation after survey (%)

Type

Part used by primates

Adansonia digitata*

Malvaceae

monkey-bread tree

79

Native Tree

Mature fruits

Albizia lebbeck

Fabaceae

Woman's tongues tree




Native Tree

Leaves

Anacardium occidentale

Anacardiaceae

Cashew




Non-native

Fruits and young leaves

Blighia sapida*

Sapindaceae

Ackee

79

Native Tree

Fruits

Bombax costatum

Bombacaceae

Kapok




Native Tree

Fruits and leaves

Carica papaya

Caricaceae

Papaya




Mother Herbs - non-native

Fruits

Ceiba pentadra

Bombacaceae

Kapok Tree




Native Tree

Fruit and leaves

Citrus aurantium

Rutaceae

Sweet Orange




Mother Herbs - non-native

Fruits

Dialium guineense*

Fabaceae

Velvet Tamarind

63

Native Tree

Bark, leaves and fruits

Eleais guineensis

Arecaceae

African oil palm




Common Native Tree

Nuts

Englerophytum oblanceolatum*

Sapotaceae

-

58

Native Tree

Fruits and Nuts

Ficus Ovata

Moraceae

Fig




Native Tree

Fruits

Ficus spp

Moraceae

Fig




Native Tree

Fruits

Guiera senegalensis*

Combretaceae




27

Shrub - Native Tree

Leaves

Mangifera indica

Anacardiaceae

Mango




Common Fruit Tree

Fruits

Manihot esculenta

Euphorbiaceae

Cassava




Common Cultivated shrub

Leaves and roots

Manilkara multinervis

Sapotaceae

-




Native Tree

Fruits and leaves

Monodora tenuifolia

Annonaceae

-




Native Tree

Fruits

Musa sapientum

Musaceae

Banana




Common largest herbaceous

Mature Fruits and sap

Parkia biglobosa

Fabaceae

Nere




Native Tree

Fruit and Nuts

Psidium guajava

Myrtaceae

Guava




Common Fruit Tree

Fruits

Spondias mombin

Anacardiaceae

-




Common Fruit Tree

Fruits

Syzygium guineense

Myrtaceae

Water pear




Native Tree

Fruits

Triplochiton scleroxylon*

Malvaceae

Obeche, Samba

44

Native Tree

Fruits and young leaves

Vigna sp

Fabaceae







Common Crop

Green beans

Vitex doniana

Lamiaceae

African black plum




Native Tree

Fruits

Vitex sp2

Lamiaceae







Native Tree

Fruits




















Community interaction

At the beginning of the long dry season, from October to November 2015, two sessions of Farmer Field Schools were held with some members of the local community to gather information on the second step of the second Rufford project. The first session focused on the result of surveys, herbaria presentation and the knowledge sharing for the recognition of targeted plants species. During this session we also reported to the community, our participation to the ICCB in August 2015 (section of Citizen Sciences) at Montpellier with the preliminary results of the first RSG project we already completed (Fig. 2).


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Fig 2: Contribution to the International Congress of Conservation Biology 2015


In the second session of November 2015, we used Farmer Field School to train local team project on seed collecting based on the tools developed by Global Trees Campaign (FFI) (Fig 3). The staff of the RSG2 and the local team get practice on nursery monitoring and propagating techniques on the community conservation area established during the RSG1 project. The seed colleting campaign, nursery establishment and propagating test for target species reported during this project are ongoing during the dry season till March 2016.



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Fig 3: Seed collection based on Global Trees Campaign method (Top left), Farmers Field School 2015 session at village of Ewe (Top right & Bottom left), Baobab seed (Adansonia digitata) collected from a mother tree at Dogo, Ketou and Ewe forest (2015-2016) (Bottom right).


Conclusion

This is an important step in identifying the specific plants that primates may depend in Ketou District. The study also help to quantify the level of local knowledge on non-human primate.


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