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Distribution and Numbers of Pygmies in Central African Forests

Olivero, J; Fa, JE; Farfán, MA; Lewis, J; Hewlett, B; Breuer, T; Carpaneto, GM; ... Nasi, R; + view all (2016) Distribution and Numbers of Pygmies in Central African Forests. PLoS One , 11 (1) , Article e0144499. 10.1371/journal.pone.0144499. Green open access

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Abstract

Pygmy populations occupy a vast territory extending west-to-east along the central African belt from the Congo Basin to Lake Victoria. However, their numbers and actual distribution is not known precisely. Here, we undertake this task by using locational data and population sizes for an unprecedented number of known Pygmy camps and settlements (n = 654) in five of the nine countries where currently distributed. With these data we develop spatial distribution models based on the favourability function, which distinguish areas with favourable environmental conditions from those less suitable for Pygmy presence. Highly favourable areas were significantly explained by presence of tropical forests, and by lower human pressure variables. For documented Pygmy settlements, we use the relationship between observed population sizes and predicted favourability values to estimate the total Pygmy population throughout Central Africa. We estimate that around 920,000 Pygmies (over 60% in DRC) is possible within favourable forest areas in Central Africa. We argue that fragmentation of the existing Pygmy populations, alongside pressure from extractive industries and sometimes conflict with conservation areas, endanger their future. There is an urgent need to inform policies that can mitigate against future external threats to these indigenous peoples' culture and lifestyles.

Type: Article
Title: Distribution and Numbers of Pygmies in Central African Forests
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144499
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0144499
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright: © 2016 Olivero et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1489972
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