Shared Landscapes: The human-ape interface within the Mone-Oku Forest, Cameroon

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dc.contributor.advisor Malone, N en
dc.contributor.advisor Littleton, J en
dc.contributor.advisor Floyd, B en Wade, Alison en 2020-05-07T21:56:35Z en 2020 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract In this thesis, I examine the complex entanglements among humans, Cross River gorillas (Gorilla gorilla diehli) and Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes ellioti) within the unprotected Mone-Oku Forest, Cameroon. I apply a dual ethnoprimatological and political ecology framework to examine the multifaced interconnections between humans and primates that approaches the Mone-Oku landscape as a combination of social, political and ecological systems. I aim to step away from the ‘crisis’ conservation narrative that labels the local people as the largest threat to these endangered apes and strive for a reflexive ethnographic ethnoprimatology. Through a combined use of botanical surveys, analyses of nesting sites, participant observation and semi-structured interviews, I obtained nuanced ecological and ethnographic insight into the human-ape interface. I found that the chimpanzees and gorillas selected distinct nesting ranges within the Mone-Oku Forest. Plant species preferences in the construction of night nests were also observed for both taxa. Anthropogenic activities within the forest, therefore, have different impacts on the nesting behaviour of the apes. Through ethnography and semi-structured interviews, the importance of cacao (Theobroma cacao) to people quickly became apparent. This was reflected in perceptions that held the Mone-Oku Forest to be more important than the individual species within. In contrast, local perceptions of the apes were often contradictory and context dependant ranging from fear to tolerance, some of which stems from power imbalances with conservation organisations. A reconsideration of the conservation narratives for these apes found them to be incomplete and potentially biased, as they neglect some aspects of human-ape interactions, wider community ecology and the microscales of time. This research highlights the complexity of human, gorilla and chimpanzee intraactions at a specific site. While perfect solutions to conservation problems are not always possible, conservation programs that acknowledge the importance of cocoa and incorporate the variety of knowledge about cacao farming have the potential to foster positive relationships with these communities, furthering the conservation of these endangered apes. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Shared Landscapes: The human-ape interface within the Mone-Oku Forest, Cameroon en
dc.type Thesis en Anthropology en The University of Auckland en Doctoral en PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.elements-id 800938 en Arts en Social Sciences en Anthropology en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2020-05-08 en

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