The Spatial Ecology of Chacma Baboons (Papio ursinus) in a Human-modified Environment

International Journal of Primatology, 2011, Volume 32, Number 2, Pages 308-328

Tali S. Hoffman and M. Justin O’Riain

“Anthropogenic habitat alteration can have a dramatic effect on the spatial distribution and ranging patterns of primates. We characterized the spatial ecology of a free-living troop of chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) in a human-modified environment in the Cape Peninsula, South Africa. We used GPS and behavioral observations collected over 1 yr to quantify the troop’s home range size, habitat selection, choice of sleeping site, and foraging patterns. The troop comprised 115 individuals living in a home range of 9.50 km2, giving a density of 12.1 baboons/km2. Area use correlates positively with exotic vegetation and negatively with indigenous vegetation and altitude. The troop spent significantly more time in low-lying human-modified environments, i.e., plantations, vineyards, and urban habitat, than in indigenous vegetation that was largely restricted to steeper slopes at higher elevations. The troop slept exclusively in exotic trees, 94% of which were located in the plantation, 3% in urban habitat, and 3% in vineyards. The most consumed food items were exotic grasses, subterranean food items, and exotic pine nuts. The survival and persistence of the focal troop in close proximity to the urban edge while ≥3 neighboring troops were previously extirpated suggests that access to low-lying land in conjunction with a land-use practice that does not preclude baboon presence has been fundamental to both their survival and persistence at such a high density. The almost exclusive use of exotic vegetation both as a food source and as a safe refuge for sleeping highlights the ecological flexibility of baboons, but the systematic loss of low-lying productive land poses the single greatest threat to their continued persistence on the Cape Peninsula. ”

Malaria Prevalence, Risk Factors and Spatial Distribution in a Hilly Forest Area of Bangladesh

PLoS ONE, published 21 Apr 2011

Ubydul Haque, Toshihiko Sunahara, Masahiro Hashizume, Timothy Shields, Taro Yamamoto, Rashidul Haque, Gregory E. Glass

“Background:  Malaria is a major public health concern in Bangladesh and it is highly endemic in the Chittagong Hill Tracts where prevalence was 11.7% in 2007. One sub-district, Rajasthali, had a prevalence of 36%. Several interventions were introduced in early 2007 to control malaria. This study was undertaken to evaluate the impacts of these intensive early stage interventions on malaria in Bangladesh. This prevalence study assesses whether or not high malaria prevalence remains, and if so, which areas and individuals remain at high risk of infection.

Spatial distribution of malaria prevalence in Rajasthali.

“Methods and Principal Findings:  A 2-stage cluster sampling technique was used to sample 1,400 of 5,322 (26.3%) households in Rajasthali, and screened using a rapid diagnostic test (Falci-vax). Overall malaria prevalence was 11.5%. The proportions of Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax and infection with both species were 93.2%, 1.9% and 5.0%, respectively. Univariate, multivariate logistic regression, and spatial cluster analyses were performed separately. Sex, age, number of bed nets, forest cover, altitude and household density were potential risk factors. A statistically significant malaria cluster was identified. Significant differences among risk factors were observed between cluster and non-cluster areas.

“Conclusion and Significance:  Malaria has significantly decreased within 2 years after onset of intervention program. Both aspects of the physical and social environment, as well as demographic characteristics are associated with spatial heterogeneity of risk. The ability to identify and locate these areas provides a strategy for targeting interventions during initial stages of intervention programs. However, in high risk clusters of transmission, even extensive coverage by current programs leaves transmission ongoing at reduced levels. This indicates the need for continued development of new strategies for identification and treatment as well as improved understanding of the patterns and determinants of parasitaemia.”

New E-book — GIS in the Cloud: The New Age of Cloud Computing and Geographic Information Systems

Esri has released a new e-book on cloud computing and GIS. Written by Victoria Kouyoumjian, Esri’s IT Strategies Architect, “GIS in the Cloud: The New Age of Cloud Computing and Geographic Information Systems” describes the technology and architecture that cloud service and deployment models offer are key areas of research and development for GIS professionals.

Download the free e-book [PDF]

Topics covered in the e-book include:

  • What Is Cloud Computing?
  • Cloud Service Models
  • Cloud Benefits
  • Public versus Private Cloud
  • Risks in the Cloud
  • ArcGIS and the Cloud

Also included are two case studies of how GIS professionals have successfully used GIS in the cloud.