, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 637-655
Date: 05 Jun 2007

Effects of Forest Fragmentation on the Abundance of Colobus angolensis palliatus in Kenya’s Coastal Forests

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Abstract

We documented the occurrence and abundance patterns of Angola black-and-white colobus (Colobus angolensis palliatus) in 46 coastal forest fragments ranging from 1 ha to >1400 ha in the Kwale District, Kenya. In field surveys conducted in 2001, we also recorded forest spatial, structural, resource, and disturbance characteristics to determine the effects of habitat quality and fragmentation and the factors most critical to the continued survival of the little-known species. We tested 13 hypotheses to explain variation in patch occupancy and abundance patterns of Colobus angolensis palliatus in relation to habitat attributes. Minimal adequate models indicated that the occurrence of colobus in forest fragments is positively associated with fragment area and canopy cover, whereas the density of colobus in occupied fragments is attributable to forest area, the proportion of forest change over the previous 12 yr, and the basal area of 14 major food trees. Large-scale illegal extraction of major colobus food trees in the District for human resource use, in both protected and unprotected forests, together with ongoing forest clearance and modification, are the major threats to Colobus angolensis palliatus in Kenya.