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29.03.2019 | Original Contribution | Ausgabe 4/2019 Open Access

EcoHealth 4/2019

Long-Tailed Macaque Response to Deforestation in a Plasmodium knowlesi-Endemic Area

EcoHealth > Ausgabe 4/2019
Danica J. Stark, Kimberly M. Fornace, Patrick M. Brock, Tommy Rowel Abidin, Lauren Gilhooly, Cyrlen Jalius, Benoit Goossens, Chris J. Drakeley, Milena Salgado-Lynn
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10393-019-01403-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Danica J. Stark and Kimberly M. Fornace: Joint first authors.


Land-use changes can impact infectious disease transmission by increasing spatial overlap between people and wildlife disease reservoirs. In Malaysian Borneo, increases in human infections by the zoonotic malaria Plasmodium knowlesi are hypothesised to be due to increasing contact between people and macaques due to deforestation. To explore how macaque responses to environmental change impact disease risks, we analysed movement of a GPS-collared long-tailed macaque in a knowlesi-endemic area in Sabah, Malaysia, during a deforestation event. Land-cover maps were derived from satellite-based and aerial remote sensing data and models of macaque occurrence were developed to evaluate how macaque habitat use was influenced by land-use change. During deforestation, changes were observed in macaque troop home range size, movement speeds and use of different habitat types. Results of models were consistent with the hypothesis that macaque ranging behaviour is disturbed by deforestation events but begins to equilibrate after seeking and occupying a new habitat, potentially impacting human disease risks. Further research is required to explore how these changes in macaque movement affect knowlesi epidemiology on a wider spatial scale.

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