April 3, 2013

Over hunting means big problems for tropical forests

CTFS-SIGEO scientists have been researching changes in Lambir Hills National Park, and the impacts intensive hunting is having on the forest. The research, which has been ongoing since the early 1990’s, has found hunting to be a leading cause of change in this diverse tropical forest. In South America, up to 90% of tree species depend on animals to disperse their seeds. Lambir Hills National Park was once a thriving home to an array of birds, gibbons, flying foxes, and other animals, but a surge in hunting has left the park with very few large, seed-dispersing animals in the past decade. The forest is now suffering from sapling overcrowding and the loss of diversity, which could be the beginning of drastic changes in this high conservation value forest.
An article about CTFS-SIGEO research was featured in Science Magazine.  Read it here http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2013/03/hunting-leads-to-rapid-change-in.html