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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Unrefereed
Title: Human impact on western lowland gorilla behaviour
Author(s): Klailova, Michelle
Hodgkinson, Chloe
Lee, Phyllis C
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Issue Date: Jun-2010
Date Deposited: 8-Oct-2013
Citation: Klailova M, Hodgkinson C & Lee PC (2010) Human impact on western lowland gorilla behaviour. Gorilla Journal: Journal of Berggorilla and Regenwald Direkthilfe, 40, pp. 22-24.
Abstract: First paragraph: Western lowland gorilla tourism exists on a considerably smaller scale than that of the high profile mountain gorillas. Yet the successful habituation of several western lowland gorilla groups, combined with demand from international tourists and revenue expectations from local governments, have resulted in the expansion of western gorilla tourist programs and increasing research presence. A major concern of ape tourism is the heightened risk of human-ape disease transmission, which can have severe consequences for habituated ape populations. Chronic stressors may act to lower ape immunity and thus increase their susceptibility to disease. Guidelines have been designated to diminish these risks, such as a minimum observer-gorilla distance of 7 m. However, this distance limit is based mainly on mountain gorilla disease transmission risks and takes little account of the potential psychological impact of close human presence. The Bai Hokou study site, located in the Dzanga-Sangha Protected Areas Complex of the Central African Republic, was selected in 1997 to develop a long-term gorilla habituation project for ecotourism and research. One of Bai Hokou's tenets is to monitor human impact when following western lowland gorillas, identify potential negative triggers, and through this process learn how to best minimize the disturbance caused by human observers following habituated or semi-habituated groups. This study forms the second stage of a longer-term project designed to evaluate human impact on one particular western gorilla group at different stages of the habituation process.
Rights: The publisher has granted permission for use of this work in this Repository. Published in Gorilla Journal, Issue 40, pp.22-24, 06/2010 by Berggorilla and Regenwald Direkthilfe:

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