Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Herbert H. Covert

Second Advisor

Michelle L. Sauther

Third Advisor

Darna L. Dufour

Fourth Advisor

Dennis P. Van Gerven

Fifth Advisor

Brett L. Bruyere

Abstract

Co-occurring primates differentiate habitats and resource use patterns across spatial and temporal scales. Such differential forest use can play a significant role in resource partitioning, especially in phylogenetically related taxa. When it comes to primate communities, however, it is all too often that human primates are excluded from such analyses. The research presented here is the first in-depth analysis of human-nonhuman primate forest use overlap in Vietnam. By applying a mixed methods toolkit, quantitative and qualitative data were gathered regarding people and monkeys sharing forest resources within the Tonkin Snub-Nosed Monkey Species and Habitat Conservation Area. Direct observations of the monkeys (48 observation hours) and the local people (67 events of human activity in the forest), as well as 75 household interviews, were conducted simultaneously between August 2011 and March 2013. Analysis indicated that several socio-economic (SES) variables, including a newly validated SES index, reliably predict human knowledge and expertise with specific forest plants. Timber harvesting activities, specifically for the purposes of construction and fuelwood, were identified as the most substantial threat to the monkeys. One tree species in particular, Excentrodendron tonkinense, was determined to be absolutely essential to Tonkin snub-nosed monkey survival, but is also a highly valued resource for local people. Neither humans nor nonhuman primates appeared to shift forest plant species use seasonally, but monkeys narrowed their space use in the wet season and spent more time in less rugged areas compared to people. Additionally, timing of human forest access reflected a considerable degree of specificity – over 90% of observed events took place in the dry season and a significant percentage also occurred towards the end of each lunar month. The dry season not only encompassed the most important holiday of the year, it is also considered to be free time by the local residents. These findings have not only enhanced the current understanding of the human-nonhuman primate interface, they also inform future conservation action. Results were used to refine an Open Standards conceptual model, and to outline a series of recommended strategies and conservation interventions designed to preserve the critically endangered Tonkin snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus).